It often happens to read some articles and to find words like carpooling, car sharing… Car sharing and carpooling are real protagonists of everyday life in the field of transport and mobility. In fact, shared mobility is one of the most important forms of sustainable mobility and is used by a constantly growing number of people.
But not everyone knows that car sharing and carpooling are not the same thing, and they are often confused: although they are both based on sharing the means of transport, they are two services with different characteristics.
Let's find out how car sharing and car pooling services work and what are the peculiarities that differentiate them!
By car sharing we mean the rental of a car owned by third parties, generally short-term and in urban contexts. The same car is made available to multiple drivers who use it for a limited time. Car sharing services are aimed at completely transforming the concept of cars: from a consumer good and property to a service that can only be used when needed. Car sharing also allows you to travel in a sustainable way without sacrificing the convenience of a private car: thanks to shared cars it is possible to travel by reducing urban traffic and harmful emissions on board modern and innovative cars by paying only the rental cost. Examples of car sharing companies are: SHARE NOW, which is Europe's leading car sharing company, Zipcar, famous in the UK and ENJOY, which is vastly used in Italy.
And what is carpooling? Unlike car sharing, carpooling requires the use of shared private cars in order to reduce travel costs by decreasing them to a minimum. How does carpooling work? An individual decides to make their car available to share the trip with other people in order to reduce costs. An example of car pooling by now well spread and known to all is BlaBlaCar.
This mode of transport is generally used in a business environment: in fact, by sharing the same home-work destination and using a single vehicle, travelers have the opportunity to reduce the costs of the journey by dividing them.
If carpooling was born as a mode of transport particularly used in the business environment, thanks to technology and new digital platforms this type of service can also be used for less usual trips: just make your vehicle available online for the trip and indicate the final destination to share it with other travelers by dividing the costs of the trip.
Just like car sharing, car pooling also falls within the forms of sustainable mobility as it allows to reduce the number of vehicles in circulation and, consequently, also harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
So, to conclude, what is the difference between car sharing and carpooling?
Car sharing does not imply owning a car and is based on short-term vehicle rental, carpooling is a service based on sharing a private car with other travelers in order to reduce travel costs.
Furthermore, while car sharing is widely used for any type of private travel, carpooling is much more common in the corporate environment in order to reduce the expenses related to home-work travel between colleagues.
Both services are important allies of sustainable mobility, as they are designed to reduce the number of private cars in circulation and reduce CO2 emissions related to the world of transport.
The next time you need to travel to work or from your university to your hometown, check if there is a carpooling service near you. You will make new friends and you will save the environment!