The first in our (occasional!) series of our top app choices.
This week’s choice is the BlaBlaCar app (available free on iOS) which is one of several car pooling apps popping up at the moment.
It makes sense, as times get harder and fuel prices rise, that people are looking to save some cash. It makes even more sense that car pooling is massively environmentally friendly.
BlablaCar connects drivers that want to share their driving duties, enabling them to offer spare seats to members in order cut back on travel expenses.
The new iPhone app allows users to post trips including one-offs, daily or weekly commutes, while also adding the seats available and price per passenger.
Passengers can also search for rides, sifting through thousands of posts before contacting the driver to discuss the terms of travel.
There’s a rating system so you can vet your driver (or your passenger) before jumping in the car with them.
At the time of writing, a quick search for upcoming trips departing from Cardiff revealed a £13 single trip to London, a £17 trip to Manchester and a £37 trip to Brussels.
Whilst the one off trips are great, we really love the idea of posting your weekly or daily commute on here. That way, passengers get a regular service and drivers could eliminate their travel costs nearly completely.
The user interface is nice, though the data entry fields could be bigger (we’re an office of large fingers you see) and it remains to be seen which of the players in this burgeoning market wins the field.
Our biggest concern, not with this app but with the market in general, is insurance. Although BlaBlaCar’s site states:
“Drivers with any concern are also encouraged to check with their car insurance provider, as terms and conditions of individual car insurance providers may vary over time.”
¢â‚¬ ¦we know from experience what pedants insurance firms can be. Although you’re told that it’s fine providing no profit is made from car sharing, surely the very taking payment from a passenger is making money? As a driver, we’d exercise caution on this aspect more than anything else.