Government figures released this week show that while just 1% of the population claims to be enrolled in a formal car share scheme, well over half catch a lift on a regular basis.
The statistics, based on a Department of Transport survey, show that organised car share schemes are a small but growing phenomenon and that sharing a lift on an informal basis is a well-engrained fact of British life.
According to the department, 1% of those questioned said they were enrolled in a scheme while 61% said they had been involved in some form of car sharing in the past month - though this could cover anything from a trip to the shops to regular lifts to work.
More useful figures showed that 28% received a lift at least once a week while a quarter of those who did get lifts said they were work-related.
Transport Minister Rosie Winterton said: "Car sharing helps reduce congestion, tackle pollution and carbon emissions and importantly, cut the costs of travelling.
"While this research shows that informal car sharing is popular, it highlights that formal schemes run by employers are still in a small minority.
"I encourage employers to consider whether introducing a car sharing scheme for their organisation could help them reduce their carbon footprint and provide quicker, more convenient journeys for staff."
The Department for Transport started the National Business Travel Network (NBTN) in 2007 as part of the Act on CO2 campaign.
NBTN promotes the take up of workplace travel plans among businesses, which can include car sharing. The Network has around 250 members, including the CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce.
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