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With the rising cost of motoring in the UK, it is no wonder that motorists are looking for anything that keeps their driving costs down. Increasing fuel prices are a major factor and the sales of fuel efficient vehicles has never been higher. Low emissions vehicles attract less car tax and this too has become a factor when buying a new car.

With the rising cost of motoring in the UK, it is no wonder that motorists are looking for anything that keeps their driving costs down. Increasing fuel prices are a major factor and the sales of fuel efficient vehicles has never been higher. Low emissions vehicles attract less car tax and this too has become a factor when buying a new car. Some drivers are even buying electric vehicles and hybrids in an effort to beat congestion charges and keep costs down. There is only so much we can do with technology to lower cost though and how we use our cars is also becoming a factor.

Car sharing is one way that motorists can drastically reduce motoring costs. With car sharing, or car pooling, as it is also known, two or more drivers share car journeys and save fuel costs at the same time. Typically, two commuters can get together to share common journeys, using their own cars on alternate days or weeks to spread wear and tear costs fairly. Fuel costs are therefore halved. Clearly, with more drivers sharing, the costs drop further. The practice also has a positive effect on reducing congestion and emissions at the same time, making it one of the simplest and most positive ways to address these issues.

According to a new report from car club and ride sharing charity, Carplus, the practice should be promoted through better branding around '2+ car sharing' and better incentives for drivers. The interim report calls for consultation to help the car industry assess how best to promote journey sharing as a solution to the environmental impacts and congestion caused by single occupancy car journeys. The charity also suggests establishing an industry body and that car sharers be incentivised by free parking offers and lane allocation on major roads.

Chief Executive at Carplus, Charles Ball explained: "We believe that through establishing an agreed platform, the sector will be better placed to secure a growth in support for journey sharing activities and policies. As the effects of the recession and rising energy costs impact on the cost of commuting and discretionary travel, this sector can make a greater contribution to mobility". A consultation event entitled "The Future of Journey Sharing" will be held on Thursday 25 April at Google's London campus where interested parties will be able to comment on the report's findings and put their views to Car Plus.
 

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