Many universities across the country are trying to decrease their carbon footprint by encouraging students to car share or partake in ‘take-a-mate’ schemes when travelling to uni each day. Not only is it better for the environment, but it’ll work out cheaper for students looking to save a few pennies.
Student car shares are arranged by lots of university as a free service, and usually they’ll offer an online facility by which students can register their interest in car sharing. Students will then be matched with a partner based on set university criteria as well as their own preferences – such as where they live, timetables, or whether they would prefer to car share with a male or female.
Not only this, but car shares aren’t just for car owners - you can register even if you’re just looking for a lift. It’ll still be more cost-effective for the driver if they’re able to split the petrol costs!
Where can I find a ride?
Speak to your student union to find out if there are any car share schemes set up at your university. More often than not, your university will have a formal scheme that will encourage car sharing by making it easy and convenient to sign up. They’ll also, having a keen interest in safety, keep track of who is sharing with who, and when they’ll be commuting together to give you some peace of mind. These facilities will also allow you to register your interest so that you can travel with a partner that is convenient to both of your locations.
What are the benefits?
It’s better for the environment
There’s no two ways about it – student car sharing is considerably better for the environment than everyone taking a separate car. By halving the population of students driving to lectures, it’ll reduce carbon emissions and congestion in and around student cities. No-one likes sitting in traffic, after all!
It’ll work out cheaper
Aside from splitting the petrol costs, lots of universities will offer discounts on parking permits to student car sharers as an incentive for partaking in the scheme. Parking permits can be expensive, and there usually aren’t too many of them available, so it’ll be an added bonus if you can get a parking spot on campus. Your university may even provide priority parking spots for car sharers, so it’s worth investigating.
You might make some new friends
There’s nothing like a road trip to really bond with someone. Interesting taste in music aside, your car share partner might become your new best friend, making your commute to uni all the more enjoyable.
And some things to bear in mind…
Make sure to stay safe - make sure you let someone know who you’re travelling with, when you’re leaving, and how long it should take to get there so that they can make sure you arrive safely. Charge your phone and take it with you – just in case.
You can pull out at any time
If you’re not entirely comfortable with who you’ve been partnered with, remember that you are allowed to pull out of the student car share arrangement at any time. Make sure to show each other your IDs before getting in a car together.
Meet in a mutually convenient location
When meeting your car share partner for the first time, rather than giving them your home address straight off the bat, arrange to meet them in a mutually convenient and public location – just until you get to know them a bit better. This will ultimately give yourself, your friends and your university peace of mind.
Make sure you’re suitably insured
If you keep your car with you at uni, it’s important to make sure that your student car insurance policy covers your university address. As part of your insurance quotation, you may have needed to confirm details such as your term time address and where your car is parked overnight (e.g. on a driveway), so it’s worth speaking to your insurer to make sure your policy details are still up to date and correct.