Booking a ride in someone else's car
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Taking a trip but don't want to drive by yourself? Ride-sharing startup Zimride enables drivers to sell empty seats in their cars. Passengers can buy...
Taking a trip but don't want to drive by yourself? Ride-sharing startup Zimride enables drivers to sell empty seats in their cars. Passengers can buy rides with people already driving to where they want to go. SmartPlanet looks at how the company uses Facebook to connect drivers and passengers together.
Apr 9, 2012
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How are income taxes, safety regulations and lawsuits? Obviously the government is going to view this as a livery business with the appropriate regulations, license fees and taxes. They have to get their cut of the action. Then you have the insurance companies denying a claim for an accident once they find out that a paying customer was in the vehicle. Once the first few lawsuits from that misunderstanding of coverage are resolved you would see increasing premiums, or a government mandate that you have commercial livery insurance to cover potential losses if an accident happens when a passenger is in the vehicle. I see ugly written all over this idea.
There is any easy way to know if a driver has valid insurance. The road tax 5% goes towards the roads, yet they are talking about tolling the roads to cover road costs! I suggest they do away with road tax and put the insurance on the windscreen in the same place. The tax on petrol/diesel and LPG is way high enough to cover the costs of the roads and much more. In South Africa pre ANC the government had a 3rd party fund covering all qualified car drivers not banned. The tax on the fuel paid for this fund. It was the choice of the vehicle owner if they wanted to buy comprehensive insurance to cover the car from vandalism, fire, theft and vehicle damage costs. It would be easy to put such a fund in place here as well, but they don't want to do that - they want you to pay tax on overly inflated car insurances always required. They spend a fortune on police in car linked cameras for checking number plates and punishing motorists, instead they should take away big brother, stop punishing motorists and invest in a similar fund. We the people pay enough tax and its being used against us rather than to help us.
The UK government is anti ride sharing, I know this because I built a web site for this very purpose a while ago, only to find out that it is illegal. If you have an accident with someone else in your car that paid for the ride, your insurance is void. The government DID think of this when it put the law in place. Lets be honest, if its about saving money and reduction of CO2 its not in the governments interests as they charge 628% tax compounded on Petrol. In some places abroad a litre of petrol is from 2 to 3pence per litre to 18 pence per litre - Quatar, Saudi, Venezuala etc. The British government could solve the congestion and CO2 situation overnight by giving tax incentives to companies for staff to home work. nearly 2/3rds of traffic in and out of London congesting motorways are commuters doing a job that could just as easily be done from home - and we do have that technology, just requires incentive and a restructuring of management task managment. The cost saving to companies alone would be huge as office space is very expensive in London especially, so is the cost of commuting - but no the government want their slice. By ride sharing (car sharing is something else in USA ie car pooling) the government would lose out on tax as people would be more fuel efficient - so they passed the law not allowing people to give lifts for profit. I used to do a ride share for 5 people in my 8 seater vehicle that ran on LPG for a journey of 150 miles per day, but they were not allowed to contribute legally. So only other method is to alternate cars, which is impracticle as that means backtracking on route to pick people up. Nope I think the government/energy companies have it sown up having convinced us its for our benefit as usual.
Keeps the car owner motivated and the person who takes the ride enjoys the luxury and convenience of a car without owning one...quite neat!
If you make a profit then you are a private cab/taxi and need the correct insurance and need to pay tax etc. on the profit. You also need to know that the driver has valid insurance in case of an accident. Another system would be a system that works from your mobile phone via GPS and the web. If you want a lift then just enter the details on your phone and when a suitable matching car approaches, it will receive an alarm to say that there is someone nearby who wants a lift. This would be ideal for smaller journeys.
It doesn't seem likely that a company that has been around for at least 5 years hasn't done its research on insurance and federal laws. It appears that you are paying Zimride for the service, which then pays the owner of the car. If this is the case then there are two scenarios: The passenger has paid Zimride, so the passenger is just a passenger and the driver's insurance pays in the event of an accident, or The passenger has paid Zimride, so Zimride is the responsible party in the event of an accident.
I have been studying this problem since 2004 and in 2005 came up with a solution. It is called a "Transit Exchange" and it allows people to share rides in *any* type of vehicle, be that a private car or a taxi. To get round the insurance problem, use taxis or limousines. It is eminently doable. My company proved it in real conditions in 2006 and 2008.
But in most states where I have lived/worked either scenario would make the driver a paid sub contractor of Zimride subject to insurance laws. I suspect CA has a loophole to encourage ride sharing. If they follow past history they will leave it that way until popular or until a serious incident happens. Then they will begin taxing and regulating it.