Carpool Etiquette

 
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There are a few simple ways to make carpooling a comfortable experience for everyone: 

For the Driver

Be up front about how much you expect for reimbursement if you want others to pitch in for gas, maintenance, parking, etc. Don't wait until the last minute or after the fact! 

Don't be late! Establish the time you will be at the pickup location and how long exactly you will wait. 

Avoid making unnecessary pitstops along the way unless absolutely necessary. You can run errands on your own time - not others' time! 

Ensure your car is clean! There is nothing worse than getting into a car only to be covered in pet hair, sand, dirt, and yesterday's crumbs. Prior to your trip, give your car a quick vacuum and spot wipe. Oftentimes we can't smell our own car's "eau de toilette" so have a trusted friend or neighbour give it whiff and an honest opinion. Ensure you clear the car of snow or muck so that your vision is not obscured when driving. 

Avoid perfume, cologne, air fresheners and Febreeze vent plug-ins if you can - these can really aggravate a person's allergies, sinuses and cause headaches or even allergic reactions. If your car smells so bad that it needs an air freshener, it might be time to have it detailed professionally. 

Provide a phone number where you can be reached if there is a change of plans or emergency. Insist on having the phone numbers for the passengers you are picking up. 

Have a back up plan. No one plans to get sick or break a toe! Who might you rely on to get your passengers there in a time of crisis? Best to avoid leaving people hanging.

Consider CAA. An automobile association membership can be a life-saver when you lock your keys in the car or it just won't start.

Be prepared - have your route planned out in advance and consider using a GPS that tracks minute-by-minute updates on traffic, construction, and closures. (We recommend the app WAZE rather than Google Maps!) Fill up the tank the night before so that you don't have to rush on the day of the pickups. 

Consider seating arrangements - those with long legs in the front, those vertically challenged in the back. Best to adopt a no-smoking policy so that all passengers are comfortable. 

For the Passengers

Ask up front about how much your driver expects for reimbursement (gas, maintenance, parking, etc.) Ensure you have the cash ready and get it out of the way first so that you don't have to sit in the back of your mind or forget it along the way. 

Don't be late! Once you have established the pickup time and location, don't make the driver wait. It affects all other passengers. Arrive/be ready at least 10 minutes early and ensure your phone is charged so that you can receive calls regarding delays.  

Don't expect pitstops along the way unless absolutely necessary. These can cause slowdowns for everyone else. You can run errands on your own time - not others' time! 

Avoid perfume and cologne - these can really aggravate a person's allergies, sinuses and cause headaches or even allergic reactions. 

Provide a phone number where you can be reached if there is a change of plans or emergency. Insist on having the phone numbers for the driver . 

Have a back up plan. No one plans to get sick or break a toe! Who might you rely on to get to your destination in a time of crisis? Best to have an alternate route mapped out just in case.

Be prepared - have the route planned out in advance and consider using a GPS that tracks minute-by-minute updates on traffic, construction, and closures. (We recommend the app WAZE rather than Google Maps!) If you are particularly good at navigation, offer to be that person for the driver so they can focus on the road and not the map. 

Consider seating arrangements - those with long legs in the front, those vertically challenged in the back. Best to avoid smoking and eating in the vehicle so that all passengers are comfortable. No one likes the smell of an egg breakfast sandwich if they're not the one eating it! 

If you make a mess, clean it up or cover the cost. Muddy boots and spilled coffee can be a real pain, but if the cleanup is done or paid for, it's lessens the blow.

If for whatever reason, you don't make it or miss the ride due to your own lacking punctuality, make your way to the event and still pay for your seat in the car. No one can fill a carpool seat day-of!