Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => On The Road => Topic started by: Greenbank on October 23, 2019, 02:36:48 pm

Title: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Greenbank on October 23, 2019, 02:36:48 pm
OK, some ramblings of mine for whether or not I should keep my car. Prompted by the EV chat in another thread:-

Replacing an ICE vehicle with an EV is going to be of some benefit, replacing an ICE vehicle (or to a lesser extent an EV) with nothing is even better.

And in my own specific situation I can't see myself replacing my existing car with anything should it die. I only have the car because it was given to me as my mum chose to stop driving and when she looked into selling it she realised it would only go for £85 if she was lucky. All my siblings already own a car(s) so it was offered to me.

It costs ~£620 a year[1] before it even moves a single mile (although I recognise this is still quite cheap in terms of car ownership, some people pay close to that in VED alone). According to the online MOT history (https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/) I've averaged under 2000 miles a year for the last 3 years of ownership. I acknowledge that a significant chunk of those miles were frivolous and only because it was sitting outside ready and available. Public transport around us in London is fantastic and for longer journeys we tend to go by train anyway.

Despite being old (2001) the car is ULEZ compliant. Handy as I live half a mile outside the South Circular where the ULEZ will be extended soon. If it wasn't ULEZ compliant I'd be shot of it when that is extended.

Assuming 40mpg at £1.3/l that's about £300 on petrol giving me a total budget of £1000 a year if you throw in a few sundries like screenwash/etc and a contribution to a service every 3 years or so.

That £1000/year should go a long way.

The obvious replacement is Zipcar (there are 20 or so within a mile or so of where we live), and we have the added benefit of being grandfathered in to lifetime Zipcar membership with no annual fee as we were early/"founder" members of Streetcar. We would end up needing to pay £75/year (joint policy) in separate (non-Zipcar) Car Hire Excess Insurance though as we've been burned once by the car being damaged by someone else after our hire had finished but before the next person's hire began.

We do the majority of our shopping on foot (or me by bike) as we pick up things whenever we go past. The occasional big shops we do in the car (for heavy items like washing powder, bulk purchase of tins/booze, etc) can easily be replaced by ad hoc deliveries.

Ironically one of the biggest benefits to owning it is being the insurance covering me to drive other cars (albeit only 3rd party) but this isn't a regular occurrence and we can plan around it.

(2001 Citroen Saxo 1.1L Petrol. Insurance = £250, VED = £160, on-street parking = £160, MOT = £50. I doubt I could make this any cheaper. I could park it 400 yards away where there are no parking restrictions and save myself £160/year although I'd probably annoy the local residents there and insurance might go up as I'm not parking it outside my property. I could replace it with a much cheaper to tax car but buying a car for under £100 would be a gamble, I know this car has been well looked after.)
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 23, 2019, 04:36:24 pm

As an exercise, work out how much that is costing you per hour of use, and per kilometre driven.

Many people use a car because it's there. If you have to think "it's gonna cost me €5 per hour to use this car to goto Ikea, maybe I'll take the train at about €3 each way".


But until we realise that public transport needs to be there to transport the public, rather than to make money, it's not going to change car ownership much.

J
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: De Sisti on October 23, 2019, 04:43:33 pm
But until we realise that public transport needs to be there to transport the public, rather than to make money, it's not going to change car ownership much.
Too true. Integrated public transport in Berlin was great when I was there (91 - 93). I assume there was much public subsidy to make it popular.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 23, 2019, 04:45:43 pm
But until we realise that public transport needs to be there to transport the public, rather than to make money, it's not going to change car ownership much.
Too true. Integrated public transport in Berlin was great when I was there (91 - 93). I assume there was much
public subsidy to make it popular.

Also economy of scale, but even then it doesn't really cover all options, doesn't necessarily run late enough, early enough, can require routes that go in and then out, etc... and if you want to get to $village, for 0800 on a Sunday, good luck!

J
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: FifeingEejit on October 23, 2019, 04:55:43 pm
Even when there's a good combination of public transport it can all go to pot through geography and timetables.

The biggest killer for me is I don't work in the town centre.
When I worked at the hospital the bus was about the same thanks to the distance you had to park away from the entrance, but then the bus company cancelled the buses that worked for me.

Here's the bus combination I'd need to use to get to my current workplace.
Traveline Scotland Journey Plan
From: Dundee International Sports Centre, Mains Loan, Dundee,  DD47AA
To: Wormit, Opp Post Office On Naughton Road
Departure time: 23/10/2019, 18:06
Arrival Time: 23/10/2019, 18:55
Details:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leg 1
Leave Dundee International Sports Centre, at 18:06 (Not actually my work but it appears in the planner, I get kicked out for the day at 1800)
Arrive Stobswell, near Morgan Academy on Forfar Road at 18:10
Mode: WALK

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leg 2
Leave Stobswell, near Morgan Academy on Forfar Road at 18:10
Arrive Dundee City Centre, at Marks and Spencer on Seagate at 18:15
Mode: BUS
Operator: Stagecoach East Scotland

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leg 3
Leave Dundee City Centre, at Marks and Spencer on Seagate at 18:15
Arrive Dundee City Centre, at Gellatly Street on Seagate at 18:15
Mode: WALK
This is basically changing bus stops, it's also the most polluted road in Dundee

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leg 4
Leave Dundee City Centre, at Gellatly Street on Seagate at 18:30
Arrive Vomit at 18:46
Mode: BUS
Operator: Moffat + Williamson

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leg 5
Leave Bus Shelter at 18:46
Arrive Hame 18:55
Mode: WALK
Walk directions:
   Walk 1km towards the hoose
Arrive around 10 minutes later


As we have integrated bus ticketing across all operators, that's 14.90 a week or 4.30 a day.


