I try to find rideshare opportunities whenever I travel within Germany. Rideshare websites like mitfargelegenheit.de are great, enabling users to query for drivers originating in their city and heading to a common destination on specific travel dates. Since there are so many non native Berliners here, there is a mass exodus on the weekends to visit family and friends, providing plenty of drivers to choose from.
There are usually three types of drivers who opt to participate in rideshare:
- Environmentally conscience drivers who want to offset their impact on the environment
- Car renters who want to offset the cost of the rental and petrol by selling seats in the car
- Professional drivers who speed up and down the autobahn as a business
The key to rideshare success is reading the reviews and looking at driver feedback. Most drivers take the time to fill out their profiles, sharing useful details like if they are smokers and what type of vehicle they are driving. The peer reviews can also give you an indication if the driver is a speed demon or snail as well as their reliability. I really enjoy car travel but I am not too fond of driving. Instead of hunting for deals on a car hire comparison site, I hunt for my dream driver on a rideshare network.
Apart from convenience, it’s also affordable. Last year, my six hour drive to Swabia cost me 25€ on the leg down and 35€ on the way up. The price of 60€ round trip was a bargain considering flights for that weekend were over to 200€ and the trains were pushing 180€. As with anything there is some risk associated. Two different drivers canceled on me, so I had to rush and find replacements. My replacement driver on Friday evening had some issue with traffic on his way to Berlin and was two hours late. Judging from the fact that he was bringing people to Berlin from Stuttgart and then back again, I assumed this was his job. I prefer traveling with non-professionals (drivers), you tend to meet cooler people and aren’t crammed into a van or sedan. His vehicle was nice but my issue was his speed. On the parts of the autobahn that didn’t have a regulated speed limit he was going 220 km an hour. Yeepers!
Heading back to Berlin, my rideshare canceled on me early Sunday morning, grrr. I ended up with six other people in an old ass van that started smoking before we left the parking lot, I thought I was going to die from exhaust fumes. On the highway the van starting shaking as we approached 120 km. I just had bad luck that time around but arrived safely and without major incident
It was a very adventurous weekend in the land of rideshare but it hasn’t put me off from relying on it as a mode of transportation.
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