Family Magazine

Could You Live Without Your Car?

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

Sadly, running a car is an expensive proposition – you don’t just shell out when you buy the car and pick up a set of custom vehicle registration numbers.  You have to worry about paying for tax, insurance, parking, regular servicing, petrol and other expenses.

Could You Live Without Your Car?

Your Car Ties You Down

You may think that your car saves you money, but many people overestimate how useful their car is, and underestimate how much they’re shelling out to maintain it. Chris Balish, the author of “How to Live Well Without Owning a Car” believes that buying a car is the biggest financial mistake that most people will ever make.

It’s hard to deny the figures that Balish puts forward – if you buy a new car you will end up spending a lot of money on looking after it, but what’s the other option?  Is it possible to get by without owning your own car?

Sharing and Renting

One trend that’s taking off in America is sharing cars.  Instead of owning a car, you reserve a car (by the hour or by the day), pick it up from a central parking lot, and return it when you’re done.  If you work from home most of the week, and only need to commute occasionally, then this could be a good option – although you won’t be able to rely on remembering vehicle registration numbers to spot your car in the parking lot if you use this technique, so you’d better get in the habit of snapping a photo of the car with your camera phone before you walk away!

Just… Walk?

Walking and relying on public transport may not be an option for everyone, but if you live close enough to your place of work that you can get away with it then it’s a good way to save a lot of money.  A bus pass costs a lot less than the running costs of an average car, and gives you the freedom to explore your city without having to worry about finding a parking space, or trying to figure out how you’ll get home if you decide to have a drink or two.

Plan Your Next Move

If you have a job you love, and you don’t plan on changing it any time soon, consider moving closer to work.  That way, you’ll have more options for getting in to work, and may be able to stop using your car.  If you can’t face hanging up your cherished registration plates just yet, then at least you’ll be able to spend less time on the road during rush hour.  Many insurance companies charge less for cars that are used infrequently, and if you find that you’re only driving for fun, you’ll pay less, and find driving to be a more pleasurable experience too.  That’s a win all around.

Article written by Amy Fowler on behalf of The Plate Market, suppliers of cherished registration plates. Photo by Nouhailler.

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