How do I know it’s OK to carpool?

The relevant regulation in India is the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MVA). The MVA does not include provisions disallowing carpooling. The MVA regulates Contract Carriages and Public Service Vehicles which carry passengers for ‘hire and reward’. The definition of Contract Carriages and Public Service Vehicles excludes ‘a private car which is only used occasionally for the giving of lifts against some payment’. Such private car providing occasional lifts against a payment which sets off the cost of a trip is not a vehicle in which passengers are carried for ‘hire or reward’.

Although BlaBlaCar services involve facilitation of carpooling, BlaBlaCar does not encourage car-owners to make a profit or earn rewards through any other charges. BlaBlaCar automatically calculates a recommended price for every journey, ensuring that car owners do not receive reimbursement exceeding running costs. Therefore, private car owners do not require a permit for carpooling in India (as long as the private car owner does not operate for ‘hire or reward’). Please note that different interpretations to the MVA may apply for each state and we encourage you to take independent legal advice before proceeding.

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