I can drive it under 20 mins
It's either 5.9 miles of town driving or 7.9 of a mix of town and country
a rather pathetic 30mpg...  = 0.26 of a gal which is erm 1.21l each way (the hill up will be discounted by the roll down) at £1.30 = £3.14 in fuel.

I budget 1500 a year to cover costs (VED, Insurance, MOT, repairs, consumables) so £4 a day.

So that's £7.25 a day to stay in bed an extra half hour a day and to go shopping at 2am when I feel like it.


I can cycle it in 30mins but it's a rubbish cycle up the hill and is bang on the border of "cycle in normal clothes" and "cycle in cycling kit".
I was hoping we'd move to a new office in the town centre (because there's lots of them being built) or back to the hospital but the for sale sign is still on the fence outside.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 23, 2019, 05:08:45 pm
Even when there's a good combination of public transport it can all go to pot.

<snip>

Arrive around 10 minutes later

I can drive it under 20 mins

How fast can you cycle it?

Recently GVB changed the timetables for all the public transport in Amsterdam that isn't run by NS. As a result it made all my journey's longer due to shit connections. It's meant I've done a lot more cycling than I used to in the city. Apart from going to the cinema (they don't like me taking the Brompton in), I pretty much just use the Brompton now if it's within Amsterdam.

They replaced what was a direct tram on one common journey I make, with either 2 metro's + 500m walk (faster, but 50% more expensive), or various combinations of 2-4 trams, which are cheaper, but take anything from 10-30 minutes longer. I can cycle it in the same time as the 2 metro/walk combo...

I actually got really annoyed with GVB about this, as they managed to somehow effect every single common journey I took by tram in the city, a single change can add upto 10 minutes to a 25 minute journey, and often a journey needs 2-4 changes, each of at least 5 minutes. But then it's ridiculously cheap compared to London, and at least it kinda works. Just annoyed they managed to embody Verschlimmbessern so well :(

J
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: FifeingEejit on October 23, 2019, 05:12:54 pm
did a bit of updating there, included cycling time.

Once into Dundee starting at river level in the lift of the bridge, (thanks to the OS kindly putting a spot height at the junction next to the office) just under 92m of climb in just over 1km, on a main road out of town.
I rode it I think once before deciding I'd need to extend the ride significantly to make it worthwhile, so I rode to St Andrews and back twice, and then gave up in favour of either staying in bed longer in the morning or getting out at night after work.


I suspect my normal usage pattern, (provided I continued to be able to gain access to other vehicles with decent range) would suit an Electric quite well but sadly not motorized abstinence.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Greenbank on October 23, 2019, 05:26:27 pm
As an exercise, work out how much that is costing you per hour of use, and per kilometre driven.

Many people use a car because it's there. If you have to think "it's gonna cost me €5 per hour to use this car to goto Ikea, maybe I'll take the train at about €3 each way".

That doesn't really help me much as my car usage is atypical. I don't commute in it (I cycle/run or take public transport) and everywhere we go that we can go that public transport is possible/reasonable we generally already do.

It's the remaining journeys that I'm interested in, where public transport is impractical or impossible.

Anything other than the car tends to be more expensive in terms of tickets or time.

For example:-

I could drive 40 miles each way to see my brother and his family, if my car costs me £1000 a year for 2000 miles usage all in, then 80 miles has a realistic cost of £40. Via public transport it's £60 in train fares for the 3 of us (no advance fares available for this journey) and then we're still 5 miles from his house, a taxi would be another £10-£15 each way. A bus for the last section is sometimes possible but unreliable, plus it puts the entire journey up from 45 minutes to 2h30m. A compromise would be him driving to pick us up and drop us off to/from the local station, but that introduces a burden for him.

Luckily he has now moved to within walking distance a station and so that £60 in train fares represents better value, I'm happy to pay £20 extra not to have to drive even if I arrive a bit later and sweatier having had to walk the last 1.5 miles (including goading a grumpy 9yo into doing so).

Taking a local car load of stuff to the local tip is only a 4 mile round trip (£2 in car costs at the above rate) but the equivalent in a Zipcar would be at least £8 as you can't reliably do it in under an hour in case there's a big queue at the tip. Getting the stuff picked up by a rubbish/removals company would be way more than £8 and you run this risk of cowboys just fly-tipping it somewhere, plus at those prices its not worth the effort for them (and many don't even recycle but just shovel it into landfill). I could cycle it to the tip but it would be many many loads and would be free only if I ignore my time (I'd rather spend time with my family).

As I said I'm lucky that I'm in London and public transport is amazing. I don't even think about it if I need to get to anywhere else in London at any other time. Trains run from ~6am to midnight. The underground similarly (and some lines even have a 24h service). For really obscure times there's a reasonable night bus service.

Yet it still, just about, makes economic sense for me to continue to own a car that costs £620/year before it ever moves a mile.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 23, 2019, 05:40:38 pm
That doesn't really help me much as my car usage is atypical. I don't commute in it (I cycle/run or take public transport) and everywhere we go that we can go that public transport is possible/reasonable we generally already do.

It's the remaining journeys that I'm interested in, where public transport is impractical or impossible.

Anything other than the car tends to be more expensive in terms of tickets or time.

For example:-

I could drive 40 miles each way to see my brother and his family, if my car costs me £1000 a year for 2000 miles usage all in, then 80 miles has a realistic cost of £40. Via public transport it's £60 in train fares for the 3 of us (no advance fares) and then we're still 5 miles from his house, a taxi would be another £10-£15 each way. A bus for the last section is sometimes possible but unreliable, plus it puts the entire journey up from 45 minutes to 2h30m. A compromise would be him driving to pick us up and drop us off to/from the local station, but that introduces a burden for him.

Luckily he has now moved to within walking distance a station and so that £60 in train fares represents better value, I'm happy to pay £20 extra not to have to drive even if I arrive a bit later and sweatier having had to walk the last 1.5 miles (including goading a grumpy 9yo into doing so).

