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Carpooling (also known as car-sharing, ride-sharing, lift-sharing and covoiturage), is the sharing of car journeys so that more than one person travels in a car.

By having more people using one vehicle, carpooling reduces each person's travel costs such as fuel costs, tolls and the stress of driving. Carpooling is also seen as a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel as sharing journeys reduces carbon emissions, traffic congestion on the roads, and the need for parking spaces. Authorities often encourage carpooling, especially during high pollution periods and high fuel prices.


How Carpooling Works


Drivers and passengers offer and search for journeys through one of the several mediums available. After finding a match they contact each other to arrange any details for the journey(s). Costs, meeting points and other details like space for luggage are agreed on. They then meet and carry out their shared car journey(s) as planned.

Carpooling is commonly implemented for commuting but is increasingly popular for longer one-off journeys, with the formality and regularity of arrangements varying between schemes and journeys.

Carpooling is not always arranged for the whole length of a journey. Especially on long journeys, it is common for passengers to only join for parts of the journey, and give a contribution based on the distance that they travel. This gives carpooling extra flexibility, and enables more people to share journeys and save money.

Today most carpooling is organized thanks to fast-emerging online marketplaces that allow drivers and passengers to find a travel match and make a secured transaction to share the planned travel cost. Like other online marketplaces, they use community-based trust mechanisms, such as user-ratings, to create an optimal experience for users.


Arrangements for carpooling can be made through many different mediums, including:

  • Public websites, acting as marketplaces
  • Closed websites (eg. for employees)
  • Carpooling smartphone applications
  • Manned carpooling agencies
  • Pick-up points (not pre-arranged)