BIGGER cities are the least cost effective places to run a car.

The stop-start traffic burns your fuel in record time, the chances of minor accidents rise with every extra car on the jam-packed road and parking costs a packet. Then there are your maintenance costs.

Finder research found a three-year-old car that cost $30,000 to purchase would run up costs of $10,600 a year looking at loan payments, fuel, insurance, registration and servicing. That's pretty hard to take if your car seems to spend more time in the garage than is worthwhile.

If you regularly use public transport for work and don't need to travel very often for leisure, why not sell your car and experiment living without one for a year?

I have spoken to several people recently who have done just that and claimed to have saved up to $7000 in just one year, by combining public transport and car sharing services with the odd Uber or taxi when necessary.

When a lot of people think about car sharing, they think of services like GoGet, where members pay an annual fee to cover fuel, insurance, maintenance and cleaning and pick cars up from designated areas around the city.

But the concept is evolving and now peer to peer car lending services like Car Next Door and Drive My Car, allow users to pay an hourly rate to rent a car from someone in their own neighbourhood. In some cases, this might mean you're paying as little as $5 an hour to borrow a car from someone in your street to run some errands. This is a game changer in terms of cost and convenience.

 

Kara Dennis hires her car out through DriveMyCar. Picture: Supplied
Kara Dennis hires her car out through DriveMyCar. Picture: Supplied

 

Monash University has been researching shared modes of transport and Professor George Rose believes peer to peer lending will be a big winner for communities.

"This is a way people can share resources without spending too much," he said, adding that traffic congestion would benefit from greater future take up of the option. "The research tells us one share vehicle replaces eight to 10 private vehicles on the road."

And for those in the suburbs or regional areas, the benefits will not necessarily just be for city slickers.

"There would be less take up in suburban areas, but peer to peer may mean a family is able to do away with a second car," Professor Rose said. "This can save serious money."

If you are still unsure, next time you sell your car just trial it for a few months, keep an expense diary and see if the numbers stack up.



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