Taking a local car load of stuff to the local tip is only a 4 mile round trip (£2 in car costs at the above rate) but the equivalent in a Zipcar would be at least £8 as you can't reliably do it in under an hour in case there's a big queue at the tip. Getting the stuff picked up by a rubbish/removals company would be way more than £8 and you run this risk of cowboys just fly-tipping it somewhere, plus at those prices its not worth the effort for them (and many don't even recycle but just shovel it into landfill). I could cycle it to the tip but it would be many many loads and would be free only if I ignore my time (I'd rather spend time with my family).

As I said I'm lucky that I'm in London and public transport is amazing. I don't even think about it if I need to get to anywhere else in London at any other time. Trains run from ~6am to midnight. The underground similarly (and some lines even have a 24h service). For really obscure times there's a reasonable night bus service.

Yet it still, just about, makes economic sense for me to continue to own a car that costs £620/year before it ever moves a mile.

I'd say you're more lucky that your vehicle running costs are so stupidly low. That's a really good deal that breaks all my usual maths examples...

J
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Paul H on October 23, 2019, 05:58:08 pm
It's a lifestyle choice, not everything has to be about money!
SORN the car for six months and see if you miss it.  On one else can answer that one for you.
I stopped owning a car in 1999, miss if far less than I thought I would, yet wouldn't rule out having another and I don't have many regrets for the time I ran one, life changes.

Writing this has made me realise I've now lived without a car for as long as with, that must be worth some sort of reward... wanders off to look at bikes...
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 23, 2019, 06:05:00 pm

I've never owned a car. I've been fortunate enough to be put on other peoples insurance so I could drive their cars, but never owned one myself.

Read into that what you like.

J
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: hellymedic on October 23, 2019, 06:10:43 pm
We don't have a car.
David can't drive & I won't drive as I don't feel safe.
London's transport is brilliant, as you say.
We get Sainsbury's deliveries (Anytime Pass is £60 for a year) and cabs as needed.
I think we're quids in.

Dad Did The Sums when he wrote off his car a few years ago and Mum felt he was unsafe to keep driving. He reckoned he'd save a lot not driving.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Greenbank on October 23, 2019, 06:12:17 pm
SORN the car for six months and see if you miss it.

That's not really the point of this thread (I'm not really sure what the point of this thread is actually).

I can't SORN it as I don't have anywhere to store it off the road, so I'd have to pay for that. Seems counter-productive. I may also lose no-claims continuity and so reinsuring it if I got it back on the road might end up costing me more.

There's little point in the experiment anyway as I know I can happily live without it.

I guess my point was that I've got my car usage down to the point where it's no real difference between owning it (and paying for all of those costs) or not owning it and paying a roughly equivalent amount of money to Zipcar (and a bit to taxis/Uber). Given this, what is the pressing need to get rid of it?

(It's not a burden on parking around here, despite being in SW London I'd say the parking bays around me are rarely ever above 20% occupancy. I don't live somewhere where you end up having to drive around for 10 minutes to find somewhere to park ending up 3 roads away.)

This is the first ever car that I've owned[1] and I only own it because it was being given to me, although I could easily have said no (or got rid of it since). Only ever owned motorbikes before this.

1. Well, technically not, when my brother had two cars he put one in my name so I could get a parking permit for it.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Kim on October 23, 2019, 06:13:54 pm
I owned a car for a bit, which I think was a valuable learning-to-drive experience.  Didn't really use it enough.  Then I re-discovered bicycles.

I've occasionally borrowed or hired cars and vans for the uncommon journeys[1].  Currently a member of Co-Wheels car club, which allows me to have use of cars that are better quality (reliability, comfort, lower emissions) than anything I'd willingly spend money on, and don't get vandalised[2] by the revelling BloodyStudents when parked outside our house doing nothing.

My main annoyance is that they've expanded the Birmingham fleet, to the effect that the useful larger vehicles have migrated into the city centre, to be replaced with assorted Yarises (which are okay, but small) and Aygos (which is a car for people who need a coat and a bicycle).  And that the Nissan Leaf went back to the lease company to be replaced by multiple mild hybrids, on pragmatic economic grounds.

AIUI, barakta is eligible for motability.  We're hoping it won't come to that, as she can't drive herself.


[1] Mostly camping trips, HPV races, missions requiring tools and materials, and driving people to/from hospitals.
[2] Or, more accurately, when they do get vandalised, I don't have to deal with it.

Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Paul H on October 23, 2019, 06:16:04 pm
Given this, what is the pressing need to get rid of it?
There isn't one, you've asked and answered your own question.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Jurek on October 23, 2019, 06:37:38 pm
It's a lifestyle choice, not everything has to be about money!
SORN the car for six months and see if you miss it.  On one else can answer that one for you.
I stopped owning a car in 1999, miss if far less than I thought I would, yet wouldn't rule out having another and I don't have many regrets for the time I ran one, life changes.

Writing this has made me realise I've now lived without a car for as long as with, that must be worth some sort of reward... wanders off to look at bikes...
I've been car-less since 1992 and the motorbike went around 5 years ago.
As Helly and others have implied London, where I live, has an excellent public transport service.
Can I ask whereabouts you live, Paul H?
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Paul H on October 23, 2019, 11:00:45 pm
Can I ask whereabouts you live, Paul H?
Derby - a couple of miles from the centre, well served by buses including one that runs 24hr though they're all expensive, on the right side of town for the railway station, on the bike path, and within walking distance of a co-wheels car.  Until it collapsed a few months ago, also within walking distance of an elec bike hire docking station.
It is an easy place to be car free, but that isn't entirely a coincidence, it was one of the things considered before deciding to live here.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: fd3 on October 23, 2019, 11:46:00 pm
I could drive 40 miles each way to see my brother and his family, if my car costs me £1000 a year for 2000 miles usage all in, then 80 miles has a realistic cost of £40. Via public transport it's £60 in train fares for the 3 of us
So, how much would it cost to hire a car for the day?  If you were part of a car-hire club would those costs be lass annually than your car?
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 23, 2019, 11:56:04 pm
I could drive 40 miles each way to see my brother and his family, if my car costs me £1000 a year for 2000 miles usage all in, then 80 miles has a realistic cost of £40. Via public transport it's £60 in train fares for the 3 of us
So, how much would it cost to hire a car for the day?  If you were part of a car-hire club would those costs be lass annually than your car?

