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BlaBlaCar is a popular ridesharing app that connects drivers with passengers who are traveling in the same direction. Founded in France in 2006, the app has since expanded to 20 more countries, including India, Brazil, and Spain.
With over 26 million active users worldwide, BlaBlaCar has become one of the largest ridesharing platforms in the world and a popular alternative to traditional public transportation, such as buses and trains.
In this review, we’ll take a closer look at my recent experience with BlaBlaCar catching a ride from Alicante to Malaga and explore why BlaBlaCar has become such a popular choice for travelers around the world.
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- What is BlaBlaCar
- How does BlaBlaCar work?
- My experience with BlaBlaCar
- BlaBlaCar Bus
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Popular travel guides
What is BlaBlaCar
BlaBlaCar is a website and free phone app for travelers looking to carpool to different destinations. Think of it as an intercity, and even international, Uber.
BlaBlaCar allows users to search for rides and book seats in both private cars and buses, making it a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional modes of transportation.
Fred, one of the founders of BlaBlaCar, noticed the sheer number of people driving alone after having trouble getting a ride home for the holidays. It hit him that all those empty seats in existing cars could be the beginning of a new travel network.
Just like with Uber, BlaBlaCar features a rating system, which allows users to rate drivers and passengers based on their experiences. This helps to ensure that users are matched with reliable and trustworthy drivers and passengers, making the ridesharing experience safer and more enjoyable for everyone.
BlaBlaCar also offers several other features that make it a popular choice for travelers. For example, the app allows users to search for rides based on their preferences, such as the departure time, the number of seats available, and the level of comfort.
Users can also communicate with drivers and passengers through the app, making it easy to coordinate pick-up and drop-off locations.
Who is BlaBlaCar best suited for?
It is best suited for people who are looking for an affordable and convenient way to travel long distances, especially those who do not have access to their own vehicle or do not want to drive long distances themselves. BlaBlaCar is also a great option for people who want to reduce their carbon footprint by sharing a ride with others.
BlaBlaCar is particularly popular among students, young professionals, and budget-conscious travelers. It is also a great option for people who want to meet new people and maybe get some locals-only trips along the way.
If you’re going somewhere off the beaten path, BlaBlaCar can also be a great option, as you can often find drivers going to villages, smaller towns, and less popular cities.
Where is BlaBlaCar available?
BlaBlaCar is available in 21 countries – Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, India, Turkey, Mexico, and Brazil.
How does BlaBlaCar work?
BlaBlaCar works by connecting drivers who have empty seats in their cars with passengers who are traveling in the same direction. Here’s how it works:
Sign up through the website or download the BlaBlaCar app. Completing your profile allows potential drivers to get to know you more when reviewing your booking request. Be sure to include a profile photo and verify your ID — drivers prefer a complete profile!
Search for a ride
You can search for rides on the BlaBlaCar app or website by entering your departure and destination locations and the date of travel. You can also specify your preferences, such as the departure time, the number of seats needed, and the level of comfort you prefer.
Choose a ride
After searching for rides, passengers can view a list of available rides and choose the one that best fits their needs. They can see information about the driver, the car, and the price of the ride.
As you can see below, rides that match your destinations will get a green icon while rides that cover destinations close by will get an orange icon.
Be sure to check out the driver’s profile. Seeing what other travelers thought of their experiences is key in making sure you get a safe ride with a trusted driver.
Book a seat
Once you have chosen a ride, you can book a seat by paying for the ride through the app or website. The price of the ride is calculated based on the distance, the number of seats, and other factors.
Coordinate pick-up and drop-off
The driver and passenger can communicate through the app to coordinate the pick-up and drop-off locations. They can also share information about the route and any stops along the way.
Make sure to arrive early at the agreed-upon pick-up location to meet your driver.
Rate the ride
After the ride is complete, both the driver and passenger can rate each other based on their experience. This helps to ensure that users are matched with reliable and trustworthy drivers and passengers in the future.
Ratings are crucial for new BlaBlaCar users as they help them choose a driver who provides a clean and comfortable ride. Therefore, it’s important to give an accurate rating based on your honest experience.
