Cars. We all want to own them, but do we really need to?
I won’t suggest that you could manage without one at all (although you might be able to), but if you live in a two-car household, do you really need both cars?
According to the RAC, owning a car in Britain costs an average of £6,689 per year, a 14% rise on the 2010 figure of £5,870.
Costs have gone up in almost every area over the last year:
- Fuel: +12.4%
- Insurance: +14.38%
- Maintenance: +8.8%
- RAC membership: +4.21%
- Depreciation: +16.67%
- Car finance: +9.85%
In fact, the only motoring cost that has not risen, according to the RAC’s annual Cost of Motoring Index, is Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax).
All of this means that a lightly-used second car can be a financial millstone around your neck. Lightly-used cars depreciate nearly as fast, cost as much to insure, still need servicing and breakdown cover and still need finance.
If you don’t really need a second car, it can be a lot cheaper simply to hire one when you actually need it. Hiring a car eliminates all the costs of ownership and means that you only pay for what you use – with no strings attached.
If you are struggling with the costs of car ownership and think you might be able to manage without one of your cars, then why not work out the figures today?
- Add up your car ownership costs for the year (including depreciation),
- Get a car hire quote for a short hire
- Think about how many times you could hire a car in a year before you break even on the costs of owning a car.
Car clubs and car-sharing schemes are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, Europe and the USA, especially in cities. People are realising that owning a car is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially if you don’t get a lot of use out of it.
What do you think? Is car ownership a part of your personality or a frustrating cost you have to put up with? Leave a comment below and let us know.