Travelling Cheaply by Car

If you consider the increasingly high cost of petrol and that, 78% of the time, the car is only occupied by the driver, sharing journeys between several people would mean, not only a minor impact on the Planet, but a great saving.

That’s why we give you some recommendations so you can do it!

1. BLABLACAR

One of the major references in terms of carpooling is BlaBlaCar, which since 2004 has been convincing netizens of the environmental advantages and cost savings of this system. It works as a social network, connecting more than 2.7 million people, including drivers and passengers, across Europe, according to their Twitter account. Trust and reliability are the maxims on which this service is based.

What we like? The autocomplete function in searches wins by a landslide to the classic drop-down. The files of the drivers are really complete: from if he is very talkative to comments from passengers who already know him, in addition to the model and photo of the car he uses. A great initiative is Campus, aimed at university students who want to share a car, and Agenda, which groups the trips according to special events such as, for example, music festivals.

What could be improved? With the change of domain, from Conduzco to Bablacar, if a passenger does not find a driver, there is no option to publish that itinerary as an occupant on the main page. It is only possible to offer this route when a vehicle is available or to subscribe to an alert. When you go to the Agenda section, it is possible to do so, but there is no link on the home page to access it; only if you have consulted the event from the blog of the web. Also, once you are in Agenda, they ask you to register again.

2. AMOVENS

Reserve a seat in a private car similar to how it is done with a train or a plane is the maxim that drives Amovens; a Spanish company that will soon turn four years old. Although it has 100% ownership, this young company focuses a good part of its efforts to extend the use of car sharing in companies, universities, administrations, events and festivals. The number of registered users is around 50,000, and rising.

What we like? The search could not be easier, since it is based on two fields (origin and destination) and two buttons (search and publish). They give great value to confidentiality: all contacts are made through the personal area messaging service. In this way, personal data such as mobile phones or car license plates are never public.

What could be improved? Its operation is so reduced to the minimum expression that there are fewer extras that could mean important improvements for the service. Reduce the contact between users to the messaging service, forces to be online before any unforeseen. If the part that leads or that accompanies gives a sit-ins, the evaluations remain, but it is as easy to get rid of them as to register again with a different email.

3. ROADSHARING

From Italy, Roadsharing is another of the platforms that puts in contact people who want to share their car with possible travelers interested in the same route internationally. Similarly to other offers , this website is presented as the ideal place for those who go to work every day by car, find who to offer free places and thus, pollute and spend less.

What we like? You have access to the routes at a glance thanks to a list as a table that includes easily recognisable icons. You can filter by country thanks to the search boxes. All routes reflect the amount of CO2 released as a function of the kilometers traveled. It is noteworthy that there are many suggestions in which the price of free places is not marked, which could indicate that the driver only wants company.

What could be improved? In the proposed trips, those that originate in Italy predominate over the rest, so we think that the website lacks coverage in Spain. It’s a shame because the part dedicated to events is very well worked and very intuitive. Likewise, although the website is available in five languages, there are flaws in the translation, suddenly words and phrases appear in Italian in the files of the journeys and in specific sections.

4. SHARE

In addition to all the websites, the public initiative also makes citizens participate in their concern for the health of the atmosphere through its loudspeaker: Share. Born in the week of Mobility Week, this website is defined as a network of municipalities, companies and organisations that promote the car sharing service. It has more than 65,000 registered users.

What we like? The large number of universities, town halls and many other entities of various kinds that have joined this project is a sign of the real effort to motivate the citizen to actively use this beneficial practice. The comparison between the economic and environmental costs of doing the trip alone or in company is presented in a very illustrative way, differentiating both savings by the number of passengers.

What could be improved? Once the origin and destination have been selected, the web redirects to the institution that manages the contacts of the users. Because it is so local and there is no centralised support service, there may be substantial differences in customer service. In many occasions the exact date is not set, so it is difficult to know if the trip is still being made, when it is a usual route, or if it is old, when users are facing an occasional trip.

5. WE TRAVEL TOGETHER

Very focused on Spain and Argentina, ViajamosJuntos is, since 2004, another of the Internet’s places where we are received with a search engine in which we must indicate the city of origin and destination, the date and time of departure and the number of passengers to get in touch with users interested in sharing a car on their journeys. Saving and the environment come back to shake hands in a website characterized by a really clean design.

What we like? The form to announce the trips, whether it is a driver who has a spare space, or a passenger looking for a seat, is very simple to complete and away from unnecessary frills. Like other similar websites, it has a calculator with which it will be very easy to know the price of the trip thanks to the distance traveled, the cost of fuel, the existence or not of tolls and the squares occupied. It is an especially interesting website for long trips.

What could be improved? There is no list of itineraries from home, so you always have to enter at least one exit or entry point. Advertisers and plaintiffs upload their ad by registering, but to get in touch they enter their phone number or email, which clashes with privacy. The routes through Europe are not so 8.

The culture of carpooling in Spain has a long way to go to achieve the roots of what you enjoy in other countries where this practice is perfectly normal. The same goes for hitchhiking, so stigmatised by the cinema or urban legends. Understanding the automobile as a less private and more public means is the idea of these and other ways of moving, such as renting cars between individuals that promote SocialCar or MovoMovo. Are you ready for the trip?

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