City drivers could save £1,500 a year by joining a car club

Car clubs cheaper than owning cars for urban driving

Motorists in urban areas who drive for less than nine hours a week could save money by selling their car and joining a car club. That’s the conclusion of a study that looked at the costs of owning a car, compared with paying for membership of a car club.

For example, a Ford Focus owner using their car for nine hours a week, and covering 2,000 miles a year, would pay around £3,000 over the course of 12 months. That includes insurance, servicing, an MOT, and actually buying the car.

By comparison, the same amount of use as a member of a car club would cost around £2,750. Someone driving for only four hours a week would pay half that, thus making for a saving of £1,663.

Car clubs cheaper than owning cars for urban driving

“If you only use your car for occasional use, you could save hundreds of pounds a year by getting rid of your car altogether and using a car club,” said Ernesto Suarez, CEO of iCarhireinsurance, the company responsible for the study.

“Car clubs are a great option for people who live in cities and urban areas with good public transport who do not need a car for everyday use. The costs are surprisingly reasonable, so you can just access a car when you need one without all the hassle and costs that comes with owning one.”

Car clubs cheaper than owning cars for urban driving

The example used in the study was a £5.60 hourly rental over nine hours per week. Add on a £60 car club annual membership fee, plus £69.99 in excess insurance, and you get the £2,750 figure. 

By comparison, running a car for a year would cost £226 a year in fuel alone. In an urban setting, with the car overnight on a driveway, insurance is nearly £1,000. An MOT costs £55 (assuming the car goes through issue-free), a service is £159 and breakdown cover is £50.

Finally, factor in the cost of the car, which for a 2015 Focus was calculated at £1,498 over five years, and the cost nears or surpasses £3,000 annually.

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