According to the AA, a family saloon could set you back £158,000.
For most of us, buying a car is one of the biggest financial decisions we will ever have to make. And with the average price of a new car in the UK exceeding £14,000 coupled with ever increasing insurance premiums, it is no surprise that people are looking for an alternative to owning a vehicle.
Using the example of a mid-ranged family petrol car that covers 10,000 miles per year, the AA’s archivists calculated that the owner would shell out £158,835 over the course of 42 years. This figure leaves no stone unturned and takes into consideration the cost of road tax, insurance, servicing and replacement parts, fuel, parking and depreciation. This is an astonishing amount of money, especially when taking into consideration that an average car loses 40% of its value in the first year of ownership.
What is the Alternative?
The 21st Century has seen rise to many alternatives to traditional travel, with one of the most notable of these being Car Sharing Clubs. There are about 1.7 million car-sharing members in 27 countries and, with the cost of public transport on the increase, Car Clubs are becoming a popular way for drivers within an urban environment to get around. Not only do they offer a flexible and low cost service, but for many it also alleviates the stresses associated with owning and driving a vehicle in and around congested areas.
How Do They Work?
Most Car Clubs charge either a joining or annual fee and then use of the car is charged by the hour. The cars are kept in designated spaces, are accessed using a member’s smartcard and started with a pin number rather than a key. Members can book a car either online or over the phone, as little as 30 seconds ahead of time, and use the remotely activated smart cards to unlock the vehicle. At the end of the journey, the car is returned to a dedicated space and a travel log is automatically sent to the Car Club’s company HQ — simple as that.
Who Would Benefit From Car Clubs?
• Occasional Drivers
• Occasional/Frequent Business Travellers
• City Dwellers
What are the Costs Involved?
• Annual fee of around £60
• Hourly rate from £5 – Daily rate from £55
• Fuel is FREE
• First 40 miles are FREE
• Congestion charges are included in price
Potential Costs — Don’t Forget Insurance
Most Car Sharing Clubs will provide standard insurance and the cost of this will be included in the price of the rental. However, you will still be liable to pay an excess should anything happen to the vehicle whilst in your possession — this can amount to as much as £1000. Make sure you protect yourself against these costs such as for example, with iCarhireinsurance Car Club Excess Cover which costs only £39.99 for the year and will cover against 100% of the excess.*
*Up to £1,000 for single incident & £2,000 per year.