Assuming for simplicity, £1 == €1, I pay €49 for a days use of a car, and then about €0.15 per km, or I can pay €6.95 per hour, and the same per km. (I could pay slightly less on each, but then I'd pay a monthly membership, rather than free, and then it would need use it more to make it worth while).

So assuming 100km in a day, that's €64 per day. Need it for less than 15 days, and greenwheels is cheaper.

If you aren't lucky enough to have such a low TCOO as greenbank, then it would be even more cost effective.

Most hire companies offer a good weekend rate, if you need a car for one weekend a month, and your car more than €1200 a year, it's probably more cost effective to hire one...

J
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Greenbank on October 24, 2019, 10:02:56 am
I could drive 40 miles each way to see my brother and his family, if my car costs me £1000 a year for 2000 miles usage all in, then 80 miles has a realistic cost of £40. Via public transport it's £60 in train fares for the 3 of us
So, how much would it cost to hire a car for the day?  If you were part of a car-hire club would those costs be lass annually than your car?

£70/day for the cheapest Zipcar which includes 60 miles free/day. Additional miles are 25p. So that would be £75.

Renting a car from someone like Budget is ~£50/day even for their smallest car and doesn't include petrol (which would probably be around £8). It's a lot more faff (in time and effort) than Zipcar though. Zipcar I can book one and be driving it within minutes, returning it is just a case of parking up and getting out. I also only have to walk a few hundred meters to get to/from it. Renting a car means a 10 minute walk either end and then the endless "tappity tap, tappity tap, pause, tappity tap" paperwork faff at the office, returning it is often more work to avoid them claiming there was damage.

If I want to rent a car and return it on a Sunday I also have to factor in 30 minutes travel each way (including a 10 minute train journey) as my local rental car office doesn't open on a Sunday.

As I said above, dumping the car and using Zipcar/uber/taxi only when necessary would probably cost about the same annually.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Jakob W on October 24, 2019, 10:38:44 am
I don't run a car, partly out of conviction, but mainly because - though I've had a license for two decades now - I've never owned one, so the insurance would be a killer for the first couple of years. I've always assumed the cost of running a car would be a couple of grand a year, which buys a lot of taxis (my OH has a chronic condition, so on bad days will take a minicab into work and back - cost under a tenner). AFAIK there aren't any car club vehicles anywhere nearby, but the local Enterprise car rental is 15 minutes walk away, and their day rates are between about £20 and £50, so I tend to use them when I need a vehicle for holidays etc. I suspect I spend about a grand a year on car rentals and petrol, though for short local stuff (a run to the tip or whatever where I can't use the cargo bike) I can usually borrow my dad's car.

If I could run a car for a grand a year I'd probably do it, mainly because the marginal cost of journeys is then basically petrol; there's enough places round here for days out with my kids that are about 25 minutes by car, but up to 2 hours on public transport. At present that just means we only go when we've got a car for a couple of days for other reasons.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: ian on October 24, 2019, 11:00:22 am
I've yet to get around to learning to drive in the UK and I don't think I will (in part, because if I can, I probably will). We like having a car just because. Money isn't an issue and it's a cheap model in its twelfth year. Beyond occasional convenience, losing it would have no impact on my life, as I generally walk, cycle or take the bus and train. Of course, these are possible is a purposeful choice on our part. We did contemplate moving further afield but also that we'd then be reliant on driving to do practically anything. These are the choices we make, and of course, by encouraging car-dependence at every turn, it's become a lot harder to make those choices. Wander by any of those scabrous new edge-of-town housing developments, you'll note one thing, cars. There might be a nod to occasional bus service, or a train station 20 minutes away, or a half-hearted painted bicycle on the pavement, but really, it's car or car.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Paul H on October 24, 2019, 11:25:05 am
The costs of having a car from Co-wheels
Elec Renault Zoe is £5.50 an hr or £38.50 a day, no mileage fee as long as you recharge at their specified charging points.
Yaris Hybrid is the same rate plus 18p a mile
There are other cars, but I haven't used them yet, there's also an overnight option (8-8) for 30% of the day rate and the day rate covers any 24hr period, so if you time it right you can have the car 36hr for £50.
Other costs  - £25 joining fee, £5 a month minimum spend, if you want to protect yourself from the high excess you're better off with a third party insurance, I pay £28 a year which covers any hire.
I've only been a member a couple of months and used it three times, I like the hourly option and the set mileage fee, though for the rare trips longer than a couple of days I still think the local car hire company will do me a better deal.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: quixoticgeek on October 24, 2019, 11:35:23 am

For those of you who own cars, what are the economics of your car ownership?

J
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on October 24, 2019, 11:53:45 am

For those of you who own cars, what are the economics of your car ownership?

J
Previously, it went like this:

Purchase: approx £1000
Insurance: £200
Repairs(incl MoT):£400 (usually much lower, but some years included tyres, so I'm rounding up)
VED: £155
Fuel: £2000


Replacement car
Purchase: approx £8500
Insurance: not sure
Repairs(incl MoT):£0
VED: £30
Fuel: £1400
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Greenbank on October 24, 2019, 11:58:32 am
I don't run a car, partly out of conviction, but mainly because - though I've had a license for two decades now - I've never owned one, so the insurance would be a killer for the first couple of years.

