The carpool comes whenever a Sim goes to work. (For children, the school bus serves as the carpool. For teens, the school bus and carpool may be separate, as they can have part-time jobs.) In The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, the carpool has a visible driver, but it is nearly impossible to play this Sim. The carpool is scheduled to arrive an hour before the Sim's workday begins, though it may arrive a bit after the top of the hour. It will sit at the curb, beeping its horn, for an hour, and will then leave, even if the Sim hasn't gotten in. Sims in a good mood will autonomously start to head for the carpool shortly after it arrives, though in some cases, the player will need to cancel whatever action the Sim is performing because it may take too long and the Sim will miss the carpool. The player can cancel the Go to Work/Go to School action in order to let the Sim do something else, such as use the toilet, take a quick shower, or watch TV a little longer. However, the player will then have to click on the carpool or school bus and select Go to Work or Go to School in order to send the Sim to work or school. Of course, the player can choose to let the Sim miss the carpool or school bus and stay home. (In The Sims, this is the only way a Sim can get a day off from work or school.)
If two or more Sims are scheduled to go to work at the same time, only one carpool vehicle will come. At least in The Sims 2, it seems that it will be the carpool for the Sim who will come home earliest. In The Sims, if two or more Sims are scheduled to return from work at the same time, each one will return in his or her job's carpool. This is necessary because, in The Sims, the chance cards Sims may receive when coming home are linked to the carpool controller. In The Sims 2, two or more Sims who return at the same time will arrive in a single carpool. Also, if a Sim returns home from work at the same time that another Sim's carpool is scheduled to arrive, that Sim's carpool vehicle will remain on the lot, and will be used to take the departing Sim(s) to work, regardless of what their normal carpool vehicle would be. This even applies to jobs that don't use carpool vehicles.
In The Sims 2, if the Nightlife expansion pack is installed, the carpool will not come for a Sim who has been made the owner of a car. In The Sims 3, the carpool comes regardless of whether or not a vehicle is assigned.
In The Sims 4, there are no carpools; the Sim simply vanishes from the sidewalk when leaving for work.
The vehicle used as the carpool for a job will generally reflect the job's status, and may reflect the nature of the career track. For example, the carpool for jobs in the Law Enforcement career track is usually a police car, and carpools for jobs in the Military career track are often military vehicles.
In general, the carpool for a low-level career (level 1-3) will be a junky car. In The Sims, this is a very dirty car that resembles a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. In The Sims 2, it's a somewhat beat-up Smoogo Minima. In The Sims 2: Open for Business, that appears to be the carpool for playable employees.
The carpool is not always a wheeled vehicle. In The Sims 2, Sims at the top level of the Business, Military, Politics, Show Business, and Paranormal career tracks have the Pearson 206 SimRanger helicopter as their carpool. Captain Hero and the Ecological Guru don't even have vehicles; they simply fly to and from work.
A Sim doesn't always need a carpool to go to work. The Sims 2: Apartment Life gave Sims the ability to walk to work. With The Sims 2: Nightlife, they can use a car to go to work whether or not they have been made the owner of the car.
Carpool vehicles in The Sims 3Edit
Low level career (level 1-3): Sloppy Jalopy, Big Lemon, Vorn P328 (has a rare chance of being used as a carpool vehicle) and Wornado Triage (only used in Level 3 of the Music career).
Medium level career (level 4-7): Wornado Triage, 4-Everything Van, Yomoshoto Evasion, or Tofunda Wagon.
Pre-made drivers in The Sims 2Edit
While pre-made carpool drivers the The Sims 2 have names, they are still non-playable NPCs.
Pre-made drivers in The Sims Life StoriesEdit
- In The Sims 2, The Sims 3, The Sims Stories, and The Sims 3 for Console, Sims will still go to the carpool even if Free will is turned off.
- In the console versions of The Sims 2 and The Sims 2 Pets, due to a glitch, if the player switches to the Sim that is heading to work, that Sim will change back to their normal clothes and miss the carpool (This occurs only when using Direct Control).
- In The Sims 2 (Console) and The Sims 2 Pets, the carpool comes about 12 minutes earlier than in The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories.
- In The Sims 2, each carpool driver has an incomplete character file and therefore, should not be interacted with outside their designed in game purpose. Doing so will corrupt the neighborhood they are in.
- In Life Stories, the game will generate large quantities of carpool drivers in addition to the carpool drivers that are already in the game, although the limit of excessive carpool drivers the game generates is significantly smaller than the limit of excessive social class townies that the game generates in The Sims 2: Apartment Life.