One thing you will notice as a serial expat is that owning things can be a burden. Each time you change countries you need to ask yourself: Do I keep this, throw away that, ship this or gift that? The easiest solution to the dilemma? Don’t accumulate belongings in the first place. For many serial expats this is even more obvious, as we tend to spend our time and money to accumulate experiences more than possessions. But what about the car?
When I tell people in Sydney that we don’t own a car they look at us as if we’re from a different planet. How could anyone survive without a car? How could anyone not want to sit in traffic for an hour to get to work, trawl along congested highways and spend up to $20 an hour for parking in the CBD.
Instead we read a good book on the bus, take the Manly ferry for free every weekend and grab a GoGet whenever we need to get somewhere where going by public transport is too convoluted or too long.
GoGet is the car sharing platform in Australia which is growing at an immense rate. When we moved to Sydney they had a few dozen pods around town, now they’re in the hundreds. Each pod holds a modern economic runabout, often Toyota Yaris or Hyundai equivalent, often with less than 50K on the clock. The one in our street, 50m up the road from our house, had a whopping 120 miles on the clock when we first swiped our chip card to unlock the car. Bluetooth hands free radio ready to synch, fully automatic and air-conditioned. By now there are five cars in the vicinity of a 5 minute walk from our house. Whenever we need to run to the shops, visit a client out of town or escape the city for a day we go online, book the car for an hour, a few hours or at the special day rate and off we go.
No fuel costs as there are fuel cards which you can use to fill up any time you need at no extra cost to you. No servicing. No mechanics. No break downs as the cars are virtually new (average age 1.3 years). No insurance. No registration fees. No parking space hire. No hassle.
From August 2015 we can even book the cars in half hour increments, starting on the half hour, something we have been waiting for ages, which means that we can book the car from 8:30–9:30 and only pay an hour instead of previously having to pay for two full hours from 8–10.
And best of all? We save thousands every year. Over the past year we have spent $2500 on GoGet car hire for private use. With the new half hour increments we estimate this to probably increase to $2800 as we’ll make even more use of the service.
Now compare that to how much you would be paying in servicing, fuel, car park hire, mechanical repairs and depreciation alone. plus insurance, plus registration. You’ll easily end up paying close to 10K a year to maintain your lifestyle choice.
So the next time your car breaks down and you consider buying a new car, why not go get a GoGet? it might save you a fortune!
PS. On a side note for business owners: by using GoGet to visit clients in the suburbs instead of using cabs we saved the company $2000 to $5000 a year.
PPS. The fleet also includes Utes, vans and people carriers. Need a van for a few hours to pick up a couch you bought on ebay? No worries with a GoGet.
This article was originally published by Alex Dean on Medium. Republished with permission.