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Carshare FAQ's


What is car-sharing? (liftsharing, ridesharing, carpooling)

Car-sharing (also called liftsharing, ridesharing and carpooling) is when two or more people share a car and travel together. It allows individuals to benefit from the convenience of the car, whilst reducing the costs and alleviating the associated problems of congestion and pollution.

How safe is car-sharing?

The safety of our members is a priority, and we have made our web-site as secure as we can. All members' details are stored securely in the database and only the members' intended travel information can be accessed by other members.

When it comes to travelling, every member is responsible for his or her own safety. However we do recommend that members follow some simple security measures outlined below:

  • Avoid exchanging home addresses with your travelling companion before you meet them.
  • Arrange to meet for the first time in a public place.
  • Inform a friend or family member of who you will be travelling with, when and to where.
  • Make sure you see each other's IDs - passports, student cards or driving licences - so you know you're travelling with the right person.
  • You are under no obligation to go ahead with any car-share arrangement. If you have any doubts about your travelling companion, for any reason, then you don't have to travel with them.

If you have any problems please call us on (+44) (0)800 11 11 99 (Office hours: Mon-Fri, 8.45-5.15) and we will endeavour to help in any way that we can.

It is your responsibility to check that the person you are sharing with has all the legal driving documents, such as driving licence, car insurance, MOT and car tax.

For more information about safety and security of personal information please read our Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy

When can I car-share?

You can share a car on any journey you make - getting to work, doing the weekly shop, taking the children to school, going to the match at the weekend, travelling to a festival, event or show, getting to or from university, visiting friends or getting to the airport - just register it on our system and start looking for a match.

Why should I share my journey?

Travelling in a pair or a group can often be more fun and better for individuals, the community and the environment. There are several reasons for this:

  • It can save you money.
  • It can reduce pollution from car emissions.
  • It gives you company.
  • It can reduce local congestion.
  • It can save you time.
  • Sharing a walking or cycling journey can motivate you to do some exercise.
  • It can be safer (eg. having company if you breakdown).
  • You can make new friends and meet your neighbours.
  • It can reduce the use of limited fossil fuels.
What type of journeys can I share?

There are many occasions when travelling in a pair or a group can be better for individuals, the community and the environment. Some typical examples are below:

  • Walking home after dark and feeling safer with others.
  • Cycling into work for the first time and wanting someone to show you the best way.
  • Getting a taxi to the airport and wanting to share the costs.
  • Driving a car to work and wanting to share the fuel and parking costs.
What are the costs of car-sharing?

We suggest that drivers and passengers share the cost of petrol. Please note that drivers should not make a profit from sharing a car as in most countries this can invalidate their insurance and tax. If you have any concerns please contact your insurance company directly.

What are the legal & insurance implications of car-sharing?

The Public Passenger Vehicle Act (1981 Section 1(4)) outlines the rules that govern car-sharing. Passenger contributions should be arranged before travel and should not exceed the running costs (including wear and depreciation) of the vehicle for the trip. Liftshare's savings calculator can assist in working out an appropriate sum of money to compensate your fellow sharer(s).

In most countries, insurers state that car-sharing will not affect an individual's car insurance; e.g. The Association of British Insurers clearly states that car-sharing won't affect the insurance of their members, so long as a profit isn't made:

"Giving Lifts - All ABI motor insurers have agreed that if your passengers contribute towards your running costs your insurance cover will not be affected, as long as lifts are given in a vehicle seating eight passengers or less. This agreement does not apply if you make a profit from payments received or if carrying passengers is your business." (Source: ABI 2012).

Over 300 insurance providers are members of the ABI, accounting for about 95% of the motor insurance market in the UK. Drivers with any concerns, however, should check with their own insurance company as terms and conditions may vary between insurance providers over time.

If you wish to contact your insurer in relation to your personal policy, you can use our template letter.

How can I find a car-share partner?

Sign on to the Liftshare system and search for a match!

Another way of getting involved is to set up a car-sharing group for your company, community or organisation. To find out more please visit

Do I need a car to car-share?

No, many people are happy to offer lifts in exchange for sharing the fuel costs. On the Liftshare network you can register your journey as seeking a lift if you do not have a car.

Where should I arrange to meet my other car-sharer(s)?

When you are starting a new car-sharing arrangement we recommend that you meet your travelling companions in a public place, close to public transport networks if possible, so that alternative transport options are available should the arrangement fall through. We advise members not to meet at a home address initially, for security reasons.

Using my account

What are the chances of finding a perfect match to my requirements?

Tens of thousands of members have had success in finding travelling companions, and our software has been designed to help identify all possible ways of getting you from A to B.

If, however, you're having difficulty in finding a match, we suggest that you look for a travelling companion for part of your journey, and do the rest on public transport.

