Liftshare's guide to our Journey Cost Overview

This guide provides comprehensive information on how we calculate the Journey Cost Overview, the principles behind it, and its legal implications.

What is the Journey Cost Overview?

The Journey Cost Overview is the overall cost of a one-way trip for your journey. When calculating this cost, we take into account the amount of money you would spend on fuel and vehicle running costs. (Please see our full breakdown below).

What is displayed is the entire cost for a one-way trip, therefore, to calculate an individual passenger’s contribution, divide the amount by how many people are travelling in total (including the driver). If any of your passengers are sharing with you for a return journey, you should ask for double the one-way amount.

For example: The Journey Cost Overview displayed for my journey from A to B is £12 (one-way). I am a driver sharing with 2 passengers, so I divide the Journey Cost Overview by 3, meaning each passenger pays me £4 for a one-way trip. As one of my passengers is also travelling back with me on the return leg, so they will pay £8 in total.

Why is the Journey cost important?

The Journey Cost Overview is designed to ensure that the driver's costs are covered fairly, without making a profit. This is important as overcharging can be viewed as profiting from car-sharing, which could invalidate a driver’s insurance.

It's essential to note that the Journey Cost Overview proposed by Liftshare when adding a journey is merely a guideline. The actual amount a passenger pays should be a mutual decision between the passenger and the driver and we encourage you to discuss this together.

How is the Journey Cost Overview displayed?

The Journey Cost Overview is displayed when a passenger or driver adds a journey to their account.

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The Journey Cost Overview is also then shown to potential sharers in the ‘Find a Match’ section when a user clicks on a journey match.

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How We Calculate the Journey Cost Overview

Navigating shared journey costs can be tricky, and at Liftshare, our commitment is to simplify this process. Let's dive into the elements that make up the Journey Cost Overview calculation:

1. Running & Maintenance Costs: This includes expenses such as servicing, tyre replacements, and general maintenance. We rely on the latest industry standards to obtain an average cost per mile.

2. Fuel Costs: With fluctuating market prices for fuel, we ensure our calculations stay up-to-date. This helps us determine the monetary expense for the fuel a vehicle consumes per mile.

3. Miles per Gallon (MPG): Different vehicles have varying fuel efficiencies. Using the average MPG, we assess how much fuel a typical car will consume on the journey.

4. Journey Length: The distance of the trip, of course, plays a pivotal role. Longer journeys will invariably have a higher cost associated.

Armed with these factors, we provide a Journey Cost Overview for each journey (one-way). 

Assumptions as of August 2023

When calculating the Journey Cost Overview, it's essential to note the foundational assumptions that our model uses. These include:

  1. Running & Maintenance Costs: An average of 14p per mile.
  2. Fuel Costs: An average fuel price of 144.45 p/litre.
  3. Miles per Gallon (MPG): The average UK car drives 38.8 miles to the gallon.
  4. Journey Length (one-way): This is based specifically on the distance between the start and end points of the driver's one-way journey.
  5. Journey Type: Our journey cost overview is based on a single journey travelling one-way. This is because some passengers may only join you for one-leg of your journey. For those sharing a return journey, you can ask for double the one-way amount.

Remember, these are averages and estimates. Every journey is unique, and so are its costs and variables.

Example of Journey Cost  for a 4.1-mile Journey

We'll use a 4.1-mile journey to illustrate how each component of our model contributes to the final suggested amount.

  1. Running & Maintenance Costs: At an average of £0.14 per mile, a 4.1-mile journey would cost £0.574.
  2. Fuel Costs: Assuming a fuel price of 144.45 p/litre and an average consumption rate of 38.8 miles per gallon:
    1. Fuel needed for 4.1 miles = (4.1 miles / 38.8 mpg) = 0.1057 gallons = 0.481 liters.
    2. Cost = 0.481 liters x 144.45 p/litre = 69.52p or £0.6952.
  3. Total Cost for the Journey: Running & Maintenance + Fuel Cost = £0.574 + £0.6952 = £1.2692.

For a 4.1-mile journey, the journey cost, when shared between a driver and one passenger, would be approximately 63.46p each

Explore Our Assumptions with Our Simple Calculator

We've crafted a simple calculator for you to dive in and tailor them to your journey, to find out what the Journey Cost would be:


Journey cost calculator-1


Legal Implications:

1. No Profits Allowed: The main principle behind how much money passengers contribute is to ensure that the driver is not making a profit. This not only maintains the spirit of carpooling but is also vital for legal and insurance reasons. 
2. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC): Our calculation is aligned with HMRC's approved mileage payment allowance. This ensures that drivers are not inadvertently earning income that needs to be declared for tax purposes.
3. Insurance: Overcharging might be viewed as profiting from carsharing, which could invalidate a driver’s insurance. Our journey cost overview helps avoid this pitfall.

ULTRA LOW EMISSION ZONE (ULEZ) and Journey Cost Overview 

What is ULEZ:

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London means only vehicles meeting certain emission standards are allowed to travel without paying a charge. ULEZ was introduced to help improve air quality by restricting or discouraging the use of older, more polluting vehicles in congestion areas.

On Liftshare we show the ULEZ zone on a map, so you can see if your journey goes through it and there could be a charge, or if there are any alternative routes. The driver should check whether there is a ULEZ charge for their vehicle on the TFL website. If their vehicle is ULEZ-compliant, they can mark it as such on Liftshare, to show potential passengers they are not liable for a ULEZ charge.

Does ULEZ Impact Liftshare's Journey Cost Overview:

  1. No Direct Inclusion: As of now, the Journey Cost Overview does not factor in the ULEZ charge. Our calculation is primarily based on running & maintenance costs, fuel costs, miles per gallon, journey length, and shared costs.

  2. Reason for Exclusion: The ULEZ charge is specific to London. It's not a universal charge and doesn't apply to all journeys. As such, to keep our Journey Cost Overview straightforward and universally applicable, we've chosen not to include the ULEZ charge in our standard calculations.

  3. Driver-Passenger Discussion: If a driver's route goes through a ULEZ and they are liable for a charge, it's recommended that they discuss this with potential passengers. The driver and passengers can agree to include part or all of the ULEZ charge in their agreed contribution if they deem it fair.

In Conclusion:

Liftshare's Journey Cost Overview is designed to benefit both drivers and passengers, by ensuring that the costs are transparent and don't lead to car insurance being invalidated.

Remember, the Journey Cost Overview is a suggestion. It's a starting point for negotiations between the driver and passenger.


Got more questions? We're here


If you have any other questions, why not raise a ticket and someone from our team will be able to help.


Travel Happy

Your Liftshare Team


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