Implementing a workplace car sharing scheme

Car sharing is a great sustainable transport option for businesses and employees.

It’s when two or more people travel together by car for all or part of a trip.  They may take it in turns to drive, or regularly use a single car with the passenger contributing towards the costs.

Car sharing is particularly ideal for remote sites, or sites that draw their employees from a rural area where public transport may be poor.

Benefits of car sharing to an organisation

Car sharing can help your business by reducing congestion and demand for parking spaces on site.  It can improve employee wellbeing as its sociable and offers staff cheaper and more flexible travel options.  Car sharing is a particularly good option for staff with limited or no access to a car.

Setting up a car sharing scheme demonstrates your commitment to corporate social responsibility and reducing your carbon footprint.

Types of car sharing schemes

Informal car sharing

An informal car sharing scheme can be arranged and managed internally.  It’s simple, cost effective and staff can choose their own car sharing partners that share a similar route. 

Informal schemes may require a coordinator to oversee the process.  It’s useful to carry out a staff survey to find out the demand for car sharing before you go on to set up a register or database to enable staff to self-match or be matched by the coordinator.  The scheme can be promoted through your internal comms channels and its advisable to monitor performance through regular surveys, focus groups and car park counts.

Commercial car sharing platforms

You may choose to purchase a commercial car sharing platform.  This can be an app and/or website, which automatically matches users’ journeys to bring drivers and sharers together.  Users may or may not know each other.

Platforms can be customised and branded and either available exclusively to your staff or openly available to other local users such as businesses.

If your business is based at a business park, it may help to set up a joint scheme with your neighbours. By opening the scheme to more people, you will increase the chances of employees finding a suitable match.

Priority car share parking

Providing dedicated parking spaces can act as an incentive for people to car share.  Try to locate the spaces in the most attractive areas, such as immediately outside or close to the main entrance. Dedicated car share bays can work well, especially if there are car parking capacity issues.

You could issue car share passes or a member of staff could be asked to periodically monitor the spaces.  In many instances these spaces become self- enforcing with staff monitoring the scheme.

You can always revert the car share spaces back to normal parking spaces later in the day so that staff and visitors can use them if they are free.

Car share FAQs

The Association of British Insurers clearly states that car sharing will not affect the insurance of their members if a profit is not made.

Private commercial platforms calculate a suggested contribution per passenger based on the journey length and the HMRC Approved Mileage Payment Allowance.  If you are using an internal car share scheme, you can use this as a guideline so as not to affect the driver’s insurance. 

Many people are happy to offer lifts in exchange for a contribution towards fuel costs so you can let employees register as seeking a lift if they don’t own a car.

A key concern for some employees when thinking about the implications of car sharing is the inability to get home quickly in the case of an emergency.  Setting up and promoting a guaranteed ride home policy is an ideal way to overcome these concerns.