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Today, I’d like to introduce a bit of perspective into your life. This perspective could potentially save you thousands a year on your financial outgoings, and it’s all to do with that piece of mechanical metal you call your car. Cars are often viewed as a household necessity, but is this really the case? Let’s take a look…

What do you use your car for?

We all have cars for different reasons. Some of us have a car to get to work and back. Some of us have a car to run errands, and some of us have a car just so it’s there if we need it. However, is there any other alternative to using your car? Many of us can use public transport to get to work or run errands. We can even use other modes of transport like bicycles. If you really think about how you use your own car, you can decide whether it’s really a necessity or just a luxury.

Do you know how much you spend on your car?

Then there’s the actual cost of running a car, which isn’t getting any cheaper. In the UK, petrol prices are constantly on the rise, car maintenance costs a small fortune, insurance premiums burn a tidy hole in your pocket, and tax…well, everybody hates tax! I took the time to work out how much my car was costing me to run overall. In a single year, I worked out that I spent around £6000 on my car. Now, that’s a lot of money. Work out what your car costs to run annually and you may realise where a lot of your money is going.

Are there viable alternatives to your car?

For most of us, there are other transportation options at our disposal. I chose to cycle everywhere. But if the thought of too much fitness scares you and you live in an area with good public transport, then you could always make use of that. The cost of an annual ticket for the bus or train will be far less than the cost of running and maintaining a car. If you decide that you could live your life without your car, then you will reap the financial rewards.

You can still use a car when you need one!

Of course, there are occasions where a car is the only logical choice. For example, if you wanted to go away for a weekend, move a load of stuff, or visit a distant relative (distant as in geographical distance), then a car ticks all the right boxes. But, that’s where car hire companies have their uses.

If you can get by without a car most of the time, then car hire can be an attractive solution. When you need a car, you make a phone call and voila, you have a car. Plus, you can choose what type of car you need. For a long distance camping trip with the kids, a people carrier would be a perfect choice. For a short inner city trip to pick up that new TV, a small hatchback would be appropriate. For a long motorway mission…well…you get the point.

Hiring a car can be much more cost effective than owning one. All you have to worry about is the hire charge. Often, tax, insurance, and any other necessities are included in one single price. Furthermore, car hire is more affordable than most of us realise. So, if you decide your car is more of a luxury than a necessity, then you have options at your disposal, options that could make your wallet smile.

Stuart Withers is a freelance writer and previous car owner. He ditched his car for a bicycle, and uses car hire companies when he needs to travel further than his legs can take him. He recommends Collison Motoring Services if you need car hire in Portsmouth or the surrounding area. They have a whole fleet of cars suitable for any purpose. If you haven’t tried living without a car, then try it. You may never look back!