Cost of having a car: Australians ditch cars

As Aussies feel the pinch of cost of living pressures, a growing number are making a change that is saving thousands a year.

For married Sydney-siders Miguel and Fayme, there was one glaringly obvious cash-saver that could help them; ditching their car.

“Initially, my wife and I always used our work cars, so we were still shielded from the costs of having four wheels,” Miguel told news.com.au.

“When we left our jobs two years ago I decided I’d keep mine – we had it for a year or two, but then pulled some numbers together and realized it wasn’t viable because I didn’t actually use it that often.

“I read a stat that said cars are parked 80 per cent of the time – so I said to my wife ‘lets’ put our money where our mouths are and give it a go’.”

The couple sold their vehicle and brought a subscription to GoGet – a ride-share service where customers rent cars for set periods of time, with a tiered membership system offering varying levels of accessibility for users.

Signing up for the “GoFrequent” tier – costing $30 a month with fuel included – Miguel and Fayme began their rent-a-car journey.

Many of the couples’ friends and colleagues baulked at the idea of ​​not having a car full-time – until the savings began rolling in.

“We were easily saving $10,000 a year – rego alone used to be $1000, insurance another $1000 – fuel was around $5000 … it was incredible,” Miguel said.

“My brother-in-law then gave up his car and my wife’s sister just gave up her car too.

“I find it amazing that the second-hand car market has gone up – there’s a huge demand for it and it doesn’t make any sense – we haven’t looked back, to be honest.”

Miguel and Fayme aren’t alone in making the switch to car rentals.

According to data provided to news.com.au by GoGet, the company saw a 15 per cent increase in usage from the start of the pandemic, with a 57 per cent increase in fuel prices and 30 per cent increase in the price of new and used cars driving customers away from the traditional ownership model.

“We are seeing people make that choice for carsharing in record numbers,” GoGet CEO Tom Davey said.

“Despite the impacts of Omicron, the last six months have shown a 15 per cent increase in usage and May, usually a quieter month, was another record for new GoGet Members, up to 30 per cent.”

For people looking to break into the housing market, ditching a car could also result in mammoth savings on asking prices.

“When Carshare is installed in a residential building, developers are able to build and sell apartments without unnecessary, expensive and environmentally damaging parking,” Mr Davey said.

“Each parking space adds approximately $50,000 to $100,000 to the cost of an apartment.”

Miguel said he saw his GoGet subscription in the same light as other normal monthly transactions, such as Spotify and streaming service fees.

“Do you buy DVDs, do you buy CDs? Of course not. I look at a car the same way – it takes me from A to B and I just pay my subscription fee as per normal,” he said.

“You just need to be good at planning ahead – that’s the key thing.

“You can’t always get a pay increase but you can decrease your living expenses.”

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