Carpooling, or bringing other people's children to school, saves money, reduces journey times and helps reduce traffic congestion around the school gates. But what do we need to know before setting off on the first school run?
Am I Insured to Carry Others in My Car?
Carpooling will not affect a driver’s insurance as long as:
- The vehicle is not built or adapted to carry more than eight passengers, excluding the driver
- The passengers are not being carried as part of a business of carrying passengers
- Agreement is made prior to the journey commencing
If you’re taking part in carpooling this school year and have any doubt about your insurance cover, don’t be afraid to get in touch.
What About Car Safety?
It is compulsory for all children to travel in the correct child seat, booster seat or booster cushion, regardless of whether they’re travelling in their parent’s car or in another car. Safety belts must be worn at all times and all children who are under 150cms in height and weighing less than 36kg must travel in a car with the correct child seat. The drivers has a legal responsibility to ensure ALL passengers aged under 17 use the correct seat, booster seat, booster cushion or seat belt.
Make sure child minder etc. has appropriate car seats. See our safety advice for car seats here.
Anything Else I Need to Know About Carpooling?
Once you and a few other parents have arranged who will drop off and who will collect the kids on a certain day, you’re pretty much sorted. Don’t be afraid to openly discuss the arrangements for carpooling. Bear in mind the following:
- Are you carpooling to and from school? To school only? From school only?
- Agree on a regular schedule e.g. weekly, daily
- Pick a definite location for collection so the kids always know where to find you.
- Take down each other’s contact details
It might be a good idea too to stock up the glove compartment foods such as dried fruit and cereal bars. The last thing you need is one of the kids starting their day on an empty stomach. It’s handy to have a few water bottles in the boot of your car also, in case the children have sporting activities or PE that day and forgot their own.
To find out more about the correct car seat weight restraints and to see our safety advice for installing and travelling with one in your car click here.