It's only a killer if you're young. As a 40yo with no NCD my first year's insurance (fully comp) was only £400, including my wife as a named driver. It's down to under £250 now after 3 years.

(It's a cheap car though - the car is valued at less than the excess. Parked on the road in SW London.)
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: ian on October 24, 2019, 12:05:49 pm
Our car, ~£6000 new in 2006. Whatever the VED is on a 900cc car. Insurance about £250/year. It does <1000 miles/year, so a couple of tanks of fuel.

Repairs to date: a new set of tyres and a replacement battery. Get's the usual annual MOT and service. Probably costs us under a £1000/year.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: DuncanM on October 24, 2019, 01:18:14 pm

For those of you who own cars, what are the economics of your car ownership?

J
I do approx 12,000 miles a year, mixed driving with relatively few longer distances.

Previous daily (diesel):
Cost £1000 (depreciate to 0 over 3 years)
Repairs/servicing & MOT: £500 pa
Tax £300? pa
Insurance: £250 pa
Fuel - 15p per mile. Approx £1800

Current daily (electric):
Cost £17k (2 years on worth at least £14k)
Repairs/servicing/MOT: £200 pa
Tax £0pa
Insurance £250pa
Fuel: 4p per mile. Approx £480

Servicing costs for the EV are high because the EV tyres are expensive. Fronts last around 20,000 miles, backs about twice that. Oh yeah, and I've been an AA member since I started driving and got a banger - £60pa maybe?

Alternatives don't abound with my current job/house. My wife doesn't drive so gets the bus to school, but I drive our daughter (until next year when she goes to secondary school, assuming she gets into a local one), and then go onto work about 15 miles away. Earliest drop off is 8am, latest collection is 5:45pm, so combining that with cycling and working 9-5:30 is basically impossible.
Most frequent longer distances are for doing cyclocross. I don't know if you can get away with a hire car, multiple super dirty bikes and parking in a field. I'm currently wondering if I would have been better off getting a petrol van/pickup and an older EV for the majority of journeys (instead of my 150 mile range EV). Running the math makes the old petrol/diesel cheaper, but I got fed up of having a banger.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: grams on October 24, 2019, 05:57:24 pm
For those regularly using Zipcar (etc) what’s availability like when you need it? When I was a member (Years ago) it was a nightmare getting one anywhere nearby at short notice or on a busy weekend.

(Another factor not mentioned is that many of my car journeys involve a dog that sheds white hairs everywhere she goes, which is a car rental return desk’s dream)
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: De Sisti on October 24, 2019, 07:21:33 pm

For those of you who own cars, what are the economics of your car ownership?

J
I suppose we all could have bought cheapers cars; just like we all could have bought less
expensive stuff, like accomodation, shoes, tvs, phones, etc etc.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Kim on October 24, 2019, 07:45:27 pm
For those regularly using Zipcar (etc) what’s availability like when you need it? When I was a member (Years ago) it was a nightmare getting one anywhere nearby at short notice or on a busy weekend.

Mostly fine, but I rarely book them at short notice.

Looking at availability for a couple of hours from 8:00 tomorrow morning, two of the local cars are booked out, as is the van in the city centre.

If I want one all weekend, I still have several to choose from, but a slightly longer Brompton trip to pick one up.

Just tried for 20th-30th December, and surprisingly nearly everything's available.  That won't last.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: sojournermike on October 31, 2019, 12:56:19 am

For those of you who own cars, what are the economics of your car ownership?

J
I suppose we all could have bought cheapers cars; just like we all could have bought less
expensive stuff, like accomodation, shoes, tvs, phones, etc etc.

Say swap the Pinarello for one of these?

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/frames/small-52cm-700c-singlespeed-steel-frame-raw-finish/ (https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/frames/small-52cm-700c-singlespeed-steel-frame-raw-finish/)


I seem to do about 20k miles most years. At that rate, the Tesla will cost less overall than the running costs of it's predecessor over the same mileage. Most of that is a 20,000+ * 18 pence per mile saving (I budgeted on £3,000 per year), but there are other elements and the fact that it's a company lease with no BIK charge from April. It doesn't, however, have a towbar or a cave for a boot, although I understand I can get roof bars.

Duncan, you need to change electricity supplier if your EV is costing you 4p per mile:) Octopus Go seems worthwhile up here - 5p/kWh between 0030 and 0430 and just under 13p/kWh otherwise. That's giving me well under 2p/mile most of the time and the higher days are somewhat offset by free charging when I'm out. I have a loyalty code (£50 each) if you do look into it - https://share.octopus.energy/harsh-shark-130 (https://share.octopus.energy/harsh-shark-130)

Mike
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: matthew on November 01, 2019, 02:12:47 pm
But until we realise that public transport needs to be there to transport the public, rather than to make money, it's not going to change car ownership much.
Too true. Integrated public transport in Berlin was great when I was there (91 - 93). I assume there was much
public subsidy to make it popular.

Also economy of scale, but even then it doesn't really cover all options, doesn't necessarily run late enough, early enough, can require routes that go in and then out, etc... and if you want to get to $village, for 0800 on a Sunday, good luck!

J

I can't even get to London for 9 am on a Sunday morning. First train from Bracknell is 8:14 and arrives at Waterloo about 9:10, when it's running and not diverted or rail replacement bussed. When I cook for lunch for church I need to be there for 9:15 or earlier and it's just not possible by public transport without driving to a different rail line.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: quixoticgeek on November 01, 2019, 10:33:09 pm
Also economy of scale, but even then it doesn't really cover all options, doesn't necessarily run late enough, early enough, can require routes that go in and then out, etc... and if you want to get to $village, for 0800 on a Sunday, good luck!

