You've probably heard of ride shares or carpooling, maybe you've even given it a go once or twice. The concept behind carpooling is simple but ingenious: it is a means for people to share car journeys, that is to say to either hitch a ride with someone travelling to the same place as you in their car, or else to take passengers along when you are driving somewhere. Ride shares are often cheaper than travelling by plane / train / bus, and it certainly won't the environment any harm, either.
This may all sound well and good, but how to go about organising ride shares, i.e. finding drivers and/or passengers? This is where carpooling.co.uk comes in. The website allows ride share aficionados to find each other, nation wide and even across several European states. Find out how the service's application can make travelling easier for you in today's review.
If you need to get somewhere but want to watch your pocket book, carpooling is an excellent alternative to travelling with other means of transport. For those without a car you are sure to find a ride for less than half what the train journey would cost, and drivers looking to share petrol costs can do so by taking passengers along. That's the brilliant principle behind carpooling.co.uk.
Please note: The required permissions are necessary so that the system can search for ride share opportunities. There is an option to allows the app to localise you so that it can then list the biggest cities in your vicinity that will have the most offers for ride shares. There is an option to ring people regarding a posting directly from the app which is why the permission to phone numbers directly is required.
After starting up carpooling.co.uk the main search window will pop up via which you can access everything else. To help define your voyage the following search criteria are available:
point of departure and destination
type of posting (offer / request)
smoking(yes / no / any)
lifts from women for women (yes / no)
Start by selecting where you're travelling from and where you're looking to go. Upon entering a word a list with names of cities pops up from which you may select a location and destination. You can change your point of departure or destination at any given time. As mentioned, there is also an option to allow the app to localise you via GPS or wireless connection. A list of cities in your vicinity is then displayed, and you may select one that corresponds best to your needs. After entering a city you may select how big of a distance you are willing to travel of your own accord (between 0-50 km) to get to the ride share meeting place. It goes without saying that the larger the distance is the more options you will have; this option is especially useful if you are looking to travel from / to a smaller, more rural city.
You can then enter the date, choosing either to travel on a specific day or to allow for more flexibility.
All other search criteria is optional; I personally always opt to travel with non-smokers, as I tend to get headaches in smoky vehicles.
Send off your search criteria sit back and wait for a fraction of a second for a list with suitable ride options. Search results will display the following information: place of departure and destination (which can vary according to how flexibel your search criteria is), time and date of departure, amount the asks you contribute towards petrol costs and how many free places remain. In a nutshell: selecting rides that correspond best to what you're looking for is child's play. Click on a posting in order to view even more details such as whether the driver smokes or not, whether they will allow their passengers to smoke during the drive, which other cities they will pass through and sometimes drivers will include a personal message which is a nice way to gage what type of person they are. Their contact details are also included; you can in fact contact an individual directly by simply hitting the “contact” button.
Should you be looking to post your own ad you will have to sign and up and create a profile, either via the website or the application itself, either way it's easy and takes but a moment.
carpooling.co.uk is a great application—it's useful it's efficient and it's super easy to use. It's a great way to travel if you're on a bit of a budget or arre concerned about the environment.
Screen & Controls
carpooling.co.uk makes a great impression overall: the design is nicely done and makes using the application very easy and intuitive. Search results are displayed in a list which makes everything nice and simple and efficient.
Speed & Stability
carpooling.co.uk is very reliable and fluid, no crashing, lagging or other disturbances to report. Search results are displayed within the bat of an eye.
carpooling.co.uk is completey free of charge and available for download from the Android Market. There are no ad banners and the application is very useful especially if the user community continues to grow.