Are you a low-mileage car owner? Getting rid of your wheels can bring many benefits
They say you never forget your first set of wheels. Whether you inherited your dad’s old banger or saved up for something smarter, many of us have had a car for so long that we couldn’t imagine life without one. But if your pride and joy spends most of its time sitting forlornly in the garage, only being brought out for that weekly trip to the supermarket, going car-free may bring you huge benefits.
According to ‘This Is Money’, owning a car is just not cost-effective for low-mileage drivers, defined as those doing 6,000 miles per year or less. To find out exactly how much your car costs you, This Is Money has a great calculator. In the meantime, the AA estimates that driving a new, medium-sized car costs low mileage drivers £4,332 a year in petrol, insurance, wear and tear and road tax. You’d need to take a lot of taxis to come even close to that amount.
If that’s got you thinking but you just can’t get over your hatred of public transport, there are alternatives that don’t see you having to squeeze onto a bus. Joining a car club is a great way to get the convenience of car ownership without all the hassles of maintaining and insuring.
Although these are only currently available in major cities, car clubs give their users the added advantage of their own designated parking places, so there will be no more driving around waiting for that all-too-elusive space. To find your nearest car club, visit ‘Carplus.org.uk’. Just be aware that you need to be 18 or older, with a valid licence you’ve held for at least a year.
You could also look into car sharing – which is a sophisticated kind of car pooling scheme. If you register your details at CarShare.com, you’re able to input your chosen journey and find out if anyone is driving in the same direction. Then you just split the cost of the journey with the driver you’re matched with.
Ditching the car could also have other benefits you may not have thought about. You may well end up walking so much more frequently that you’re able to cancel your expensive gym membership. If keeping fit is a concern, why not go one further and get yourself a bike? According to ‘CycleScheme’, the average cyclist burns over 8,000 calories cycling to work each month. Your employer may be able to help you out by giving you access to a tax-free bike through the government’s cycle to work scheme.
So all in all, going car-free, even if it’s only for a while, could have big benefits for both your waistline and your wallet. So what should you do with all the cash you’ve saved? Well why not put it into a savings account, whether it’s an instant access savings account or a regular savings account, and watch it add up. If your circumstances change and you decide that the car-free life doesn’t suit you, it will be a handy sum towards getting you back on the road.
This article has been written for information and interest purposes only. The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author only, and should not be construed as advice or used to make financial decisions. Expert financial advice should always be sought and any links contained within this article are included for information purposes only.
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking (bank accounts and instant access savings accounts), credit cards, corporate banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 140,000 people. Barclays moves, invests and protects money and provides ISAs, home insurance, life insurance, a mortgage calculator, guides on how to buy shares and other services for over 49 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.co.uk.
Like us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Other Hearst Magazines UK sites