And remember - the more members we have, the greater the chance of finding an exact match. So make sure you tell your friends about this website, and get them to register their journeys!

Will my e-mail address be visible to other users?

No, your email address is kept hidden and not shown to other members anywhere on the site. Messages are sent and received via the messaging centre on our website.

Do I have to pay to search for a car-share match?

It is completely free to search for a match on Liftshare. However, we suggest that either car-sharers take it in turns to drive or drivers and passengers share the cost of each journey. Drivers must not use car-sharing as a means of making a profit.

How do I contact potential car-share matches?

Having found a suitable journey match, you should make contact (to agree a time and place to meet) by sending them a 'share request' from your account or calling them if they have provided their phone number. When you are trying a new car-sharing arrangement we do not recommend that you exchange home addresses (for security reasons), and we advise all members to meet initially in public locations, such as a train station or bus station, which are easy to get to and away from should the arrangement fall through.

What happens if my car-share arrangement falls through?

Liftshare is solely a journey matching service and we cannot be held responsible for any journeys that don't work out as planned. Likewise, the drivers and passengers who register their journeys with us are under no legal obligation to their travelling companions or to Liftshare to make any journeys.

However, we hope that if plans change and journeys can't be made, that all affected parties will be contacted and forewarned with appropriate notice. We also suggest that travelling companions arrange to meet at locations close to public transport networks, so that if plans fall through the passengers have the option of using an alternative form of transport to get to their destination on time.

Is it possible to find a travelling companion of the same sex? (eg. only females)

Yes, through our advanced search you can select 'only male' or 'only female' matches.

How do I cancel my membership?

To cancel your membership, please log in to your account and click on the 'Settings' page and select 'Remove my account'. All your details will be removed from the database immediately.

However, if you are removing your account because you are no longer making your registered journey, you could update your details to a new journey or use your account to find car-sharers for one-off journeys, rather than deleting your whole account.

Also, if you haven't managed to find a match for your journey then don't give up! We have thousands of new members joining every month and registering their journeys, so it is worth keeping your options open and checking your account every couple of months to see if any new matches have registered.

How do I edit my e-mail address, password etc?

To edit any of your personal details, such as your default e-mail address or password, please click on 'Settings'. You can amend your details as necessary, and the records in our database will be updated automatically.

What is a Private Restricted Group?

A Private Restricted Group is a group that has been created for an organisation that only certain people can join. Members who can join these groups are restricted by either email addresses, IP addresses (only from workplace computers) or a Passcode. Being part of a Private Restricted Group means that your initial search for a match will only check for other members of the same restricted group, you can then widen your search if you wish. Being part of a Restricted Group may also mean that you are part of a Public Group, because most private groups sit within regional public groups. Your journeys will only be shown to people in the same group as you, unless you choose otherwise.

What is a Public Group?

A Public Group is available for anyone to join, it has no restriction. These are often regional schemes, such as, which are available for everyone in the area to utilise for free.

Why have I been added to a Public Group?

Your account may have been added to a Public group for various reasons. It may be that your email address or passcode entered did not match the entry requirements of the Private Restricted Group you were attempting to join.


Your Private Restricted Group may interlink with a Public Group, which simply means that your Private Restricted Group was set up within another group. This gives you more search options should you need them. You will not be contacted by others in this non-restricted public group unless you widen your journey search details. You will benefit should the Public Group offer any incentives/competitions etc.


You may have left the organisation that you originally joined up with and, having left that company, the Car Share Manager of that scheme may have removed you from their group, automatically leaving your details on the National System.

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What is Liftshare?

Liftshare is a social enterprise Ė mission-driven rather than profit-driven. Thatís why you donít pay a penny to join.
We help people to travel more sustainably by sharing their journey. Our online network matches people with similar journeys so they can travel better together Ė saving money, cutting their carbon footprint, having fun and making the world a better place. makes it easy to share any car journey - and you can also use it to find a BUDi to share a bike, taxi or walking journey with.
We are able to fund our free services by providing individual car-share schemes to councils, businesses, hospitals, universities, events and business parks Ė such as BBC, Tesco, Heathrow airport and the Environment Agency - helping them with parking issues, saving them money and reducing local pollution and congestion.
Liftshare is the largest car-share network in the UK.

For more about Liftshare and its history, please go to our About Us page.

How does Liftshare fund itself?
Liftshare funds itself by helping businesses and communities set up their own online journey-matching tools to encourage local car-sharing and more sustainable mobility. Our dedicated team then provides ongoing support services to help them market and monitor their scheme effectively.
How can I set up a scheme for my company?
Please visit our dedicated business section for more information.
If you have questions that havenít been answered in this section please follow this link.