As a passenger, you will also be rated by drivers, who can see your rating to decide whether or not to pick you up. So, it’s essential to maintain a good rating by being respectful and responsible during the ride.
My experience with BlaBlaCar
I recently used BlaBlaCar to get a ride from Alicante to Malaga in Spain and I must say, it was a great experience! The ride cost only 33 euros and was so much more time-efficient than schlepping my bags on public transport with at least one change. It was also more affordable.
Our driver Pablo picked us up from our hotel in Alicante and dropped us off in a central part of Malaga, midway between our apartment and his end destination.
Pablo was very nice and easy to talk to, which made the 5-hour-long journey much more enjoyable. Not only that, but he was also a responsible driver, which made me feel safe and secure throughout the entire trip.
The car was comfortable and clean, and Pablo even arrived a few minutes early. We arrived at our destination on time and without any issues.
I would highly recommend using BlaBlaCar for any long-distance travel needs in Spain, especially if you are lucky enough to get a driver as great as ours. Just read the reviews and I’m sure that you will!
BlaBlaCar also offers a bus service, covering more than 400 destinations in France and Europe. A long-distance bus ride from Paris to Barcelona or Barcelona to Amsterdam costs only £30-£90. That’s between 15 and 25 hours on the road, making it a very affordable way to travel.
There’s also WiFi on all the buses, super convenient for those long rides. Paris is the hub of the BlaBlaCar bus service.
How much luggage does BlaBlaCar Bus allow?
You can take two pieces of hand luggage and one piece of checked luggage with you free of charge per passenger. Just like on a plane, the hand luggage must be able to be stowed in the storage spaces above the seats or under the occupied seat.
Your larger luggage that goes in the storage area can weigh up to 23 kg, and the sum of the 3 dimensions (length + width + depth) can’t exceed 200 cm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an app for long-distance rides?
Yes, there is an app for long-distance rides. BlaBlaCar, the carpooling platform that connects drivers with passengers for long-distance travel, has a mobile app that can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices.
The app allows users to search for rides, book seats, and communicate with drivers and other passengers. It also provides real-time updates on the status of the ride, including the estimated time of arrival and any changes to the route.
What are some long-distance Uber alternatives?
Uber is a popular ride-hailing service that is available in many countries around the world. However, there are several other long-distance ride-sharing services that offer similar services to Uber. Here are some of the long-distance Uber alternatives:
- BlaBlaCar: BlaBlaCar is a ride-sharing service that connects drivers with passengers who are traveling in the same direction. The service is available in 21 countries and is a popular alternative to traditional modes of transportation, such as buses and trains.
- Lyft: Lyft is a ride-hailing service that is available in the United States and Canada. The service offers long-distance rides, as well as shorter rides within cities.
- Grab: Grab is a ride-hailing service that is available in several countries in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The service offers both short and long-distance rides, as well as other services such as food delivery and package delivery.
- Ola: Ola is a ride-hailing service that is available in India. The service offers both short and long-distance rides, as well as other services such as food delivery and bike sharing.
- DiDi: DiDi is a ride-hailing service that is available in China. The service offers both short and long-distance rides, as well as other services such as food delivery and bike sharing.
How trustworthy is BlaBlaCar?
BlaBlaCar has become a well-established and reputable platform for carpooling and long-distance travel. The company has been in operation since 2006 and has facilitated millions of rides across more than 20 countries.
BlaBlaCar has a strong focus on safety and security, with a number of measures in place to ensure that both drivers and passengers are protected.
For example, all drivers on the platform must undergo a verification process that includes a review of their driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance. Passengers are also required to provide their ID and contact information before booking a ride.
Their site and apps are secure and encrypted, and they review and block any potentially dangerous messages. So while no platform can guarantee 100% safety, BlaBlaCar has a good reputation for reliability, security, and convenience.
Overall, BlaBlaCar is a convenient and affordable way to travel, and its popularity continues to grow as more and more people look for alternatives to traditional modes of transportation.
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