Car Sharing: Matchmaking for Cars and Drivers
As the popular saying goes, "what's mine is yours." Usually this applies to families, married couples, and lovers of good hospitality. However, how often have you heard it applied to driving and cars? There is a new, yet as-old-as-cars-themselves, concept that is sweeping the country: car sharing. This new fad extends beyond its origins with kids borrowing their parents' car for dates, to almost creating a subculture of its own, and even a designated branch of the automobile business.
Going Home for the Holidays
Car sharing has been going on for decades. At colleges across the nation, the ride board has always been the first place you check when going home for the holidays. The trend was immortalized in the 1989 movie "When Harry Met Sally," when two characters found a lift and romance on their trip home from college. And ever since Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal went on that famous road trip, people have kept up the tradition of sharing cars, gas, snack rations, and friendship, by carpooling whenever possible. Driving home with others is also smart because it's easier to practice defensive driving while others are present, keeping you awake.
A Helping Hand
Car sharing has evolved however, and in recent years, it has become something completely different altogether. Buying a car is expensive, and maintaining it more so. Riding the bus is not always convenient, and getting a taxi can cost a fortune. Sometimes people without cars can get buy on the kindness of their friends, or a combination of walking and public transport, but in an increasingly automobile-dominated world, there is only one way to really get around. And new car sharing businesses have made that possible to do so without even owning a car.
The Business of Car Sharing
Of course in this free economy, it was never going to be long until people started making money out of car sharing. And people continue to do so in a number of ways. From just renting out your car to strangers in need, to full-on car sharing enterprises, the car sharing business is booming, and it is helping out renters and sharers in every way.
Most car sharing companies focus on urban areas where people have no need of buying a car permanently, but still find that the need for a car arises on occasion. They take the simple model used by car rental companies, but without any of the fuss, and allow customers to hire cars for just hours at a time, paying as they go. This combines the benefits of hiring a taxi with the privacy offered by owning your own car, and the convenience of not having to deal with it full time.
Here to Stay?
The future of car sharing is somewhat uncertain. It is still too early to tell whether or not the business will become the norm in urban areas, but one thing that is certain is that car sharing is an industry that is here to stay, whatever form it takes. Whether that is through an online network of ride requests and offers, a bustling car sharing business, or just a board with some notecards on it, future Harrys and Sallys have nothing to worry about; this is one meet-cute that will happen time and again for as long as there are automobiles.
Sladen West is a freelance writer dedicated to helping others stay safe through general auto safety education and a good online defensive driving course.
Placer County News HeadlinesSuspect ID Sought in Granite Bay BurglaryPlacer County Sheriff's detectives are asking for the public's help in identifying a possible Granite Bay burglary suspect.
Rocklin Fire Truck Santa Rides AgainOnce again this year Santa Claus has requested the assistance of the Rocklin firefighters in escorting him through the local non-gated neighborhoods of Rocklin to visit children of all ages
Forgiven Debt Tax RefundsSacramento Realtor and short sale expert, Julie Jalone, explains the new IRS guidance regarding forgiven debt in California and how some tax payers may be able to amend their 2011 or 2012 tax returns if they paid tax on cancelled debt.
Orchard Days in Placer CountyMountain Mandarin Growers Association hosts Mountain Mandarin Orchard Days December 7, 8, 21 and 22 to give the public a chance to visit the orchards and appreciate all of the delicious bounty of mandarin season.
Holiday Show and Sale in RocklinThe Ridley Gallery at Sierra College Rocklin Campus kicks off its fifteenth Annual Holiday Show and Sale today at 11:00am.
Roseville Crime Report Digest (12-3-13)The Roseville Police Department's weekly crime report digest for December 2, 2013.
Sophia's Heart Rocklin at Destiny Church(Rocklin, CA) -- Destiny Church of Rocklin is proud to announce the first recital performance of its new Sophia's Heart Rocklin: School of the Arts on Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m.
Tips as Winter Weather ReturnsThe National Weather Service predicts a cold weather system with freezing overnight temperatures moving into the area this week