Sep 19, 2008

Tired of Expensive, Depreciating and Wasteful Cars?

Would you just love to get rid of yours?

Well, that's pretty much what I'm going to be doing later this year. I am living in town now, I walk everywhere (and I mean, pretty much everywhere) and have used the car just a handful of times in the past four months or so. Could I do without the car completely?

Absolutely, yes. I might still have to hire one every now and again but let's look at the list of things I won't be paying for:

Old Car
Photo: bogdansuditu
  • the car itself
  • road tax
  • Warrant of Fitness
  • insurance
  • petrol
  • repair and maintenance
  • breakdown cover
  • Christmas Tree air-fresheners

(Okay, I've never bought one of those Christmas Tree air-fresheners but you get my gist.)

That's a lot of things to be paying for when you really don't use the car much. As I said, I've been thinking about getting rid of it for a while but the past three days have pretty much confirmed to me that I'm done with cars. I never really liked them in the first place (I only learnt to drive when I was 28) and I'm pretty convinced I'll be better off without one. Here's why.

Three days ago, I got my car back off a friend of mine who had been borrowing it (better someone's using it than no-one). It was probably about time I filled it up so I whacked a full tank of petrol in.

BANG! $71.67

Not much compared to some people, but it is a small car after all.

The back brake had been rubbing slightly and of course, since I now live in a narrow street in town, someone had knocked and shattered the driver's wing mirror (why do people do this and not leave a note). So I took it in to the garage yesterday. "Nothing wrong with the brake " I was told, "But we got the wing mirror done."

BANG! $168.19


I had a quick chat with the guy. I wondered how he liked Japanese cars compared to European. Then he came out with it "I took it for a test drive, the brake was fine as I said, but you need a new clutch."

Woah there. What? Right, well you better keep the key then. "Just do it" I muttered. About $400 he reckons.

Got there tonight to pick my wonderful Latoya up. Straight away, took him longer than expected, blah blah, I'm a mechanic (actually, he's a pretty nice guy and I like to think I trust him) this, that and the other.

BANG! $634.27

"I'm sorry. Baking powder. Come again! Just once more for me. I'm not sure I heard you right. I'm afraid I have poor hearing these days, you know, being almost 33."

In just three short days I have spent almost $900 on a car I hardly ever use. My friends who tell me I might need the car in the future are wrong. She's getting sold. I shall keep her a little while longer but really I no longer need a car and I hope that whatever I do in the future, that will still hold true. Once sold I shall be buying a pedal bike and the accessories I need to go with it. At least if something goes wrong with the bike, the most you're ever going to pay to fix it is to buy a whole new bike (which in itself is unrealistic in the short term).

And when I need to hire a car those few times a year, it won't bother me that I'll have to pay slightly more to get all the above things included since I know I'll still be saving money over the space of a year compared to owning one.

Could you do without your car? On what occasions would you need to hire one?

1 comment:

Rockman said...

Yes, would only really need to hire for long distance journeys if its out of the way of work etc

A bike is a great alternative :-)