Get Smart With Money


Sayonara Subaru

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Monday 28 March 2011

Over vinos recently on a glorious Sunday afternoon a friend of ours dropped a bombshell. His car had been stolen and after a few decades of car ownership he had decided to pull the pin. He was not going to buy a new car. Sayonara Subaru, hello Sandringham line.

He went on to explain why—he didn’t use it that often, he had discovered Flexicar (more about that soon) and when he did the maths he discovered he was far better off financially without one and could put the cash he’d spent on his car into investments that actually made him money.

There’s no denying cars are money-munchers. Not only are there ongoing costs such as registration, insurance, petrol and servicing fees but a car will only decrease in value. Not forgetting they’re not too crash hot for the environment, either.

For some of us a car is necessary for day-to-day living. But if you’re like our friend, and you only use your car occasionally, then maybe, just maybe, it might be worth asking the age-old question—do you really need it?

Three things to consider

1. Do your sums. Figure out what you spend on your car each year and then guestimate what it would cost you to use public transport, taxis and car hire over the same period. It might just surprise you how much you could save.

2. Think about short-term car hire. An alternative to longer term car renting through companies like Avis, Hertz, Thrifty or Budget is short term car renting through Flexicar. Flexicar have about 80 cars dotted all around the inner city. You pay a signup fee, go on a plan that suits your usage and then can book a car online whenever you need it, even if it’s just for an hour or two.

3. Invest your savings. Think about what you could spend your money on instead. Could it be put towards paying off debt? Or could you put it toward a home deposit or kick-start that share portfolio you’ve always wanted? If you’re looking to find extra dollars in your budget, then this may just be worth considering.




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