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Be a Good Carpool Passenger

Posted By Jim On 05/03/2011 @ 7:05 am In Cars | 8 Comments

As gasoline prices continue their upward trend, more and more people are carpooling. That’s a good thing.

The bad thing is that fewer people are fairly breaking up the costs!

Personally, I’ve always felt that as a passenger in the car, I owe more than my “fair” share for gasoline. I inherently understood there were other costs involved in driving, outside of gasoline, but the main reason was because I wasn’t driving. It’s really convenient to be a passenger and so I feel like I owe more than my fair share. On some occasions, when someone else beats me to the punch in pulling out a credit card for gasoline, I’ll give them the money instead (the driver doesn’t know, which I suppose is a negative, but in the end I feel happy having paid at least my fair share). In those cases I try to split whatever they’re paying with them (if they pay more, I have zero problem paying my share of “more”).

What if you want a really fair look at costs? Well, you can go as far as to calculate the total cost of a drive [3], including insurance, tires, license, registration, and the works.

Back when I was driving a Acura Integra and gas was slightly cheaper, I calculated my “cost per mile [4]” at around 7 cents. It included gasoline, insurance, tires, and a catch-all “everything” category that included windshield wipers and other routine maintenance types of things. (as an aside, knowing this information can help you make more informed decisions – like whether to drive across town to save a few cents on gas)

I personally think it all works out at the end, but if you’re a passenger, you should take the effort to make sure you aren’t taking advantage.

How do you make sure you’re a good carpool passenger?

(Photo: gennie_stafford [5])

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[1] Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/good-carpool-passenger.html

[3] calculate the total cost of a drive: http://blogs.forbes.com/tombarlow/2011/04/25/your-cost-to-drive-is-higher-than-you-think/

[4] cost per mile: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/calculate-your-cars-cost-per-mile.html

[5] gennie_stafford: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gennie_stafford/3422840223/sizes/l/

Thank you for reading!