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Is Carpooling Legal In India?

Yes, carpooling is legal in India, but there are a few restrictions regarding that, only for the owner of the car. Let’s understand that in a better way, and what these rules and regulations mean for you as a passenger, as well as a car owner. Here we go.


First Of All, What Exactly is Carpooling?

Carpooling means several people use one car to go to places close to each other. It saves money, reduces traffic, and leads to less pollution of the environment. In India, people generally find co-passengers based on references from friends or through sites such as BlaBlaCar and Quick Ride.

The primary law that would apply to carpooling in India is the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. Though, keep in mind, this Act does not specifically forbid carpooling. It controls vehicles that are used to carry passengers for payment. Carpooling in a private car for non-business reasons, where the driver earns no profit, is usually allowed.

Legalities in Some Places

Recently, a few legal issues related to carpooling have surfaced in Bangalore. The Transport Department of the city initiated action against the carpooling services that use private cars to make money. Principally, action is initiated against carpooling services which charge the driver and passenger a fee and treat the private car as a taxi.

That means the carpooling rules in India may slightly differ in their interpretation in varied parts of the country. In simple terms, carpooling should not aim to use a private car to make money but only share costs. Still, car owners should know their local laws to avoid any legal trouble.

Remember, websites such as BlaBlaCar advise one on how to share costs in the most legal manner and not convert their private car into a business vehicle. They recommend the price per trip in such a way that the car owner does not make a profit beyond the costs of running the car. This keeps carpooling within the rules of the Motor Vehicles Act.


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