I don’t own a car anymore. Why would I? Sure in Ireland with our lovely weather we need a better way to get around as every other alternative is either heavily influenced by trade unions or systematically stops development with the incredible power of lobbying? But maybe all of these changes happening in the technological space and economy are only tell signs of the things to come.
What if in the very near future more people would instead choose to use cars as a service and avoid fixed costs involved with car ownership. How it can be that it is cheaper to rent a brand new car than to buy that car and ensure it. After working for a multinational company for nearly two years, I got accustomed to the ways new car drives and would instead plan my usage than drive small vehicle organise neverending repairs and ever swallow increasing insurance costs.
With a new infrastructure plan released by the government value of the petrol cars is only going to drop. Most insurers are refusing to ensure vehicles over 15 years old and successful regeneration plans carried out by the city officials would only increase the number of people living in the cities. Free parking is almost non-existent in the centers with many parking ninjas waving yellow slips right and left.
Why killing UBER would destroy Taxi Industry.
In the multiple countries across the globe, popular ride-sharing app UBER is being outlawed. For sure Taxi drivers depend on their income to support their families, and reasonable investment provides somehow stable income. Sure fuel prices are rising as well as is cost of living, but an alternative to the public transport not present, industry cannon save itself.
The wage needed to support rents and mortgages forces taxi drivers to look for the scapegoat. But UBER was just another way to use the same service. Most of the UBERs I used elsewhere were the same taxi drivers, only faster and cheaper. By killing alternative business source, it allows another competition to gain its foothold. Never forget that taxi is selling trip from point A to point B, and realistically it does not need to include the driver. The driver is included only because there is no other way around, yet.
Car Clubs and Short term car rentals
Every person uses the car differently, in case if you need to drive for your work or to get to work, you are against the luck. You are lucky if your employer recovers your expense and pays for your insurance of part of it. But as opportunity cost did not make economic sense anymore, I designed my work to suit me not having a car, and going for weekend car rentals instead.
As per writing this article, I got myself a car for a weekend and only paid 47 euro. I got stuck with extremely high fees and had to ditch the idea of renting for few times, but planning your weekends in advance and sometimes using busses like other ordinary people allows to treat myself to worry less weekend. Enterprise Rent a Car offers ample of savings as well as very competitive long-term renting for the account holders. I tried almost every car rental company, and nobody can match the service level and transparent pricing as Enterprise does.
For super short last minute commutes, I use GoCar car-sharing service, desirable proposition for going to a pub (don’t worry, I don’t drink) as after midnight it only cost me 4 euro per hour. I usually stick to one service provider as much as I can, a piece of advice, be careful renting from anyone who emphasizes savings in their name. Typically, its a form of misdirection and it will end up costing you more in the end.
Real Cost of Owning a Car
In reality, nobody “needs” a car, yes it’s nice to have and there so many things to do when you have one, but when taking into consideration fuel costs, insurance road tax and maintenance costs, renting cars becoming more appealing. Most of the drivers with a long no claim history can still find competitive pricing, but let’s say If someone my age wants to drive a car tomorrow costs keep piling up.
Borrowing 5000 euro for the car would set me down for 226 euro per month for two years (gamble by the way as no warranty is present) based on the fact that for my first insurance I would probably have to pay at least 3000 euro including credit and administration fees that comes to 250 euro. Add tires 16, road tax 40 and this is without possible repairs as any second-hand car without warranty can incur and we quickly reach over 500 euro per month for the “privilege to drive”.
Then it comes expenses and taxation, a real expense of renting is no match for the depreciation costs, that too often do not match fluctuating real-time value of the motor. Even if you keep your car in a good state, the investment required for the NCT will make no sense if your vehicle is close to 15 years old. And to top it all up, if your car is not electric or hybrid electric, no NCT cert will be issued from the year 2040.
What we will be driving in the years to come
Soon we will have other improvements in the industry to help us out. As self-driving cars (most of the new electric cars already have this feature build in) take the market on, need for a driver might be removed altogether. It might become feasible to let your car drive other passengers while you are at work instead of paying parking fees.
Electric cars are here to stay, with auto giants likes VW and smaller producers like Volvo committing to all-electric fleets in the next two decades. Following this fuel cost could not be used as an excuse by taxi drivers to charge high fees. Maybe someone similar to UBER will have self-driving cars or at least rideshare solutions to bring the cost down.
Car clubs if something I love, yes the price is still not there to use it every day, but if those cars were electric (bringing the cost down) and self-driving (should lower insurance cost) saving will be passed on to the consumers as more players enter the market. Currently, we only have GoCar in Ireland, with earlier mentioned Enterprise Rent a Car bringing the same service by the end of 2018.