Carpooling is legal or not? My thoughts - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Carpooling is legal or not? My thoughts

Carpooling is the process where a car driver shares his car with others, so that instead of 4-5 people all driving their own cars, only 1 car hits the road, saving fuel, reducing traffic and expenses for car owners.

There are many apps that have come up to help people carpool- Quick Ride, Bla Bla car etc.

However auto and taxi drivers are against car pooling as it reduces demand for autos and taxies. Transport department doesn’t seem to have a clear policy on car pooling yet- recently I read a news article that Carpooling will be banned in Karnataka as the Govt thinks using whiteboard car for carpooling means commercial use and hence not allowed.

Image taken from twitter

Below are my thoughts on carpool

  • Allow car pool in a non commercial basis only
  • Only colleagues (having ID card of same company) or neighbors (having address proof of same apartment/residential area) should be allowed to carpool
  • Picking up total strangers for car pool is a security risk and also major hit on revenue opportunity of taxi and auto drivers
  • Vehicle owner doing carpooling should only be allowed to recover fuel expense and not run it as a commercial venture full day, charging more than expense (ex: if car is certified to give 15 kmpl and 1 liter cost 105 INR, per km expense is 7 INR. If 4 people are sharing the cab, each should not be asked to pay more than 2 INR per km. If passengers are asked to pay 5 or 10 INR per km then it is clearly a commercial motive.

Not sure how to handle if someone wants to carpool for a weekend trip- maybe everyone should be friends on facebook? 

Also what about intercity drive?

 If someone driving alone between Bengaluru and Chennai is he/she allowed to ferry 4 more people from say Bla Bla car and collect some 400-500 INR from each of them? Cops often sign up as passengers on these apps, get into a carpool and then seize their cars. Here again I feel as long as driver doesn't make money it should be allowed. (Say if my fuel expense is 2500 INR, asking my four co passengers to pay 500 INR each directly to fuel pump staff while filling petrol should be fair- I only got my expense partially covered and did not make any money-so it is not a commercial gain)- at least that is my thought.

If someone is using their whiteboard car as a shared taxi all day ferrying people around for a fee in the name of carpooling, it is definitely not fair on yellow board taxi drivers who pay extra tax. However, someone picking up colleagues or neighbors on the way to work or back home should definitely be allowed. 

Companies like Zoomcar are openly renting whiteboard cars on self drive rental. No action by authorities on Zoomcar yet. Rapio taxi drivers are banned for using whiteboard two wheelers but delivery boys using whiteboard two wheeler is not banned anywhere.

 What are your thoughts?


  1. It cannot be restricted to just colleagues or neighbors. We were 4 friends staying nearby and our offices were all in ORR. We did carpooling for 5 years before COVID. How can that be illegal? Just doesn't make sense. Instead of supporting carpooling, there seem to be lot of excuses to ban it... Just to appease a vote bank, may be?

    "If someone is using their whiteboard car as a shared taxi all day ferrying people around for a fee in the name of carpooling, it is definitely not fair on yellow board taxi drivers who pay extra tax." This is the only thing that makes sense. Apart from this, any other type of carpooling cannot be banned.

    1. Well, my thought was colleagues and neighbors are easy to verify. Any other rule hard to implement. Of course vehicle owner should be free to give ride to anyone they chose.


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