Driver reimbursement guidelines
Cars are often necessary for VOC trips, and are (unfortunately) quite expensive. Often passengers are not aware of the true cost of vehicle ownership, or the annoying things they might do without realizing it. Drivers can forget that they were once passengers too, and their passengers probably have the best intentions.
Things to keep in mind as a passenger
- Nothing says "I don't appreciate what you did for me" more effectively than not chipping in for gas.
- Driving around the city to pick everybody up takes time - your driver probably got up an hour earlier than you, and won't get home until an hour after you.
- If you ride "shotgun" (the front passenger seat) it's expected that you stay awake with the driver help navigate and keep them awake. If you can't do it, try and switch with one of the other passengers.
- Cars are expensive. Insurance alone costs between $80 and $300 per month, depending on driving history and coverage. Ownership may average at around perhaps $2000 per year, but varies wildly.
- You often forget stuff in people's cars. Usually garbage. Please try and take it with you.
- Your driver may "trump" dinner decisions one way or the other (no food, fast and dirty, sit down meal). Keep in mind that they are the ones who need to stay awake and alert for everybody to stay alive on the drive home, so be forgiving.
- Once you have accepted a ride, don't bail. If you do, your driver will be out of pocket by the amount you would have paid, unless you can be replaced as a passenger. And you may be depriving somebody else of the chance to go on the trip by taking (and then not using) a ride. Be reliable.
Things to keep in mind as a driver
- You were probably a passenger once too. Perhaps you also didn't realize what owning a car involved at that time.
- If something really cooks your bacon, let your passengers know about it in advance rather than fuming with pent-up rage.
- You're not running a charity operation - you choose to own a car, and it is fairly convenient in a many other regards. Other people may be contributing to the trip in different ways, and had you gone into the mountains alone you'd be paying for everything all by yourself. Not to mention being lonely.
- Avoid the embarrassing curbside cashless situation by asking for gas money at the gas station - they usually have ATMs.
- Try and discuss dinner with your passengers... they might just barely have enough money to pay for gas, or might have something they want to get done in the city. If you're going to go against the flow, at least explain your situation.
- If you bail, you are inconveniencing all your passengers, who likely won't be able to find rides. If you think you might not be going, discuss that with your passengers so they can shop around for a better deal. Be reliable.
Passengers pay for gas, wear-and-tear, parking etc. for that trip, drivers "pay" by bringing the car but otherwise ride for free. If you're overloaded you might "make" a bit of money (but probably incurred more wear and tear), and if you only have one or two passengers maybe chip in for a bit of the gas yourself.
As a benchmark, assume your driver will burn 10L per 100km (if a car) or 15L per 100km (if a truck), and charge a little extra for wear and tear. Expect them to round up to the nearest easy increment. If driving up a logging road expect more "extra" for wear and tear - this stuff is hard on vehicles. Drivers - if you feel you need to charge substantially more than this, let your passengers know in advance so they can have enough cash.
Those whose vehicles can and do accommodate a bunch of gear (i.e. pickup trucks) but not many passengers should be reimbursed somehow, since they are still providing a helpful service despite not having many passengers, and they are probably paying more to have a bigger vehicle.
If you or your pack get ferried up a logging road, please consider giving some extra to the driver of the 4x4. If they get a good tip for their time, gas, wear and tear they might consider doing it again - otherwise they probably won't.
Random major expenses which "pop up" - flat tires, speeding tickets, mechanical breakdown, etc. are the responsibility of the car owner, just as they would be if they occurred outside a VOC trip.
There seems to be some agreement that if your car is full (say a driver and 4 passengers), the gas expense is split among the passengers, and the driver doesn't pay for gas. If there are empty seat(s), then the gas expense may be split among all the people in the car at the drivers discretion.
A driver might choose to not drive if he/she has too many empty seats. Of course if a passenger bails, and this produces "too many empty seats", the other passengers suffer.
Vehicle Cost Comparison
Chart below attempts to capture the marginal cost of bringing a particular vehicle on a trip compared to leaving it in the city. Insurance and parking costs are not included in the total because they are fixed costs. Only part of the depreciation cost is considered because some depreciation occurs even if a vehicle is not driven, simply due to age.
|Vehicle||Fuel economy (typical L/100km)||Tires
(per 75,000 km)
|Regular Maintenance (per 5,000 km)||Repairs||Depreciation||Insurance (per year)||Parking (per year)||Fuel cost (cents/km)||Tire cost (cents/km)||Maintenance Cost (cents/km)||Repair Cost (cents/km)||Depreciation Cost - Mileage component only (cents/km)||Total (cents/km)|
|Madeline (2001 Nissan Pathfinder)||13 (on 89 Octane fuel)||$1,200 / 75,000km (summer) $850/ ??km (winter)||$100||~$2,500 over 75,000km so far||Estimate $20,000 over 175,000km and 10 years. 50% due to mileage, 50% due to age||$2,000||15.6||1.6||2||3.3||5.7||28.2|
|Sam (2003 Toyota Corolla)||7||9||1.2||4.7||(incl in Maintenance)||5.1||20|
|Scott's Car (1993 Plymouth Colt)||8||$750 (including damage repair/replacement)||$100 (includes only minor items such as oil, filters, plugs, wiper blades etc.)||$4,000 / previous 80,000 km (includes everything else, but not significant tool investment)||Estimate $15,000 over 15 years, assume $6,000 of that from 300,000 km||$950 (not included in km figures)||10||1||2||5||2||20|
|Jacob (1994 Ford Ranger)||12||$800||$100|
|Evan's Car (1999 4Runner)||13||$1,000 (excluding extra snow tires)||$150 (estimated)||est. $1,000 / yr at 20k/yr = $25/500km => $15-25 per trip!||$1,000 / yr seems appropriate, but should be an owner's expense IMO||$$$||15.6||1.3||3||5||2||26.9|
|Roland (1991 Isuzu Trooper)||12||$900||$100||$2,000 / year||Troopers do not depreciate||No marginal cost||13||1.3||2||10||0||26.3|
|Will W. (2003 Toyota 4Runner)||13||$1,500||$150||~$400 over 40,000km so far||~$2,000/year for the next few years (50/50 age/milage @20,000km/yr)||$2,200||$600||15.6||2||3||1||5||27|
|Paul L. (1989 Ford Taurus)||11||$975||$80||~$600 over 10,000km||It's an '89 Taurus. It has no value left to lose.||$1260||13.2||1.3||1.6||6||22.1|
|Colin's (1998 Heavily Modified 4Runner)||14||$2400 (two sets of 33" M/T snow tire hybrids)||$200 (fluids, belts, brakes, wipers, cleaning, bulbs, rotations, etc)||$1,500 (averaged)||$1,000 (about half to mileage)||$2000 (with perfect record)||$300 (est. chunk of rent to garage)||16.8||3.2||4||10||3.3||37.3|