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FAQ - Car Sharing

Car Sharing FAQ's

Q. How do I find someone to share with?

A. The University has a database where you can register your journey and find others who may be travelling in your direction.   You can also use notice boards, discussion boards (electronic and physical) or advertise in news sheets, magazines etc.  Tell those around you you are seeking someone to share with as they may know someone who lives on your route.

Q. How do we "share" the cost of parking within our group?

A. The University is keen to allow each SmartShare group to decide how it will arrange payment for parking; for example you may choose to alternate between campus (swipe) cards in the same way you alternate between vehicles or you may choose to determine the cost of parking for a period of time e.g. month and divide this between the group. On days when you are not sharing you will now be charged for parking at your own individual rate, so the more you share the more you will save.”

Q.  I would like to share but for personal reasons am unable to, if car sharers have priority spaces won't this make it more difficult for me to park?

A.  Any reduction in the number of cars on campus will improve the availability of car park space. A single priority car share space could encourage up to 3 cars to be left at home and therefore release space to those who cannot share. If we assume that 10% (300) of car permit holders sign up for the scheme and share with just one other person the reduction in cars will be 175 cars per day or 150 unused car park spaces. As car share drivers may need to be more flexible with their travel times it is important that they are able to park on arrival at the University and therefore priority parking is an important element of the scheme.

Q.  I will occasionally be unable to travel as part of the pool and will need to arrive as a lone driver, how will I be able to access the campus and park my car?

A.  The UEA understands that sometimes members of the pool will need to bring their cars for personal or work related travel and assumes that this situation will occur infrequently, you are expected to share at least 50% of your journeys. Where members of car pools appear to require more regular access, the car pool membership will be withdrawn and driver asked to return to the current parking scheme. If you drive to campus as a lone driver you will be charged the appropriate daily charge based on your charge band. As a lone driver you should not use the car share parking spaces.

Q.  What if my only other car pool driver no longer wants to be part of the pool?

A.  Designated parking is only available to car pools with more than one driver. If you return to being a lone driver you will need to return your permit and move to an ordinary Group A permit.

Q.  What do I do regarding Insurance?  Should I contact my insurers?

A. The Association of British Motor Insurers has agreed that ride sharing should not increase the cost of your policy or affect the level of cover as long as there is no element of profit. A statement from the Association of British Insurers appears below.

You are strongly advised to let your insurance company or broker know that you are ride-sharing. A pro-forma letter is included for you to complete and forward to them. If you encounter any difficulties with your company, please let the Transport Co-ordinator know.

Q.  What if my driver has to leave early due to illness or has to unexpectedly work late?

IA.  It is rare for this type of situation to occur however if it does and you hold a "SmartShare" permit, the UEA will ensure you get home either with an alternative lift, public transport, staff transport or as a last resort a taxi. If public transport or a taxi is required the University will pay the cost.

The following advice should be followed in this situation:

1. If your driver leaves early your Manager may be willing to allow you to leave early as well. Please check if this is an option.
2. Check the public transport journey planner at the SmartShare site or at for public transport options (a link has been provided for your convenience). Please e-mail the Transport Co-ordinator, to let her know how you will be travelling and keep any tickets/receipts for reimbursement of fares. You will be sent a form on which to claim your travel expenses.
3. If there is no other means of transport available, please use a taxi. Once again, please e-mail the Transport Co-ordinator with the details and ensure you have a receipt for reimbursement of fare. You will be sent a form on which to claim your travel expenses.
4. The "get-you-home" service will be regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure its integrity.

Q.  Can I accept a payment towards the cost of a journey?

A.  As a SmartShare driver you can accept a contribution towards the cost of the journey but most scheme members take a more pragmatic approach alternating between vehicles to share the cost and wear & tear. Bear in mind most passengers will want to make some contribution but if you want to avoid the wrath of the taxman you must not make a profit.

To help you decide how much the contribution should be, we offer the following guidance:

The motoring organisations suggest the cost per mile for journeys ranges from 23p to 31p per mile for a small car. Given that the journey would take place even if it were not shared, a contribution of up to 13p per mile. Remember, where there is more than one passenger this amount must be divided equally between the passengers and not charged individually. For longer journeys it may be better to charge a set sum rather than a mileage rate.

If you are operating as a car pool you need only consider sharing the cost of the parking permit between the drivers.

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