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Cost of driving - has it made you re-think?

17 replies

Earlybird · 11/09/2005 09:05

Sunday papers headline speak about how truck drivers plan to protest when fuel prices reach £5 per gallon....which is on the horizon. For Londoners, there's the recently increased congestion charge where we now must pay £8 for the "priviledge" each time we drive into the city centre. Add parking to that, and it becomes a significant outlay.

I live in central London, and have a car. But, with petrol prices, congestion charge, exorbitant price of central London parking garages, over zealous (and often unreasonable) traffic wardens, few available parking meters (all resident's parking), etc....I find more and more that I have unconsciously chosen to walk when the weather is decent, take the bus/tube, and use taxis when I simply can't face public transport. It works out much easier, and cheaper. In fact, I'm thinking of selling the car as I haven't driven it in over a year. It is sitting in the garage of my block of flats, and I have allowed the tax, MOT, insurance etc to lapse. In fact....the car doesn't even start at the moment! I find that increasingly the aggravation/expense of driving far outweigh the convenience, and I don't miss the car at all.

Have the cost increases associated with driving caused any of you to re-think how/how often you use your car? Do you use public transport more? Is your routine different? Are you considering a change? Interested in hearing both from mums in city and country.

OP posts:
katymac · 11/09/2005 09:09

Why not work out how much it costs you to run the car each month and compare it to how much you spend on PT - that maight make you decision easier

For us it would be impractacl. Bus comes twice a day to our village. Shops are more than 10 miles away. Run my own business. But our family car (as opposed to our business vehicle) is as small as we can make it

NannyL · 11/09/2005 09:21

I have to say not really....

a few months ago my car cost about £30 to fill up... its now £35ish

yes it doesnt amuse me, but an extra £5 a week really is not such a big deal.... if it became £70 a week then i think i would rethink things

NannyL · 11/09/2005 09:21

(or in relaity probaby £50!!!!)

misdee · 11/09/2005 09:35

central london has great transport links, and when i go into london i use the train, tube and buses as driving round london is a nightmare (dh used to have to drive into brixton for clubs). but where i lvie transport links not so great. the bus routes keep changing, the bus stop outside my house doesnt get used 5 days out of 7, which means for us to get a bus we have to walk about 10mins and cross a busy round, not fab with 3 kids.

i cant wait till i can drive and dont have to rely on the unrealiable bus system here. some days its quicker to walk than wait for a bus.

twirlaround · 11/09/2005 09:38

we only have one car, and now that shopping can be delivered that's one less reason to have one at all.
The biggest reason for me to keep my car is that my parents live 20-30 mins drive away but are effectively unreachable by public transport.

WideWebWitch · 11/09/2005 09:41

I drive 800 miles a week and spend £100 a week on petrol atm and I hate it. But the alternative, public transport, just isn't viable given where I have to travel to and from and my timings. I probably wouldn't bother with a car if I lived in London tbh, we had one between us when I lived there but only because (ex) dh commuted out of London and driving was the quickest way to get there (plus he had a co car).

expatinscotland · 11/09/2005 10:20

No. We only use the car so DH can get to work, as the nearest bus stop is fairly far and he doesn't get off till 11PM, and for errands where we have a lot of heavy stuff to carry or where it would cost more to ride the bus than in petrol.

Don't live in London, however, and we took this flat b/c it has a car park.

We buy those tax stamps for a fiver a week at the post office so we don't have to pay the tax all in one go.

Earlybird · 11/09/2005 10:23

Perhaps it's relevant that I have only dd, so we can hop on/off buses fairly easily. If I had more than one child, I think the car would be my main way of travelling. More than 1 young child on public transport can be difficult.

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tallulah · 11/09/2005 10:27

I've just had to get rid of my MPV because we couldn't afford to run it anymore. We still have 4 kids and a dog tho and we can no longer all go out in one car, which caused huge problems over the summer. I've also asked to be transferred from my office 20 miles away to the local one I started off in, because of the cost of travelling. It's in the pipeline, but I know I'm going to be miserable there because of the politics of that office. But our financial situation is getting so desperate that I have no choice.

