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Money saving

Could you save money by ditching your car?

Posted 18 July 2016

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Do you actually need a car to get around?

If you use your car to get around every day, you probably can’t imagine life without it. But if it feels like you have to pay to get it fixed every other week and you don’t really need it to get from A to B, could save money by getting rid of your car?

Going car-free might seem quite extreme but if you’re only really using it for short journeys and you could get by on public transport, you might find that it’s actually a realistic option. Let’s take a look at how you could save without a car.

How to get around

Of course, the main thing you’ll need to look at if you don’t have a car is how else you can travel. One option is to look into public transport so see if it can get you where you need to go.

For example, do you use your car to commute to work? If so, see if you could get there on a bus, train or tram service instead. Look at how much it would cost for a monthly ticket and work out how much you’d save if you went on public transport instead of driving. Just knowing how much extra cash you could free up by going without a car could be all you need to get rid of it.

But if there’s no easy way to get to work on public transport, you could still commute without your car. See if any of your colleagues drive in from near where you live – you could car share with them to save money and just contribute to petrol costs. Don’t live near anyone from work? Check out Liftshare – it pairs you up with someone who drives a similar route to you.

If you’re planning to car share with strangers, follow some simple safety tips – message them a few times before you meet in person, meet up first in a neutral location and tell friends where you’re going and if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t car share with them.

You could even get a bike instead of a car if you don’t typically carry a lot of heavy bags. There will be an initial cost for this so it might not be right for you if you can’t afford to pay out for a bike. But if you can, look at it as an investment and it will cost you less in the long run than a car. If you don’t want to commit, check out Cyclescheme to rent a bike tax-free.

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If you need your car

But going without a car isn’t for everyone – you might really need to be able to drive. If you take your kids to school every day, drive to and from work and do the food shop with your car, you probably can’t do without. You could still save money though – compare car insurance prices and petrol prices for the best rates.

by Emily Bancroft

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.