The car is gone…!

We are now officially car free!!

It’s a great feeling – until something goes wrong, but in theory, we’ve considered the options and ways to handle it and should be alright. There’s always problems which need to be overcome but that’s the great thing about life.

The green Nissan Sunny Spray was towed away yesterday and will be scrapped, with the proceeds going to charity. It was a bit sad, as i’ve been driving the car since I was 17, but it had to be done.

We also had to do a 3-way phone call with the Commonwheels car club people and the DVLA, to check our licences were full and clean and that there were no problems. That was completed and Claire has also now signed up to the carclub, and we can now book a car online. we’re just waiting for the smartcards to arrive, which unlock the car.

The tax refund also has to be in by the end of the month and we’re looking into cancelling the insurance. I wasn’t looking forward to the big cost of the service and MOT in 6 months (roughly £500), so by the end of the next 6 months, we would have saved over £1,000 just for petrol, tax, insurance. We’ll obviously be using more buses and trains + the car club, but so long as we keep below the £180 per month mark (which is what the car was costing), we will be ‘saving’ money.


Car club here we come…!

The car is nearly out of our hands, we just have to cancel the insurance and get it taken away by someone. The options for this are numerous, but Claire has found what looks like a good charity website called ‘giveacar’, which takes away the car and either scraps it or auctions it. The money from this process then goes to our nominated charity. They also make sure the car is cleaned of pollutants (like oil) + not just dumped somewhere.

Just looking at the costs at the moment…

Road tax = £10 p/m, petrol = £85 p/m, insurance = £30 p/m

This is £125 per month in costs, or looking at it in a different way, £125 of actual savings once we’ve ditched the car!

This doesn’t even include the big annual costs of servicing and MOT, which is paid once but for this calculation is divided into 12 months. The last one was roughly £450, which is £37.50 per month. We’ve also had to change two of the tyres since the MOT, which was another £60, so the total for the year would be £2,010! This is £167.50 a month we won’t be paying out.

If we ditch the car very soon, it’ll be roughly 6 months till the next service, so 6 months of savings, which is roughly £1,000. This will make a huge difference for us and mean we can go back to getting a veg box from Riverford. We should also be able to go back to organic food for at least some of the shopping and not have to go into the overdraft again. Might even be able to save again!? There’s also the hassle and time savings from not owning a car and the lowering of our environmental impact.


Time to ditch the car…?

We’re getting very excited about the new Gloucester car club, which has just recently been opened, after years of contributions from developments in the city. Section 106 planning funds have been brought together to fund the provision of 5 car club cars, all positioned around the city centre, and all within roughly 20 minutes walk from our house!

So, the scheme is being run by commonwheels car club, and the cars are all Nissan Notes, all brand new and which seem a good size. We went on a mini hunt while coming back from the shops yesterday and Claire jumped out and had a look inside one of them!

Nissans product brochure: Nissan Note

The scheme involves a £25 one-off joining fee and £4.25 per hour to hire the car, with a 0.19p per mile fuel charge. There is also a £5 minimum monthly spend + a £15 one-off additional member fee for the smart card.

When this is compared to the £2,000 a year cost of running our car at the moment, it could really save a lot of money and hassle. If you consider the tax, petrol, MOT and servicing, and the time it takes to organise things, the ease of just booking the car club car then just leaving it would be amazing. It cost us roughly £170 per month at the moment to run the car and this is one of our biggest costs. This month we have paid £85 in petrol!

In terms of sustainability, we would be using the car less (as it wouldn’t be parked right outside the house) and also sharing the cars with everyone else in the centre. There would be less CO2 being emitted as most of the processing associated with the running of the car would be shared.

Another part of the process is to use the money we would save to buy bikes for Claire and I + a pull along shopping carrier buggy, which we could load up for trips to the supermarket etc. They can also be used to carry a child, but we’re not sure about this yet!