Ridesharing is the term used for the sharing of journeys when more than one person travels in a vehicle.  Most commonly termed "carpooling", ridesharing reduces the costs to those travelling but it also has health and environmental benefits.  While ridesharing is a very popular concept overseas (10% of commuters in the US rideshare), it is a relatively new concept in New Zealand.

Ridesharing is most popular for those doing the daily commute to and from work, however it is also becoming increasingly popular for those longer one-off journeys.

Ridesharing is available in the Horizons region through the Let's Carpool website and Horizons is also planning on trialing a vanpool ridesharing scheme.  For more information on vanpooling, see below.

Vanpool Trial

Commuting can be costly for our Region’s small town travellers, with fuel costs, vehicle maintenance and parking quickly adding up. Horizons Regional Council is looking to provide an alternative form of transport through a 12-month vanpool ridesharing trial.

The location of this trial is yet to be determined however, vanpooling has been shown to:

  • Save money
  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce the environmental impacts of commuting on your own.

What is Vanpooling?

Vanpooling is similar to carpooling where several people travel together, sharing the costs of running a vehicle. However, there are some key differences:

While most carpools use private vehicles with all participants splitting the cost of travel, vanpools are supplied with high quality commercial vans and have dedicated drivers who are exempt from travel costs. Only vanpool passengers pay for the cost of travel. Each vanpool passenger pays a set fee and bookings are made online.

How does Vanpooling work?

Horizons has teamed up with a commercial van operator to provide an enjoyable journey to and from work. Instead of travelling in a coworker’s personal vehicle as would be done in carpooling, vanpooling participants ride in the comfort of a commercial vehicle.  

All you need is a driver (or two) with a clean driving record and committed passengers to fill an 8-seater van and you’re away.

The commercial van operator will coordinate all the participants via a website to make sure everyone is connected.  Paying participants will pay for their monthly travel in advance via the secure payment system on the website.

Travel costs paid by participants will cover the monthly lease of the vehicle and fuel. The monthly lease comes to $1,250 and covers the systems to operate the vanpool, insurance, regular maintenance and cleaning of the vehicle. Vans will also be fitted with GPS units to accurately measure the distance each van travels.

How much will it cost?

The overall cost to participants will vary depending on location. The more travelling required the greater the cost however, the saving differences between vanpools and private vehicles are greater with more travelling.

The following table shows the cost savings based on a 30c/km rate with six paying passengers for a 1500-2000cc vehicle: (these costs are based on travelling to Palmerston North)



Daily round trip km

Monthly Km

Total cost per month $

Cost per person $

Cost drive alone $

Vanpool gain $

























































 The cost of fuel is calculated at the start of the month.  If the cost of fuel fluctuates during the month, then users will either pay more or less for the following month.  Simple.  If you are interested please contact us at vanpool@horizons.govt.nz and we’ll be in contact shortly.

Interested in Driving?

If you have a clean driving record and don’t want to pay a cent for your travel then you could become a vanpool driver.  In return for making sure you pick everyone up and keep the van tidy, your travel will be free.  You will also be able to use the van on weekends for personal trips provided you pay the cost of fuel.

If you’re interested in becoming a driver, fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch shortly.           

Still interested but have some further questions?

Then follow the link for some frequently asked questions or feel free to email us at vanpool@horizons.govt.nz