About car sharing
From offering a carshare to contacting other members and everything in between, our frequently asked questions (FAQs) are here to help
Who are Liftshare?
Liftshare are the UK's leading car share provider. As a Social Enterprise, we offer our car sharing platform for free to our users, as well as working with over 700 clients across the UK to provide individual car share platforms to employers. You may have also seen us providing travel solutions at festivals and public events. Liftshare are the first car share platform to be awarded with the Sharing Economy Trust Seal and we recently won our second Queen's Award for Enterprise for “exceptional contributions to the environment”.
What is car sharing?
Car sharing is when there is more than one occupant in a private car. We all share cars regularly, with our friends and family, without thinking about it. But there are often times when a driver has empty seats simply because they don't know anyone who needs a lift or they might not be aware of the benefits of sharing.
Liftshare enables organised car sharing by connecting people travelling in the same direction so they can arrange to travel together and share the costs, whilst reducing congestion and pollution at the same time.
How can I get involved?
The service is available to anyone over 18. Commuters, students, football supporters, festival-goers, tourists, employees - anyone!
Joining the scheme is simple and completely FREE. All you have to do is register your details and then activate your account. This is done by simply clicking on the link that we send to you in the account activation email.
If you haven't already added a journey, this is the time to do it. Whether you're driving somewhere or don't have a car and are looking for a lift- register your journey as a driver or a passenger to maximise your chances of finding a match.
Once you've registered your journey, you will be presented with other journeys matching yours. When you have found a suitable match from the results, you can then contact the member(s) using our internal messaging system and then confirm that you're sharing.
What are the benefits of sharing a car?
By sharing your car you can split the cost of your journey and reduce your carbon footprint.
Sharing a car:
- Reduces the costs of travelling (our regular sharers save an average of £1000 per year)
- Undercuts the cost of nearly all forms of motorised transport
- Cuts congestion and pollution
- Reduces parking problems
- Is a great way of networking and making new friends
Don't just take it from us though, find out what our members have to say about why they love car sharing here.
When can I share a car?
Any journey you take is appropriate for sharing, whether it be one-off or a regular commute. Journeys you may consider adding to Liftshare:
- Getting to and from work
- Getting to and from university
- Travelling to a festival, big event or show
- Going to the match at the weekend
- Doing the weekly shop
- Or simply visiting friends
If you're a driver, and have a car, you may be helping someone by offering the available seats in your car, even on the shortest journeys.
What are the costs of car sharing?
Liftshare calculates a suggested contribution per passenger for your journey based on the length of your trip and using HM Revenue and Customs Approved Mileage Payment Allowance. Drivers can adjust the price within a capped window, to ensure passenger costs offset real costs and no profit is made - therefore not invalidating your car insurance. The contribution set by the driver using this system is fixed, making it simple and transparent for everyone involved.
Find out how much you could save through car sharing: Savings Calculator
What are the legal and insurance implications of car sharing?
The Public Passenger Vehicle Act (1981 Section 1(4)) outlines the rules that govern car sharing. Passenger contributions should be arranged before travel and should not exceed the running costs (including wear and depreciation) of the vehicle for the trip. Liftshare calculates a suggested price per passenger for your journey based on the length of your trip and using HM Revenue and Customs Approved Mileage Payment Allowance.
In most countries, insurers state that car sharing will not affect an individual's car insurance e.g. the Association of British Insurers clearly states that car sharing won't affect the insurance of their members so long as a profit isn't made: "All ABI motor insurers have agreed that if your passengers contribute towards your running costs your insurance cover will not be affected, as long as lifts are given in a vehicle seating eight passengers or less. This agreement does not apply if you make a profit from payments received or if carrying passengers is your business." (Source: ABI 2012)
Over 300 insurance providers are members of the ABI, accounting for about 95% of the motor insurance market in the UK. Drivers with any concerns, should check with their own insurance company as terms and conditions may vary between insurance providers over time.
Do I need a car to car share?
No, many people are happy to offer lifts in exchange for sharing the fuel costs. On the Liftshare platform you can register your journey 'as a passenger' if you don't have a car. If you cycle or walk to work, it's always good to find a car share partner just in case one day you need a lift. If you own a car you may want to alternate the driving on a regular commute. Car sharing is also perfect for a rainy day or if your car goes in for it’s MOT.
