Nothing beats the sensation of driving through empty roads as the car radio plays your favourite tune. It is a simple pleasure but it’s one of the greatest in life. You feel free, happy, and serene.
But when you glance down at your fuel gauge and notice that the indicator keeps moving – slowly but surely – towards the left, your carefree mood may begin to fade. Not to mention the sudden appearance of flashing symbols that suggest something inside the engine is not quite right. Not only is it a worry and a nuisance, but it is a hefty and costly inconvenience too.
We’ve seen a general increase in prices and vehicles have certainly not been spared. But why is driving becoming so expensive? What are people doing to limit costs? We take a look at some of the reasons for which driving is turning into a pricey activity, while also highlighting why joining a car club in this day and age brings an array of benefits.
The rising expenses of driving
Car ownership comes with its expenses. It’s always handy to have a vehicle ready to chauffeur you wherever you want and whenever you wish, but there can be some significant hidden costs.
Specifically, in more recent times, drivers are having to spend a bit more than they used to. Why?
- Increased fuel prices – This is an unescapable expense. After a certain number of miles, you will have to stop at a petrol station, put your hand to your wallet, and refuel your vehicle. About two months ago, this practice became costlier than ever before. On 24th October, the average daily price for a litre of petrol reached 142.94p, exceeding the negative all-time record of 142.48p (16 th April 2012). With this figure, a litre costs 28p more than it would have a year ago. It goes without saying that, if you need to fill up your tank, your bill will be significantly higher than in previous years.
- Introduction of LEZ – As we become increasingly aware of pressing environmental issues, actions are now being taken to tackle the problem. This includes the introduction of low- emission zones (LEZ), especially in big cities such as London. While it is a sensible decision to decrease air pollution, accessing LEZs can be expensive for drivers. Indeed, vehicles that do not meet certain emissions standards run into hefty fees. Greener and electric cars can enter LEZs free of charge; however, not many drivers have them and, ultimately, they are pricier to buy.
- Costly repairs – Unfortunately, setbacks are always round the corner. During the pandemic, it is likely that your vehicle has been resting in its parking space for longer than it is used to. So, it may not have been checked in a while. When the time comes to take it to the garage, you may discover that some serious maintenance work is required. Not only will you be left without a car for a few days, but your bank account will take a hit.
As costs continue to soar, drivers are striving to find alternative options to help them save some of their hard-earned money. What can you do to safeguard your finances? Here are a few simple tips:
- Keep hold of your vehicle – One immediate way to cut on your expenses is to keep your vehicle for longer. Why get rid of it when it can still take you places? Indeed, not only does the cost of new cars increase exponentially every year, but vehicles tend to depreciate rather quickly too.
- Opt for smaller cars – If you do find yourself in need of a new car, consider purchasing a smaller model. From a cheaper price tag to a more favourable gasoline mileage, smaller vehicles are cheaper to drive. Moreover, their insurance and maintenance costs are more affordable too.
- Use public transport – Why not hop on a bus or a train to reach your destination? With passenger information apps, you will be able to monitor departure and arrival times and plan your journey accordingly. Furthermore, you will be reducing your travel carbon footprint, playing your part in saving the planet.
An efficient solution
There is no denying that being at the wheel can be both fun and relaxing. But do you really need to own a car in order to enjoy your driving? The reality is that car sharing is one of the best solutions to save on vehicle expenses and benefit from the freedom of moving around whenever it suits you.
Richard Falconer, Managing Director of Co Wheels Car Club, the expert in community car sharing and vehicle hiring, suggests that utilising this service offers a series of brilliant advantages to drivers. “It has a really positive impact on the planet. If more people shared cars, the number of vehicles on the streets would decrease – which means, in turn, less traffic and cleaner city air. By signing up to a car club, you can book your slot for a car and collect it as soon as you are ready to hit the road!”
Additionally, car sharing helps you keep your expenses at bay. In the event of mishaps along the way, including flat tyres and dead batteries, it will be up to the car sharing company to cover the vehicle’s maintenance costs. What is more, you won’t have to worry about pricey pit-stops at the petrol station – there will already be fuel in your tank when you jump into the driving seat.
Finally, car sharing provides you with the opportunity to select the vehicle you want. Are you looking for a van? Would you like to drive an electric car and steer confidently through low-emission zones? You can always pick and choose the vehicle that best suits your journey at a reasonable price.
It is fair to say that driving is more expensive now than ever before. From rising fuel costs to hefty repairs, drivers are facing pricey bills that are affecting the enjoyment of their car travels. Is it not the right time to make the most of car sharing services? Save money, protect the planet, and… keep driving!