Recently we added up what running a car was costing us. Initially we looked purely at the monthly costs, but then we started to look at the ‘per mile’ costs and it was suddenly fairly scary, turning that into a ‘per use’ figure was even more insane. We realised that we were using the car perhaps twice a month and each use was therefore costing over £100, excluding fuel – which given our usage was amazingly minimal.
We worked out that each mile cost us about £2.50, plus fuel.
We realised that this is just not viable, as an example, given the cost of parking in town, a quick 4 mile trip into town and back including parking was actually costing us about £15 or so. A taxi there and back is just £12.80.
- Collecting a parcel from the post office – £7.50
- Driving to the doctors and back – £5
- Driving to the Dentists and back – £15
- Shopping trip to Asda – £22.50
- Shopping trip to the local mall – £150
So we started to look at the alternatives.
Asda and Tesco both have home delivery options, you order on-line and for a couple of pounds pick and deliver your groceries. this is a saving of about £15 for us, not including the ‘trudge around the supermarket’ time saved each week. Having groceries delivered on a Thursday evening, having ordered them a day or two prior using an iPad while standing in the kitchen looking at what is in the cupboards saves us significant ‘impulse purchase’ money too.
A family return ticket to the mall is £25 peak or £17 off-peak. This is a saving of £125-130 and the station is only five minutes walk away.
For casual car use, eCar Club has electric cars to rent for £5.50 an hour – again a ten minute walk away for us and there are no fuel or insurance costs on top of that. We could use an eCar to do our shopping each week and it would be cheaper – as long as we ran around the supermarket fairly quickly.
B&Q van hire is about £20 / hour – more than enough time to bring home half a ton of DIY supplies for the next project. Rather than do multiple £10 each trips in a small car.
Visiting my parents, which is a 250 mile round trip works out at a staggering £625 plus fuel, can be done for £60-100 plus fuel using an Enterprise rental car.
And so it goes on and on and on.
So we decided to go ‘car-less’ and it is enormously liberating, no longer is the car sat outside, potentially blocking the bus route, if the bus is stuck (again) it is not not our problem, no longer do we have to pay for a car that mostly sits outside, no longer do we have to pay for insurance or worry about the cost of repairs.
When we visit the frozen north this weekend we will have a rental car, this will be much bigger, much more comfortable and expensive than a car I would choose to own. It will also cost us £100 plus fuel for the Friday to Monday rental. We may also use this to run a couple of errands locally. Which will effectively be close to free.
I get it that this solution is not for everyone, it is however very good for us, I am truly looking forwards to Waymo or Uber etc getting the ‘self driving pod’ up and running, I may even get rid of the motorbike and use one for my commute daily.