I can't even get to London for 9 am on a Sunday morning. First train from Bracknell is 8:14 and arrives at Waterloo about 9:10, when it's running and not diverted or rail replacement bussed. When I cook for lunch for church I need to be there for 9:15 or earlier and it's just not possible by public transport without driving to a different rail line.
[/quote]

Yep, very few (tbh, I'm not sure of any) public transport systems support really early Sunday morning services, and it's a problem.

The pubic transport operators will say it's not economical. But the flaw in that is that for many there will be one journey they make regularly that can't be done with anything but a car, so they hang on to the car, and because they have it, they use it for other trips. It's a bit like how Beeching fucked up many train lines by looking at ticket sales at the station. Not many people buy a ticket from $CoastalResort, but a lot of people do buy tickets to $CoastalResort.

Public transport needs to be run primarily to transport the public. Until we do this, it's gonna be very hard for many to give up their cars.

J
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: FifeingEejit on November 01, 2019, 11:24:05 pm

For those of you who own cars, what are the economics of your car ownership?

J
Purchase price £750
Post Bambi repairs £750

Annual costs
Ved £300
Mot £35
Road Insurance £230
Breakdown insurance RAC 80
Fuel, 300 miles to a 60l tank, ~10000 miles a year, and having a trick engine needs 98 Ron or potenter fuel... £1.33 per litre... Is Erm 2.666 grand

So around 3.2 grand a year, as I budget 100 quid a month for repairs and insurance.
It eats roughly 2 tyres a year with the front and back being cycled with swaps from winter to summer and v.v.
Summer tyres around 35 quid off a mate in the trade and 65 for winters

I'd be 440 for commuting bus tickets and around 160 in reading material but an hour and 20 more time travelling a day which I could cycle instead... But the rides shit.

Sent from my BKL-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Paul H on November 02, 2019, 12:37:19 am
I can't even get to London for 9 am on a Sunday morning. First train from Bracknell is 8:14 and arrives at Waterloo about 9:10, when it's running and not diverted or rail replacement bussed. When I cook for lunch for church I need to be there for 9:15 or earlier and it's just not possible by public transport without driving to a different rail line.
Yes, if you have to go to a church 40 miles from home and you have to be the one who starts the cooking and that meal has to be something that takes that long and that mealtime has to be that inflexible then of course you have to drive.
Those who choose not to drive have had to make other choices and sometimes compromises to make that a possibility.  I'm not criticising your choice to drive, you'd rightly tell me it's none of my business, I am critical of the idea that it's the only option, though occasionally it is.
Title: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: perpetual dan on November 02, 2019, 09:00:37 am
Our car costs about £2300 a year, to tax, insure, aa, service, mot, fix the thing that goes wrong, and save up to replace it over 5 years. Petrol I haven’t recorded, and probably varies a fair bit from month to month. We do under 10k miles a year, with almost no commuting. I can justify some of the miles with ferrying people plus brass instruments about on a Sunday, tip trips and collecting my partner from mid Sussex when trains aren’t really working. But there’s some selective memory in that for sure. However, there’s a lot that is with bike unfriendly luggage and/or doing because public transport can’t. When we replaced it last the economics of car club weren’t quite there - but close.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on November 02, 2019, 11:30:34 am
I think the most obvious solution to this debate, is to run the car until it becomes uneconomical to repair / stolen/ written off etc, then cash it in for scrap, then do nothing and see how you cpe for 3-6 months. If it becoms a pain, then buy another small  cheap car, but park it 400 yds away, and save £160 a year x 3 years = almost £500..... :o :o :o.......10 years........£1600.... :o :o :o :facepalm: ::-)

I am a serial 'not paying for parking' person.  I think that honestly, in 20 years of me and swmbo being together, local, holidays, days out, foreign travel, we have paid for parking maybe 9 times, the 10th one, well, we were in St Ives, and could not find a space,so gave in, and pulled into a carpark, only to find someone pulling out of the only available space, wind down their window, and hand me a ticket with 3 hours left on it (in the days  before you had to enter your reg number). Result!   Why pay £160 a year, its not like you use it every day.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: matthew on November 02, 2019, 12:05:13 pm
I can't even get to London for 9 am on a Sunday morning. First train from Bracknell is 8:14 and arrives at Waterloo about 9:10, when it's running and not diverted or rail replacement bussed. When I cook for lunch for church I need to be there for 9:15 or earlier and it's just not possible by public transport without driving to a different rail line.
Yes, if you have to go to a church 40 miles from home and you have to be the one who starts the cooking and that meal has to be something that takes that long and that mealtime has to be that inflexible then of course you have to drive.
Those who choose not to drive have had to make other choices and sometimes compromises to make that a possibility.  I'm not criticising your choice to drive, you'd rightly tell me it's none of my business, I am critical of the idea that it's the only option, though occasionally it is.

Paul, I understand the choice I make when I volunteer on a rota at that church 30 miles from home. We make a three course lunch every Sunday from fresh, that has to be largely prepared before going into the service at 11. However this is a church that I have had links with for my whole life and where I feel very at home.

My comment was more around on any day but Sunday I can be there by public transport by 7am and be confident the service will operate and not on a diversion.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 02, 2019, 12:09:36 pm
The pubic transport operators will say it's not economical.
Does Mr Freud run those buses?

(I'm kind of amazed no one picked this up before. The forum is slipping.)
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: fd3 on November 02, 2019, 12:29:17 pm
In Brum a bus pass is ~£700 a year, trains will be more expensive.  This is what I compare my bike budget to every year, with a view that if I come in under 50% I can afford a "new*" bike every few years.  I have no car and never had one, but my wife has one for emergency driving and trips to in-laws etc.  We probably break even on car hire/taxis, but we have a family of 5 and there is only one small car model that would fit three kids in the back with two car seats.  The car costs about the same as a bus pass every year before petrol, but gets used so infrequently that it still comes in at ~£1000 a year.

