While reading a random website today, something caught my eye. It was an advert for a rather unique ( I think anyway ) service. Dee reminded me that a friend of ours last year told us about it as he uses it a lot. The service in question is called Blablacar. Blablacar is pretty much an organised hitchhiking system. This is a really popular service in Europe and has really taken off there, but in Britain as with a lot of other things we try to take part in, it not taken off as well as elsewhere.
Basically, according to the Blablacar website, you
1. Find a ride. Just enter your departure and arrival points and your travel date, then choose a driver offering a ride going your way. Before getting in touch, you can check the trusted profile of the drivers, with a photo, mini bio and member ratings.
2. Get in touch. Click on Contact Driver button and then contact your driver via phone or private message to book your seat with them. If you send a private message, BlaBlaCar will immediately notify the driver of your message via SMS. This is a free service.
3. Travel together. Be at the planned meeting point on time! Remember to bring exact change so you can pay your driver the agreed contribution during your trip. After travelling together leave a rating for your driver, they will return the favour and it will boost your Experience Level. Drivers prefer travelling with passengers who have a high Experience level.
Theres quite a bit on their site about safety etc etc as to be expected, but in Europe payment is handled through the website, so users’ address and bank details are on file. In the UK, where payment is cash in hand, it is still possible for someone to advertise with nothing more than a mobile number and email address. Hopefully this will change over time to help with personal security.
Have a read of this writers personal experience post from the Guardian newspaper here
The official website is here
Used correctly it can mean people can travel all over the place very cheaply. Once your journey is inputted into their website, it calculates the minimum and maximum cost of the journey so that people cannot use it as a profit making scheme. Being a non profit making system it means that you don’t need commercial insurance as well.
It can be a bit hit and miss as to your transport. You could end up in a rough ( but roadworthy) car or van or if you are really lucky, a high end Jag.
It looks a really good idea to me. Whats your thoughts on it. Have you actually used this site. Let us know of any experiences you have had.