Q: In the past I didn’t mind picking up friends and giving them rides, but with the price of gas, I’m thinking of asking for contributions towards gas. Is this appropriate? If so, how can I ask so that I get a positive response and not come off looking like a cheapskate?
A: We think it’s reasonable to ask for gas money. You should bring it up when your friend asks you for the ride, or when you suggest it. Try one of these two options:
“Oh sure, I’d be happy to start giving you a ride to yoga class. Since it will be regularly would you agree to chipping in a few
dollars for gas money?”
“Jane, I was thinking, if we started carpooling it would probably be best to help each other out with gas money for the rides. Do you think $5 a week for the driver would be a good trade-off?”
If you’re going on a long car trip with someone to a specific destination (outlet malls a few hours away, Grandma’s house, etc…) you might try suggesting something like, “Clare, how about one of us drives and covers gas, and the other can pick up the lunch tab. Does that sound fair to you?” A simple, “How do you want to divvy this up?” will also get the conversation rolling.