*to me
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: arabella on November 02, 2019, 08:49:14 pm
Fixed cost = ved, insurance, some MOT
how much per mile of completely unavoidable driving?
Does it cost in over hiring/zip car etc?
tbh I've never done the sums, but with hiring I only have the mental load of 'ownership' during a hire and not the rest of the time. No need to clean/arrange servicing etc at all. Plus I've now discovered you can get insurance instead of going for the generally costly excess waiver.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Kim on November 02, 2019, 08:54:19 pm
tbh I've never done the sums, but with hiring I only have the mental load of 'ownership' during a hire and not the rest of the time. No need to clean/arrange servicing etc at all. Plus I've now discovered you can get insurance instead of going for the generally costly excess waiver.

This counts as a big advantage for me, especially with living in a vandalism-prone area.

There's a similar advantage to a car club over traditional hire company, in that you only have to make a booking on a website and then turn up, rather than faff about deal with hire company oiks and their unreliability/paperwork/upselling/pedantry.  And you don't waste money on fuel you don't need.  You do occasionally have to top up the screenwash.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: tatanab on November 02, 2019, 09:03:10 pm
Does it cost in over hiring/zip car etc?
tbh I've never done the sums, but with hiring I only have the mental load of 'ownership' during a hire and not the rest of the time. No need to clean/arrange servicing etc at all. Plus I've now discovered you can get insurance instead of going for the generally costly excess waiver.
However, there are things that many of us want a motor vehicle for which you would not do in a rental.  Loading it up with great sacks of oozing garden cuttings a couple of times a year.  My fixed costs (VED, MOT, insurance, RAC membership) come to £620 this year and I suppose I might have spent £200 in fuel.  Car seldom moves if it does not do 50 miles or more.  A work colleague was amazed a few weeks ago when I said that I had used my car that weekend (200 mile round trip)  and wasn't planning on using it again until early February.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: DuncanM on November 02, 2019, 09:23:44 pm
Duncan, you need to change electricity supplier if your EV is costing you 4p per mile:) Octopus Go seems worthwhile up here - 5p/kWh between 0030 and 0430 and just under 13p/kWh otherwise. That's giving me well under 2p/mile most of the time and the higher days are somewhat offset by free charging when I'm out. I have a loyalty code (£50 each) if you do look into it - https://share.octopus.energy/harsh-shark-130 (https://share.octopus.energy/harsh-shark-130)
Ecotricity is basically 15p/kWh. I don't have a smart meter, and I'm in no rush to get one. We have solar, so all summer daytime charging is subsidised (I don't have a Zappi, so it's not properly free), and we do the Feed in Tariff through them too. Plus every motorway charge is half price (that probably doesn't even pay for the coffee!). If I look at moving, I'll use your link,
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: hubner on November 02, 2019, 09:36:49 pm
Isn't all this back to front?

People do things because they have a car which otherwise would not be possible or practicable, eg choose to live in the middle of nowhere with no public transport for miles, travel 40miles to cook lunch on a Sunday morning  etc, and then they say they their car is essential and they have to drive.

The problem with car ownership is it costs you money even if you don't use it. Most people when they've got a car are going to drive everywhere. And why would't they? Public transport, on the whole, is shit. Even in London.

Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: nicknack on November 02, 2019, 09:43:39 pm
Last 2 cars (Nissan Almera and Peugeot 307) lasted 10 years apiece. Went mad in March and got a Fiat 500L with 7,000 on the clock for £10k. Done about 12,000 since then. I would love to have gone electric but I'm living on a state pension supplemented by gigging, which is where most of the mileage comes from, and to get an electric that would guarantee 120 miles in the middle of winter (round trip to a gig) is out of my price range. The alternative is to give up what I like doing most and I'm not, at the moment, prepared to do that. I've no idea what my annual costs are. It's unimportant cos I'm going to pay it anyway. Until I run out of money.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: FifeingEejit on November 02, 2019, 09:45:05 pm
Isn't all this back to front?

People do things because they have a car which otherwise would not be possible or practicable, eg choose to live in the middle of nowhere with no public transport for miles, travel 40miles to cook lunch on a Sunday morning  etc, and then they say they their car is essential and they have to drive.

The problem with car ownership is it costs you money even if you don't use it. Most people when they've got a car are going to drive everywhere. And why would't they? Public transport, on the whole, is shit. Even in London.
Sort of, but all the jobs that were still doable 5 miles out of town moved into town when mass transport arrived.
That's railways and reliable passenger ships BTW, where I live has been a commuter town for Dundee since the NBR opened a bridge... And then reopened it a few years later.
The next village along was for even longer because the mill owners and other minted non aristocratic people could afford to take the ferry every day and their previous ghetto was getting a bit smoggy for some reason...

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Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: De Sisti on November 03, 2019, 07:01:37 am
People do things because they have a car which otherwise would not be possible or practicable, eg choose to live in the middle of nowhere with no public transport for miles,
Unfair to criticise people for this. Having a home that they like is more important. Everything
else is secondary.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Greenbank on November 03, 2019, 09:45:01 am
but park it 400 yds away

Which is massively antisocial. There is almost no competition for parking spaces near my flat[1] but I have to pay £160/year for that. If I want to park it for free then sure it is only 400 yards but as soon as you get to the border of the controlled parking zone there's very little parking because there's dense housing and lots of cars: https://goo.gl/maps/f6TV1MeUS1WzULMW8

So I could save £160 a year but that would come at the expense of increased inconvenience to other people. I'm not willing to do that.

1. I think I've had to park it more than 20 yards away from the ideal spot about three times in 3 years.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: grams on November 03, 2019, 10:04:57 am
Unfair to criticise people for this. Having a home that they like is more important. Everything
else is secondary.

Does that also apply to people whose homes they like will be underwater in the near future?
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: ian on November 03, 2019, 12:09:33 pm
People do things because they have a car which otherwise would not be possible or practicable, eg choose to live in the middle of nowhere with no public transport for miles,
Unfair to criticise people for this. Having a home that they like is more important. Everything
else is secondary.