Yes it makes us think every time we get in the car, but the so-called public transport costs even more and doesn't go where we want to go, so we are totally stuffed. DH is getting really down and alternately talks about doing away with himself and going on the dole Things haven't been this bad since the 80s )

PeachyClair · 11/09/2005 10:30

I have no idea how we will pay for the extra costs, but driving is essential. Dh works nights miles away, at cribbs Causeway near Bristol, and there is no public tranpsort that works with his shifts. That simple. he is trying to find a job close to home, but he works in the transport industry and recruitment is tight at the mo because they can't affoed their diesel bill!. ARRGGGHHH!!!! Moving isn't an option as I need to be here.

I have a bike though, DH used to cycle when he was closer to work years ago.

I was PG the time of the last fuel protests and scared I couldn't get to hospital if I needed it, and it made work hellish as I was the poor soul on the phone at the haulage companies helpiong people source their diesel. But I understand where the protesters are coming from. Not everybosy has a choice about how they get around. Taking my three, given that eldest has SN, on a bus would be inpossible on my own.

expatinscotland · 11/09/2005 16:16

Our public transport is up to 80p each journey.

After I recover from the birth of this one, I'm going to go back to walking the 4.5 miles to and from work at least 3x/week. Right now paying £31/month to ride the crap bus that shows up whenever it damn well feels like it. Drivers all drive like hell, too.

I'd rather walk. Don't catch so many colds, keep fit for pennies, and have time to myself to think. Unbelievably, it only takes me about 15 minutes longer each way to walk.

SleepySuzy · 11/09/2005 16:24

No. I love having a car, but don't actually use it that much. Although, if running costs were cheaper I probably would. Was shocked though last week at the price of catching a bus to nursery from work then back home. But I only work 3 days. If I decrease my hours though, I may start walking.

janinlondon · 12/09/2005 09:17

Yes, I have stopped using my car (to the point that the battery has gone flat twice ) for a variety of reasons. DD is now much at school, and while walking to her nursery was completely impractical, we can walk to and from school. Also the school is near the station, so I can get to and from work from there as well. The congestion charge going up to £8 was the killer for me. We decided to take the £40 a week and pay it into her school fee account. I think the practicalities of getting children to school or nursery and then getting yourself to and from work often preclude public transport, but we are lucky geographically.

gingerbear · 12/09/2005 09:45

My car costs approximately £2100 per year to run

Car tax £150
Servicing £250
Insurance £300
AA breakdown £110
Annual mileage 12,000
Fuel cost £1300 (@ £1/litre)

Before I worked closer to home and part time I used to do 25,000 miles a year, and my costs were double!

There is no public transport between home and work - I would have to rely on others for lifts.

Earlybird · 12/09/2005 10:22

One of the advantages of living in central London is that we can walk many places, and public transport is frequent/generally reliable/convenient. Part of why I haven't rushed to get my car road-ready is because of the costs gingerbear outlines. I'd have to add congestion charge and parking meters/garages to that total. By my reckoning, I can take tube/buses and quite a few taxis before I have come close to the cost of running a car. So, I have chosen to leave the car untaxed, and shall probably look to sell it in the near future.

I must say too, that I am glad not to have the stress of looking endlessly for parking meters, arguing with over zealous traffic wardens (who are on commission), dealing with rude drivers (road rage anyone?), and paying (or forgetting) the congestion charge. Not driving a car makes my life less stressful and less expensive.

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Easy · 12/09/2005 10:29

I'm disabled, and find public transport impossible as soon as I have to carry anything at all (briefcase, laptop, shopping, truculent child etc). So can't re-think, and I'm getting very impatient with the Govt. who are making lots of extra unexpected tax out of us. They should drop fuel duty by about 5% to help out.

Also, because fuel is rising, that affects the price of EVERYTHING else, so inflation is going to rise.

Dh has just started a contract 133 miles away, and wouldn't be able to travel between here and there for weekends home if he didn't use his car either.

Earlybird · 12/09/2005 15:03

I am very lucky to have the option of choosing whether or not to run a car. Seems to be a fairly easy/painless way for me to economise.

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