Car ownership is such a personal choice. Some are addicted to their car for the convenience it brings. For others, getting around town via train or Uber is less stressful and more practical than driving. But, if you’re looking at saving money for a holiday or to buy a home – ditching your car might be an effective cost-saving strategy.
Do we all really need our own car?
During the week, most city workers use public transport to get to work – without the stress of traffic or the burden of premium parking fees. So, the car stays rugged up tight in the garage at home. Not being used.
We’re also seeing an increase in employers moving to flexible working arrangements – like, work from home and co-working. So, our need for a private car to get us to the office every day is reduced.
When you consider that living expenses and housing affordability are reaching crisis point – is it time we ditched the car?
Cost considerations for and against car ownership
Owning a car is expensive. From the moment you first jump behind the wheel, your car is losing value with each passing day – It could lose up to one third of its resale value in the first three years! But, there are other financial arguments for and against owning your own car.
Costs to consider when owning your own car
- soaring petrol prices / mileage
- increasing registration fees (Queensland has one of the highest registration costs of any Australian state).
- insurance premiums
- parking fees (city workers)
- annual servicing, repairs, and wear and tear.
Costs to consider when living without a car
- public transport costs, plus
- reliability and convenience of services
- reliance on services (peak travel, after-hours commute, personal safety)
- Uber fees – plus unpredictable surge pricing / peak demands. I once paid 2.3 x the normal amount because of peak demand… at 10.30am in the day, when it took less than 2 minutes for a driver to greet me at an inner-city suburb!
- casual car hire via Drivemycar.com.au ($30 / day inclusive), or Budget/Avis car hire ($50 / day inclusive)
Not to mention the limitations of convenience and flexibility and distance from work and essentials (shopping centres, take away, post office) that affect your ability to run errands and hunt and gather for sustenance!
Use these two lists to calculate your expenses for one month’s worth of travel, with and without a car. What works out cheaper for you?
Is your addiction to convenience warranted?
Chances are, if you’re an inner-city dweller or you live close enough to a reliable public transport service – ditching your car would be a solid money-saving strategy that gets you to your savings goal quickly.
If you need to save money fast and you’re still not ready to let go of your car, get in touch for a free financial consultation. I can assess your current financial situation and advise a savings strategy that builds your bank balance without you sacrificing the important stuff in life.