How to be a good car share partner
Like any successful relationship, car sharing requires respect, good communication and a little bit of give and take! Here are some top etiquette tips that our members recommend:
- Be reliable. If you agree to meet at 8am, be there at 8am. Especially if you're sharing a commute. People often have very little flexibility before they end up being late for work
- Communication is key. If you are going to be unavoidably delayed, let your sharer know (as far in advance as possible). Keeping your tone polite and friendly always helps
- Flexibility is important too, sometimes you or your sharer will have to stay a bit late at work unexpectedly – but warn each other whenever you think this might be the case
- Want to eat in the car? Just check your driver/passenger doesn't mind before you unwrap that burger! Drivers also have the opportunity to say whether they're happy with this when they add their journey
- Don't assume that everyone loves ACDC or Wagner. You both need to be comfortable with the music on your journey, so discuss your preferences. Most people will have an area of shared taste
- If the car is yours:
- Keep it acceptably clean
- Drive considerately
- Make your passenger(s) feel welcome
- If you're the passenger:
- Ask before adjusting the controls (e.g. radio or air con)
- Don't smoke without checking if it's ok first
- Offer to pay before being asked. Money can be an awkward topic. It's easiest to agree contributions (and when payment(s) will take place) in advance, and that's why the system presents a suggested contribution for each trip
- Be willing to meet before your first share if your driver/passenger feels more comfortable doing that
- It can appear unfriendly if you spend the journey on your mobile, chatting to friends or making business calls. And it can be distracting to the driver too
- Some people are great first thing in the morning; others need time to acclimatise themselves to the new day! Be sensitive about your car share partner's preferences for silence or chat (as they should be about yours)
- Always reply to any requests to share that you receive from other members, no matter what the situation is. Even if you can't make that journey, the other person will be waiting for an answer from you, so please let them know so they can arrange alternative travel
Trust & safety
How safe is car sharing?
The safety of our members is a priority for Liftshare and we have made our website as secure as we can. All members' details are stored securely in the database and only members intended travel information can be accessed online.
When it comes to travelling, every member is responsible for his or her own safety. However, we do recommend that members follow some simple security measures outlined below:
- Avoid exchanging home addresses with your travelling companion before you meet them
- Arrange to meet in a public place
- Inform a friend or family member of whom you will be travelling with, when and to where
- Make sure you show each other your IDs - e.g. passports, or driving licences - so you know you're travelling with the right person
- You are under no obligation to go ahead with any car share. If you have any doubts about your travelling companion, for any reason, you should avoid travelling with them
Where should I arrange to meet my car share partner?
We recommend that you meet your potential car share partner at a public place, close to public transport connections if possible so that alternative transport options are available should the lift fall through. We advise members not to meet at a home address for security reasons.
Will my personal contact details be visible to other users?
No, your email address is kept hidden at all times. Only the first half of your postcode is shown on journey information. The only information that is visible to other users is your name and the journey details you added. We only share your mobile number once you have confirmed a booking with another member.
How can I check if the driver's car is taxed and has passed its MOT? (UK only)
We recommend that you ask the driver for the Vehicle Registration Number and Vehicle Make. You can check the details here https://www.vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/
Can someone under 18 (a minor) use the site?
To create a profile on Liftshare and have access to our services, you must be over 18 years old. However, we understand there are particular circumstances in which a minor can get a lift without being accompanied by an adult or legal guardian.
If this is the case, the parents (or legal guardians) of the minor can make a booking directly from their profile. It is essential to inform the driver and ask for their approval beforehand to make sure they accept to give a minor a lift.
It is also necessary that the parents, legal guardians or the driver have the appropriate safety equipment (a child seat or a booster) depending on the child's age and size, in accordance with the law.
What happens if my car share arrangement falls through?
Liftshare is solely a journey matching service and cannot be held responsible for any journeys that don't work out as planned. Likewise, the drivers and passengers who register their journeys with us are under no legal obligation to their travelling companions or to Liftshare to make any journeys. However, we hope that if plans change and journeys can't be made, that all affected parties will be contacted and forewarned with appropriate notice, this is only courteous.
Your Liftshare account
The answers to all questions about your Liftshare account can be found in our Knowledge Base.