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What is BlaBlaCar and How Does It Work?

Looking for a budget-friendly way to travel? Learn how BlaBlaCar works and book a safe ride with a driver who matches your chattiness level.

Key Takeaways

  • BlaBlaCar connects drivers with empty seats to passengers heading the same way.
  • Offers a unique “BlaBla” chattiness index for drivers and passengers to match preferences.
  • Utilizes a dynamic pricing model, allowing drivers to set fair prices for rides.
  • Incorporates strict safety measures, including ID verification and a user rating system.

What is BlaBlaCar?

BlaBlaCar is a global online marketplace for ride-sharing services. It connects car owners and drivers who have empty seats in their cars with passengers heading in the same direction. It also has a bus service, which is available at some locations.

This service was founded in 2006 by Nicolas Brusson. It’s a French online ride-sharing company that paired people traveling between various cities with others who had empty seats in their vehicles.

It spread out to other cities and countries as it benefited drivers and passengers by allowing them to split travel costs. This service also has a positive environmental impact by putting more people in fewer cars and reducing toxic emissions.

Aside from the financial benefits, BlaBlaCar promotes a sense of community, allowing people to connect and share their travel experiences. The platform offers a unique rating of chattiness to allow people to travel comfortably.

Bla refers to quiet travelers, BlaBla refers to people who can hold short conversations, and BlaBlaBla refers to chatty travelers. This makes it one of the most popular ridesharing companies.

How BlaBlaCar Works: A High-Level Overview

BlaBlaCar is a carpooling service that operates through a website and mobile app to connect people. This is how ridesharing works on this app.

For Passengers

People use BlaBlaCar to find their perfect ride for an affordable price.

Search and Filter

Enter your pickup and arrival destinations. You must also enter your trip’s date and the app will list different options.

Filter the results based on the price range, vehicle type, departure time, and the driver’s chattiness level. This way, you can guarantee that you’ve picked the most convenient ride.

Check Profiles

Passengers should check the profiles of drivers before confirming their trips. You can check the ratings and reviews provided by other passengers. They provide reliable information about the driver’s reliability, driving style, and overall experience.

Booking and Communication

Once you’ve set up your mind on a single driver, it’s time to book your trip. Some drivers allow you to book directly while others request that you send a booking request first.

You can also exchange a few messages with the drivers before the trip, where you can ask questions about luggage allowed, pickup time, and other details.

BlaBlaCar keeps your private information secure and facilitates communication between drivers and passengers.

Payment and Confirmation

BlaBlaCar accepts most credit and debit cards. It also accepts other payment methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Once your booking is confirmed, the app will process your payment, and you’ll receive the trip’s details. You’ll receive the driver’s details and information about the pickup location.

Meeting Up and Enjoying the Ride

On the departure day, head to the pickup location and wait for your driver. You’ll recognize them by comparing the details you received through the app, like the vehicle’s type and license plate, with the car that arrives at your location.

Get settled into the car, and the ride will start. You can chat with the driver based on their chattiness level and enjoy a safe and cost-efficient ride.

For Drivers

Drivers can make use of the extra space in their vehicle for some cash.

Post Your Trip

List your upcoming trip details, including the date, number of seats available, departure location, and travel destination. BlaBlaCar will suggest a price based on the distance traveled and fuel costs, but you can adjust this amount.

Check Passengers’ Profiles

The app allows you to examine the profiles of interested passengers before accepting their requests. You can also exchange messages with potential passengers.

Manage Bookings

Prices on BlaBlaCar are adjustable but within a limit to ensure that travel costs are fairly shared between passengers.

Once the ride is confirmed, the app collects each passenger’s contribution and holds it until the date of the ride.

Start the Ride

On the departure day, head to the meeting point and wait for your passenger to arrive. Make sure that everyone is buckled up and their luggage is in place, and start your ride.

Get Paid

Passengers pay the full amount, including the app’s fee, and drivers receive the price they set when they accept the ride.

The app takes about 24 hours to confirm that everything went well before releasing the payment to the driver’s preferred payment method.

Drivers can receive their money through a direct deposit which takes up to seven business days or a PayPal transfer which takes about 15 business days.

Building Trust and Safety

BlaBlaCar prioritizes safety and trust within its community using various safety features.

