Wednesday 12 September 2018

One day one photo - 12: My other vehicle is a Qashqai

I haven't owned a car since 2006. In fact for a time I even had two cars, after I took a job as a medical sales rep and had to take a company car even though I already had a car of my own.

So these days I am car-less. I had considered buying some wheels, but to be honest, as a single person with no children, living in London, I can't really justify having one. If I worked somewhere that wasn't easy to reach on public transport, and if it didn't cost me £10 to drive into Central London during the week, and if I knew I could get into Central London quicker than if I were on a train or a bicycle, and I could park my car for free then maybe I would consider it worthwhile to have my own car.

Owning a car would mean that most of the time it would be sitting in my driveway depreciating while I pay insurance on it, as well as the car loan. So these days I just use Zip Car or Enterprise, which has a branch less than a mile from where I live. It works out well when I need to go somewhere outside of London, or if I have large items to carry.

Quite a lot of the running and cycling races I do are easily reached by train or just by cycling there, so at times I go for a few months without driving. I do go through phases when I hire quite frequently - that has been be the case over the summer as I have been training to do a marathon, so that has involved me going to remote places to do trail running, and it's handy anyway to be able to get into a warm car after getting drenched and muddy on the trails. But in a few weeks that will all die down, and I probably won't drive much again.

That works well for me. I drive often enough to still keep my skills up, and qualify me as a London driver as opposed to a nervous weekend driver, but not so much that it makes hiring too expensive. My car hire budget is probably around £2,000 a year. For me, that's okay because I don't have the other costs associated with owning a car, and I get to drive brand new cars - usually a Ford Fiesta or Renault Clio, but also, quite often a Nissan Qashqai. None of those cars would cost me less than £2,000, so I think its worth it, and it also feels good to know I am doing my bit to help the environment.

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