Thrifty Tip #6: Reduce Car Use

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The cost of car use continues to increase in Australia..

Petrol currently costs around $1.495 ($5.66 AUD per US gallon) in Adelaide, although it was higher until quite recently.  This price is for basic petrol; the higher octane varieties are more expensive.

Annual car registration in South Australia costs $715.  Car insurance is also expensive and can vary widely depending upon the size of excess and whether the car is being driven by a newer driver.  In addition, the interest payable on a car loan will further increase the cost of running a car.  Other costs include maintenance and repairs, and membership in a state motoring organisation.  Larger cars are obviously more expensive to run than smaller, more energy-efficient cars.

It makes sense then, to cut back car use as much as possible, and if possible, to reduce the number of cars we own.

There are several ways to reduce car use:
  • Multi-task: only drive when you have more than one task to perform.  For example, combine a school run with a trip to the supermarket
  • Join a car-share scheme: Visit Goget for a car-share scheme that operates in Sydney and Melbourne
  • Ride a bike: Cycling is a great way to commute whilst gaining fitness and losing weight
  • Walk:  If you only need to go a short distance, why not walk?
  • Use public transport such as buses, trains, trams or in Sydney, ferries
But is it possible for a family with several children to manage without a car?  I can't answer this from personal experience, however, there was an article in Sunday's Age newspaper about a Melbourne family who have done just that.  You can read the article here?

Have you tried to reduce your car use?  Have you tried to manage without a car?  I would love to hear about your experiences?

This post is part of my series, Thirty Days of Thrifty Tips.

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