Carpool tips

Carpoolers getting into a carEstablishing a new carpool? Is the existing carpool experiencing some bumps along the way? Suggestions below may make the ride go a little smoother:

  • Meet with fellow commuters before starting your carpool to exchange information and establish guidelines. A few general items to discuss are:
    • Who will do the driving and if driving is to be shared?
    • Is there a park and ride lot to meet at or other convenient, safe location?
    • What should the policies be regarding smoking, radio, food, etc.?
    • How much compensation is expected and when is it expected?
    • How long will the carpool wait for a passenger (five minutes is recommended)?
  • Cell phones are a great way to keep in touch if a participant is running late.
  • Build in flexibility to accommodate changing schedules.
  • Establish back-up plans in the event the driver is not available.
  • Communication is key to successful carpools. Email and phone each other as needed.
  • Give the carpool a chance to work effectively for it may take a few weeks to get things running smoothly.
  • If issues arise, communicate, and try to talk them out before leaving the carpool.

Common courtesies

  • Give notice of vacation or sickness as far in advance as possible.
  • Drive in a safe and courteous manner and be prompt.
  • Avoid controversial discussions.
  • Avoid strong scents that may be irritating to others.
  • Keep your car’s interior inviting for others to sit in.

Ideas/ways to offset driving costs

  • Carpool to save costs of fuel, tires, oil changes, and other vehicle maintenance.
  • Drive a vehicle that retains a high resale value.
  • Reduce your insurance costs. Insurance rates are calculated on your driving record, type of car, annual mileage, and daily work mileage.
    • Carpool to reduce annual and average daily work mileage.
    • Drive safely, adhere to speed limits, drive defensively to avoid accidents.
    • Call your agent for a quotation on competitive and comparative rates on cars before you buy.
  • Save money for a down payment to reduce finance charges, length of loans and lease rates.
  • Purchase cars with longer warranties and less frequent service requirements.