What is the Difference Between Car Sharing and Ride Sharing?

With so many amazing transportation solutions in the sharing economy, Sydney Jarod clears up the confusion between ride sharing and car sharing

There are now more ways than ever to get from one place to another including car sharing and ride sharing. However, we have noticed that sometimes folks new to these revolutionary transportation solutions have a hard time understanding the differences between the two. So, we are here to clarify.

Beat traffic, make cash and better utilize your car with car sharing and ride sharing

Let’s start with car sharing. Car sharing is exactly what it sounds like – the sharing of cars. With car sharing, the owner of a car makes his or her car available for use by people that want to use a car. Car sharing ranges from the most common situation of a teenager borrowing his or her parent’s car to newer situations like when someone uses peer-to-peer car sharing online marketplace RelayRides to find a car to rent from someone in their neighborhood.

Car sharing between friends and family is usually informal and free, while peer-to-peer car sharing between strangers allows for many more sharing options and usually requires a fee. But it always carries two key questions. For the owner: Can I trust this person with my car? For the renter: what happens if I accidentally damage this person’s car?

Peer-to-peer car sharing online marketplace RelayRides answers these fundamental questions while offering maximum access to the greatest number of people for both car owners and people who want to borrow a car. With RelayRides, car owners can trust that their cars are protected because RelayRides checks the driving history of every potential renter and also automatically protects each owner’s car with a $1 million insurance policy during each trip. Car renters can also trust that RelayRides is offering them access to the best cars at convenient locations in their area—and usually at cheaper rates than traditional car companies.

From a theoretical perspective, car sharing is really a way for people to make better use of the things they own. Many people own cars, but they really only use them for a few hours a day. The rest of the time their cars are just sitting parked and unused. At the same time, many people cannot or choose not to own cars but sometimes they could really use them to run go shopping, move boxes, visit friends, travel to a job interview or go on a road trip.

The other new method of efficient transportation is similar, but different. It’s called ride sharing, and instead of sharing whole cars, ride sharing is focused on sharing empty seats in cars. The type of ride share that you know about already is called carpooling, and the second type of ride share is like a taxi service but it involves a private car and not a formal taxi company. This type of ride share is when a car driver offers to help take a rider from one place to another after that rider announces over the Internet using a Smartphone that he or she needs a ride to some place.

Much like car sharing, at the heart of ride sharing are some pretty awesome things—conservation and better utilization of resources, strong community appeal and a powerful personal finance appeal. And companies like SideCar, Uber and Lyft are doing an awesome job leading the way providing people transportation with the added benefit of a community/personal feel—you’re cab driver won’t have a user rating, and neither will you, for that matter.

Now that you know what these new transportation options are, you now have the chance to participate. Do you need a ride or do you need a car? Or do you have an extra seat for someone, or do you have a car you’d like to rent out? If you answered “yes” to either of the latter questions, sign up for RelayRides today.