Archive for the ‘Car Ownership’ Category

So how convenient is a car really?

May 23, 2008

It’s interesting that when I’m talking to people about Flexicar – even if they aren’t regular users of their own car – they often say “but I like the convenience of my own car”.

But having been a car owner for many years, I know that often it isn’t that convenient to own a car. Especially when something goes wrong – which can cost you thousands and leave you without a back up transport option. Or when you get a giant rego or insurance bill at exactly the time you’d really like to be heading off on a holiday…or paying the rent!

I wonder how much of what we think is convenient is just something that we’re used to. How else do you explain the fact that I can’t convince my mum that online banking is much more convenient than lining up at the post office to pay her bills? Or that someone will pay thousands of dollars a year for a car they only use once or twice on the weekend?

Kimberly the marketing chick

Even a car owner finds a use for Flexicar

February 21, 2008

As the only Flexicar staff member to own a car (my excuse: My suburb is still waiting for a Flexicar !) I have recently found several times where I’ve had occasion to use my Flexicar membership.

The first was when my car died and the mechanic took TWO weeks to repair it. There were several days over that period when I had a day of meetings and renting a Flexicar was going to be the only way to make it happen without a dizzying array of PT connections.

The second was when I’d actually driven my car to the city and then had an appointment sprung on me at short notice in the middle of the day. But if I took my car out of the car park, I was going to find myself out of pocket as my “early bird” rate of $11 would be negated and I’d be up for $35 for the morning – the joys of inner-city park math – PLUS whatever it would cost to park when I returned to town. It was simply cheaper to rent a Flexicar for an hour and a half than it was to use my own car.

So I’ve now had a chance to drive several of our cars – a Honda Jazz, Smart two door and a Smart Four door – from the perspective of a member. And it all went ridiculously well. I’ve even got a favourite car. But I’m not telling…

Kimberly the Flexicar Marketing Chick!

Petrol prices and car ownership hit record highs

January 16, 2008

With petrol prices on the rise yet again, tipped to hit $1.50 a litre, the cost of running a car in Australia continues to increase. The RACV estimated that to run a small car, like a Toyota Corolla, you were looking at around $8k per year in 2007.

Yet Australians still seem to have a raging love affair with owning these expensive – and polluting – items. As reported in The Age this January, a record 1 million vehicles were sold in 2007 — an average of more than 270 a day and 87,000 more than over 2006.

And Australia’s best-selling passenger car is still the Holden Commodore. Despite soaring fuel prices and an overall shift towards the smaller end of the market, Holden managed to sell close to 60,000 Commodores – 11,500  of these being six-litre V8 variety -a record for the company.

Whilst we were please to read Holden is considering a Hybrid version of it’s Commodore, it still leaves us scratching our heads as to why people find it necessary to drive a car that powerful – and that polluting.

There are times when a car is not just convenient, but necessary. That’s why Flexicar offers people cars by the hour, when they need them. But even if you do need your own car, every day, do you really need a V8? Soon, perhaps, people wont be able to afford it, and maybe that’s where the tide will turn.