Most carpoolers agree that the good company of their fellow carpoolers is a benefit that they really enjoy and hadn’t anticipated. Agreement on a few simple points will ensure that your carpool stays a happy one. Although these points seem to be just common sense, there are a few specific rules that you may want to consider.
The Bottom Line – How Much $$
Settle on reimbursement costs in advance. If there is one permanent vehicle and driver it’s only fair to establish a fare based on fuel, maintenance and parking costs. Agree when fares will be collected and stick to it.
Don’t Be Late
Nothing can disrupt a happy carpool faster than chronically late riders. Establish a time schedule and pick-up points. Establish rules for latecomers and decide how long to wait (5 minutes is standard).
No Stopping – Anytime!
The golden rule of carpooling! Your commute together serves only one purpose – to travel to and from work or school. Save your trips to the grocery store for the weekend and pick-up your dry cleaning on your lunch break.
The Back Up Plan…..
This is particularly important if your carpool has more than one driver. Ensure everyone has a copy of home, work or cell phone numbers and agree in advance what will happen in the event of illness or mechanical problems – it is best to expect the unexpected. An automobile association membership can be a great investment for those rare occasions when the keys are locked in the car or a jump-start is needed.
Insurance – Make Sure You’re Covered
To adequately protect yourself, liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 is recommended as well as underinsured motorist protection. These are a good investment and cost only a few dollars more each year. We also recommend that you notify your insurance provider of your intent to carry passengers.
A poorly maintained car can consume between 15 and 50 percent more fuel than one that is properly maintained. A well maintained vehicle will ensure a safe, reliable, comfortable ride that’s better for the environment.
The Little Things…..
Sometimes it is the little things that make a big difference. Consider the close proximity of your carpool partners before applying perfume or cologne in the morning, many people are highly sensitive to certain smells and can become extremely uncomfortable.
Use common sense when making seating arrangements - big people in the front, smaller people in the back. Decide on radio use, smoking policies and other concerns before you start carpooling.