Commuting is an essential part of our day, but staff can make the journey to work more enjoyable by sharing the ride with other colleagues. This move can reduce pollution, ease congestion and prevent traffic jams in our cities. The savings can be even greater when three or four workers share one vehicle.
According to a national commuting survey by automotive retailer, Inchcape, supported by Touchpoints data, a total of 18.6 million people drive to work alone in the UK. The study looked at over 2,000 car commuters in Britain and it found that the average weekly bill in the UK for driving to the workplace is £38.72. That equates to more than £1,700 annually – the cost of a return flight to Australia.
If four members of staff were to share the journey to work, two times a week, they would each save £527 over the course of the year. If commuters shared a car three times a week, they would each save around £790. These are substantial savings which could go towards a family holiday, the purchase of a television or laptop, or simply cash that can be put away for a rainy day.
While almost 20 million people in the UK drive to work on their own, only 12.3 million people car share. As well as the financial and environmental savings that can be enjoyed, staff who car share could shave off almost 20 minutes on their drive to work, according to YouGov. Workers travelling alone spend 72 minutes driving, whereas for those who car share, the journey time is only 54 minutes.
The survey also demonstrates the savings that people can make in their own regions. In Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the commute to the workplace is most expensive, staff spend £60.50 on average each week. To put that into perspective, two people sharing the drive each week could benefit to the tune of almost £550 each, every year, and also do their bit for the environment.
Ali Clabburn, the CEO of the UK’s largest car share community, Liftshare.com, said the average member who shares the commute, typically four times a week, saves roughly £1000 per year, depending on fuel prices, of course. To put in into an environmental context, that’s equivalent to just less than a tonne of CO2 emissions. So there are both personal and environmental gains to be had by car sharing. It’s a great option, and one which many companies could recommend to their staff.
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