But the point is that it's a choice you've made (and one other people have to subsidize). We made a choice to live near a train station and public transport vs. a place in the country. Maybe we'll remake that choice at some point in the future.

It's a valid point, people expect to always be able to do what they want, when they want, and perhaps sometimes things just are impracticable. Our reliance on cars has certainly made public transport less tenable, but really sometimes I think we have to be willing to compromise and build lifestyles around what we can do and when we can do it.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Kim on November 03, 2019, 12:21:09 pm
People do things because they have a car which otherwise would not be possible or practicable, eg choose to live in the middle of nowhere with no public transport for miles,
Unfair to criticise people for this. Having a home that they like is more important. Everything
else is secondary.

But the point is that it's a choice you've made (and one other people have to subsidize). We made a choice to live near a train station and public transport vs. a place in the country. Maybe we'll remake that choice at some point in the future.

And many people don't get to make that choice, because driving isn't an option.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: ian on November 03, 2019, 01:31:20 pm
Indeed, by building a car-dependent society we've effectively disenfranchised those who can't participate. I remember some years ago, my wife was working in New Jersey and I flew over to visit here. There was a train from NYC to nearby and it looked like an easy stroll to get there (and I take a curious enjoyment from being the only pedestrian in American suburbia). Of course, her hotel was situated with no pedestrian access, but I noticed a path down an embankment, through some trees and then a neat cut-through chainlink fence around the hotel property. Evidently, that was how car-less hotel workers got to their place of work, which is sad if you think about that. It would have been a minor task to add access, but simply I suppose no one had thought about it. Those that didn't have a car had been elided, their choices curtailed.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: bludger on November 03, 2019, 01:39:38 pm
Exactly, it's a huge marker of social shame in much of the USA to not be able to 'afford a car.' it's a genuine public health crisis imo.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Jaded on November 03, 2019, 01:57:08 pm
Reminds me of the "You must be Brits!!" shouted from a veehickle at four of us walking in Beverley Hills.

The only others walking were pushing shopping trollies of possessions.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: ian on November 03, 2019, 02:10:05 pm
Exactly, it's a huge marker of social shame in much of the USA to not be able to 'afford a car.' it's a genuine public health crisis imo.

It's a significant issue especially in poor neighbourhoods where the big supermarket chains, having killed off all the cheaper local stores (it's a complete myth that supermarkets anywhere offer more choice at cheaper prices) have pulled out, so basically the only food options are convenience stores and fast food joints.  Things aren't quite as bad in the UK yet, but it's an endpoint of car-dependence, those who can't play are increasingly left behind.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: De Sisti on November 03, 2019, 02:35:09 pm
Unfair to criticise people for this. Having a home that they like is more important. Everything
else is secondary.

Does that also apply to people whose homes they like will be underwater in the near future?
I have no idea. ::-) Why would I know? Post the answer when you have it.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 04, 2019, 11:49:40 am
but park it 400 yds away

Which is massively antisocial. There is almost no competition for parking spaces near my flat[1] but I have to pay £160/year for that. If I want to park it for free then sure it is only 400 yards but as soon as you get to the border of the controlled parking zone there's very little parking because there's dense housing and lots of cars: https://goo.gl/maps/f6TV1MeUS1WzULMW8

So I could save £160 a year but that would come at the expense of increased inconvenience to other people. I'm not willing to do that.

1. I think I've had to park it more than 20 yards away from the ideal spot about three times in 3 years.
It might not work for you, but for some people having to park 400 yards away or having to park in a lock-up or fenced off car park not directly adjacent would greatly reduce their use of a car they already own, simply by forcing them to walk and think about it. It would make using the car a deliberate act.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Greenbank on November 06, 2019, 11:38:19 am
Indeed, by building a car-dependent society we've effectively disenfranchised those who can't participate. I remember some years ago, my wife was working in New Jersey and I flew over to visit here. There was a train from NYC to nearby and it looked like an easy stroll to get there (and I take a curious enjoyment from being the only pedestrian in American suburbia). Of course, her hotel was situated with no pedestrian access, but I noticed a path down an embankment, through some trees and then a neat cut-through chainlink fence around the hotel property. Evidently, that was how car-less hotel workers got to their place of work, which is sad if you think about that. It would have been a minor task to add access, but simply I suppose no one had thought about it. Those that didn't have a car had been elided, their choices curtailed.

Happens in this country too though, although quite rarely.

Cycling to the Thorne/Doncaster Travelodge is one example. There's no non-motorway[1] access road to the services and so the only access for pedestrians/cyclists is a dirt lane, over a bridge and then when the lane runs out a trek across a section of field.

1. Contrary to popular belief motorway service areas don't have to have a non-motorway access road (although most do). They just need to be accessible by two different roads (in case one gets closed). The Moto Doncaster services are off the roundabout of the M18/M180 junction so the two different motorways count as two different roads.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 06, 2019, 12:12:08 pm
There is another such at $SERVICES in Kent.  There is non-motorway access up a dual cabbageway but it's got "NO CYCLING" signs plastered all over it, and the alternative access required negotiating an overgrown footpath and, optionally, falling flat on your face in the wet grass.  There may have been a stile involved too.  Not the best location, then, for an Audax control.  Hummers' description of the entry procedure was a minor classic back at The Other Place.
Title: Re: Economics of getting rid of a car
Post by: grams on November 06, 2019, 12:30:55 pm
I passed a motorway service area in the middle of nowhere in the Netherlands a couple of weeks back on a back lane. It had its own car park (full) and bike parking with ebike charging (empty). It does more sense that the cars belong to staff than locals looking to pay extortionate prices for underwhelming coffee.

(It was signposted for customers though, including a sign for the "Burger King Drive Thru" which you physically couldn't get to...)