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:
- the car itself
- road tax
- Warrant of Fitness
- 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.
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."
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.
"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?