Connecting with drivers who have empty seats in their cars.
We were looking for cheap transport from Kaliningrad to Warsaw and stumbled upon a site called Bla Bla Car. The name had me curious and I decided to have a look and see what this site was about. In a nutshell it is a site that connects drivers with travellers. If you are travelling to a specific city and have empty seats in your car then you make them available on Bla Bla Car. It is an interesting concept, that saves both driver and passenger money – or does it?
How to connect with drivers on Bla Bla Car?
The first step is to select the country for your ride share and then where you want to travel to. A list will be displayed with drivers, what they offer, seats available, type of car and cost. There are also ratings next to their profile and additional information about the driver. There are various ways to get in contact with the driver. First of all you can post a public question on the page or you can continue to book by pressing the “Request to Book” button and the driver will get in contact with you.
The next step is to pay online and a booking code will be emailed to you. The driver will be notified and the contact number of the driver will be made available. The driver will communicated with you and this is where you will meet the driver on the date of departure.
If the driver cancels, you will be refunded. It is important to leave a rating for the driver and i return they can do the same.
Our experience with Bla Bla Car in Russia.
As I have mentioned before we have never used the service of Bla Bla Car and I must admit, I have mixed feelings. We contacted a lady driver and she was very quick to respond. However, she was not the person driving the vehicle and told us that she will get back to us. She did but the price advertised on Bla Bla Car.ru was not what we were offered. We inquired about the booking process and she told us that we need to pay on the day of departure. We booked. A couple of days later we received a call informing us that she is not travelling anymore and gave us a number of a different driver. The price changed yet again. The original price on Bla Bla Car. ru was 750 Rouble and the price that we will be paying is 1250 Rouble.
We needed a ride back from Warsaw to Kaliningrad and contacted another driver. We were requested to communicate with him via Whatsup and he took down our details. Again we couldn’t´t pay online and everything was done via Whatsup.
I looked at the UK site and it seems that this concept is working for many people. Maybe we just had a bad experience with the first booking. I will give an update once we have used the service.
Their are always risks involved but the site is transparent and if you review the driver ratings that were left by follow travelers, you will be fine. It is always fun meeting new people and to save money in the process. Bla Bla Car is available throughout Europe.
Update: We have used two different drivers from/to Warsaw from Kaliningrad. Both drivers offered excellent services in comfortable vehicles and they dropped us off where we needed to be. It is important to stay in contact via SMS or Whatsup to ensure that everything goes according to plan.