getting wheels again

After my last automobile debacle which saw a dearly loved 88 subaru written off just 3 months after i bought it, i decided that while i needed a car, i was going to take my time with buying another one. In the last 9 months of being carless, i discovered the following:

  • taking taxis is an expensive habit and they tend to be scarce on the ground when you most need them. Roughly $20-30 each time and perhaps 3 times a month. Equates to $900 a year.
  • hiring a car for going away is actually quite economical and convenient unless you get into an accident. Most hire car companies charge $40-50 a day or so but will hit you with a $3000 excess regardless of fault. To clear the excess, you find you end up paying between $70-80 a day for car hire. Assuming you’re lucky and make 6 long weekend trips a year this equates to $810 a year (not including petrol) or if you want to pay reasonable excess ($500 again regardless of fault), it’s $1350 a year.
  • community car hire places charge you around $12 a hire per hour and around $80 a day for daily hire plus membership fees ranging from $10 – $100 a month depending on how you want to organise it. Community car hire insurance is within the membership fee. There’s generally a joining fee as well.  Replacing your taxi time and commercial car hire with community car hire works out to be the same but that depends on your usage needs. If you’re going out for the night, then a taxi is probably cheaper as a night of say 6 hours could cost you $72.

Anyway, comparing community car hire versus taxi + commercial car hire versus cost of running your own car is like this:

  • Community car hire: basic membership is$240 a year, plus $1350 for going away plus $576 for two 2-hour trips a month plus 12 taxi trips a year at $300 equals $2466 per year.
  • Taxi + commercial car hire equals $2250 per year.
  • Cost of running your own car: Victoria registration $560 + Comprehensive insurance $750 + maintenance and repairs $1000-1500 = $2310-2810 per year.

Depending on how you do your numbers, what your transport needs are, the cost of your car (and the interest foregone) and the sort of depreciation your car suffers (and if you can claim tax on any of the expenditure), the numbers can change greatly.

However, given that I’m thinking of getting a car that wont depreciate much so you can sell it for roughly the same amount that you bought it for, it works out ok. Plus you get the convenience of having a car which is probably not that easily quantifiable.

One thought on “getting wheels again

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