Tips for Successful Carpooling

Below is a list of tips for a successful carpool. This is by no means a complete or comprehensive list. While they are good suggestions, they are not requirements. If you have any additional tips to share about your successful carpool, please send them to us at

  • At the beginning, members should discuss and come to agreement about certain issues including members' feelings about the radio, seating arrangement, conversation, smoking, reading, and eating.

  • When sharing driving duties, rotate weekly or monthly or daily but develop a firm regular schedule. This reduces the change of misunderstanding and confusion.

  • Agree in advance on reimbursement for driving expenses. Then, set regular payment schedules.

  • Make a "clean car" policy and stick to it. The car that carries you to and from work should be clean, safe, comfortable, and regularly serviced.

  • Avoid side trips. Make carpooling serve one purpose — getting you to and from work. To have a lasting carpool, agree in advance that no one makes side trips.

  • Be punctual. This applies to both drivers and riders. Wait a predetermined amount for each passenger and then drive on. Don't honk for your passengers. Honking is not good for the neighbors — especially at early hours.

  • Establish a chain of communication and backup carpool plan. This is so adjustments can be made in the daily schedule with minimum delay and inconvenience if illness or mechanical problems occur. The chain of communication should parallel the morning pick up sequence. 

  • Expect occasional adjustments in case a carpool member moves or changes schedule. Be prepared to find a replacement if a member drops out.

  • Drive safely. Speeding, taking chances or just plain negligence should never be tolerated. Make safety your rigid rule.

  • Do not feel you have to carry on a conversation with your fellow carpoolers. This is particularly true in the morning, when some people like a time of quiet.

  • Practice good personal hygiene.

  • Be willing to compromise or modify your personal habits. This may mean holding off on that first cigarette until you get to work, or listening to music that does not particularly suit you.

  • Look upon carpooling as a cooperative effort by you and individuals who are or who could become your good friends. Common sense, dependability, courtesy, planning, and accommodation are essential for a successful carpool. Together they can make carpooling a pleasant, money-saving alternative to driving alone.