Car sharing just twice a week could save drivers hundreds of pounds a year, as well as protecting the environment.

That’s the compelling conclusion of new research from car dealer group Inchcape, which conducted a survey to calculate drivers’ commuting costs.

In Belfast, the company found that commuters spend an average of £60.50 per week, while Plymouth saw drivers spend just over £54 a week. Perhaps surprisingly, both cities were more expensive than London.

The cheapest place to commute was found to be Glasgow, where drivers spend just £25.42 every week on getting to work.

However, Inchcape calculated that even there, drivers could save £5.08 a day or £230 a year by car sharing for two days every week.

Back in Belfast, drivers could save £549 a year by sharing a car for two days a week – roughly £200 more than the national average of £351.

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Inchcape’s Dan Goodfellow said: ‘Although it might not be a viable option for people to car share every day, taking it in turns and making a small effort even a couple of times a week by creating a timetable with colleagues, friends and family, can have a huge financial and environmental impact.’

According to Ali Clabburn, CEO of car sharing community, drivers sharing a ride might also benefit from improved air quality and faster journeys thanks to the reduction in traffic.

‘The average driver who car shares regularly – typically four days a week – saves about £1,000 a year on fuel and almost one tonne of CO2 emissions,’ he said. ‘If half of UK motorist’s car shared just one day a week, not only would they save money but congestion and pollution would be reduced by 10 percent and traffic jams by 20 percent.’