I love my new car, it’s got everything I need. It’s comfortable, cheap to run, suitable for any scenario and the best thing is it’s there whenever I need it. From the moment I picked it up on Friday night I knew I’d made the right decision.
No, I haven’t had a setback on our track to a minimalist life. Rather, I’ve put into practice one of the steps on the plan to minimalism.
We joined a car co-operative club in London last week, where people list their own cars for hire instead of leaving them sitting unused outside their home (a great idea I’m sure you’d agree). It suits our needs perfectly so we have access to a car when cycling or public transport isn’t an option.
When we planned a trip away for the weekend with friends I had a look online and found a car available around the corner from our house. A couple of clicks and it was ours.
Joining the co-operative fits in neatly with our move to owning less. We’ve come to realise that access not ownership is an important mantra for us and living in an urban area like London, where there are good transport links but parking space is at a premium, it makes even more sense.
Yes, we will need the convenience of a car sometimes but do we need to own a car? No. And we certainly don’t need to own two cars like we used to.
I did a quick calculation and worked out the cost of hiring cars on the rare occasions we need to use one. If we work on the idea of one trip a month it will come to approximately £900 a year. That is the same as we use to pay in insurance for our two cars each year.
The financial gains are even better as we no longer have to worry about the parking permits and trips to the garage for an MOT and services which usually came to around £600.
There isn’t just the financial gain to consider either, the amount of time we used to spend servicing the cars in order to keep them on standby ‘just in case’ we wanted to use them was ridiculous. Instead of becoming a symbol of freedom, which they were when we bought them (we had lots of ideas about escaping into the countryside at the weekends), they became a burden, sapping time and money from us. In the end it was better to escape from the cars and sell them.
Having access to a car instead of owning a car has given us the freedom we craved.