  • Both drivers and passengers go through a verification process that involves uploading their IDs and connecting their social media profiles.
  • Passengers can share their experience with drivers and vice versa. This system helps other people book safe and convenient rides whenever needed.
  • BlaBlaCar has clear community guidelines to make the experience safe for passengers and drivers.

Benefits of Using BlaBlaCar

This app offers a compelling package of benefits for drivers and passengers.

Economic Benefits

By splitting costs, budget-conscious travelers can find convenient ways to travel to their destinations. Using the BlaBlaCar app is significantly cheaper than train and bus tickets. It’s also cheaper than traveling using your car.

Drivers with empty seats in their vehicles can make money without changing their plans.

They match with other people who are willing to travel to their already preset destinations on their selected dates.

They can use this extra money to pay for gas or do car maintenance without doing anything extra.

Environmental Impact

Carpooling services like BlaBlaCar have a good environmental impact because they allow more people to travel in the same vehicle. This leads to fewer carbon emissions and less traffic congestion.

Social Aspect

BlaBlaCar isn’t just about traveling from one to another, but people can share their travel experiences and talk during their rides.

It’s an excellent way to meet new people, especially if you’re new in town. You can also learn about different cultures and the city you’re traveling to.

Thanks to the unique BlaBla system, you can travel with a driver who matches your energy. You don’t have to share a ride with a talkative driver if you prefer quiet rides.

What Does BlaBlaCar Cost?

BlaBlaCar is different from ride-hailing services that charge fixed fees. It offers a dynamic pricing structure that benefits both drivers and passengers.

The app suggests a price for the ride, but drivers can change the price per passenger within a limit.

The system guarantees that the cost is shared equally between various passengers. Longer trips cost more per passenger due to the increased fuel costs and the vehicle’s wear and tear.

There are no hidden fees or charges, as passengers pay the full amount they receive when they book the ride. This price includes any transaction or service fees. Drivers receive the amount of money they set when they list the trip.

BlaBlaCar charges service fees to maintain and operate the platform. This fee covers fraud prevention, customer support, and the continuous development of the app.

Safety Measures and Best Practices

BlaBlaCar provides a cost-efficient way to travel, but safety is a top priority. Here are the platform’s safety features.

  • Both drivers and passengers go through a verification process by uploading their IDs to confirm that the person posting or requesting the ride is the person you’ll meet.
  • After each trip, passengers and drivers have 24 hours to share their ratings of the trip and post any comments regarding their experience. This feature helps future passengers choose drivers based on past experiences.
  • BlaBlaCar offers a 24/7 customer support service that passengers and drivers can access before, during, or after their trip.
  • The app lists clear guidelines regarding the expected behavior and safety precautions for drivers and passengers.

Best Tips for First-Time Users

If you’re using BlaBlaCar for the first time, you can follow these tips to enjoy a safe ride.

  • Before booking a ride, read the reviews provided by other passengers and check the driver’s profile.
  • Choose a public meeting spot to meet your driver.
  • Avoid late-night pickups if possible.
  • Always check that the driver who arrived at your designated pickup point is the person who posted the trip.
  • Ask your driver any questions you have about the trip.
  • Share your itinerary details with a friend or family member. They will have access to the driver’s information, pickup location, departure time, and arrival time.
  • Beware of your surroundings during the trip and ask your driver to pull off if you don’t feel comfortable. Contact customer support to report any issues.

How to Get Started with BlaBlaCar

After you download the app to your iOS or Android device, create a free account using your email or Facebook account.

Fill in your name, location, and other information. You can also write a short bio.

Uploading your government ID isn’t mandatory but highly recommended if you’re planning on using the app as a passenger. You can also link your social media accounts.

BlaBlaCar gives you the option to use the app as a passenger or driver after creating your account.

As a rider, you can search for an available trip and select the most suitable one.

If you’re a driver, you can post your upcoming trip and list the price. Then, wait for interested passengers who want to share your ride.

Conclusion: Is BlaBlaCar Right for You?

BlaBlaCar is a cost-efficient carpooling solution that allows drivers and riders to split travel costs. It’s a win-win situation for both parties and helps reduce people’s carbon footprint.

If you plan to travel soon, explore this option and book a ride with a BlaBlaCar driver. You’ll save some cash on your upcoming trip and enjoy a safe ride with a driver who matches your chattiness level.

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