Cheap fix to car ownership?

2011-11-24 10:15

South Africans may not have many alternatives to car ownership – let’s face it, our public transport system is not always the ideal way to get around – but are there options we've overlooked?

Rental service Europcar in the UK suggests drivers think about alternatives to car ownership as research in that country suggests it now costs the equivalent of close to R90 000 a year to keep a car on the road there.

MD Ken McCall said: “Clearly, for many families, access to a vehicle day and night is vital. For those with several vehicles it may well be worth giving serious consideration to ditching the second or third car and just hiring when they need an extra set of wheels."


McCall reports “seeing a growing trend of more people hiring a car for day-to-day needs and as an alternative to owning a second car". “By hiring a car you can eliminate all the other costs – insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance – and reduce fuel consumption by as much as a third by driving a nearly-new car in a more efficient way."

According to the car rental company, one John Lynch, after 27 years of owning a car, decided to sell his BMW Touring and switch to walking, cycling and sharing his partner’s car over weekends and hiring a car when necessary. He reportedly now saves more than R26 000 a year.

It seems ditching the car keys can do more than just save you money; it could also lead to a slimmer waistline…

  • dentdoctorr - 2011-11-24 11:05

    A relation of mine owns a very small cheap car for everyday use & hires a large spacious vehicle when holiday time comes , his house was paid for within 4 years of him being married . Seems to makes good financial sense.

  • Londa - 2011-11-24 15:07

    I'm partially sighted and thus don't drive, I work from home and rely on public transport to get to meetings. I have to walk a kilometer to get to the route of the taxis... Wasting precious time and working up a sweat. So it makes more sense to get a cab. At an average cost of R11/KM, it is neither cheap nor convenient as I have to call the cab co. And wait about 30 minutes before the cab arrives. I live about 6KM from Sandton, so a round trip can easily take me anything between 1:30 -3 hours. I don't think SA has a good public transport system. I would not encourage anyone to ditch their wheels for public transport. Rather downgrade to a smaller car.

  • Alan - 2011-11-25 08:41

    Maybe if all municipalities followed Cape Town's example and constructed safe dedicated cycle paths on the major routes into the various CBDs more people would commute to work by bicycle. Since CT's initiative there has been a marked increase in the numbers of cycle commuters - even during the wet winter months. Cape Town's municipality rocks !!!!

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