Monday, 12 January 2015

Lifestyle: The Problem with Being Immobile

It may not seem like the most important thing to some people, however, as a 20-something in the modern world, it's tough not being able to drive. Having to rely on friends for a lift anywhere that's beyond a 10-mile radius (that's even if you're willing to bike that far) is slightly depressing and highly restricting.
However, the decision to venture out into the world of mirrors, signals and manoeuvres isn't one that should be taken lightly. Aside from the potential threats to your health, owning and driving a car is a costly business. Of course, like all good products, a car will give you back as much as you put into it. But when things go wrong (sometimes when they don't go wrong), it can cost you a lot of money to run a car on a daily basis.

The Cost vs. Mobility Debate



Don't get me wrong, if you want to be mobile it's going to cost you. But before you grab a set of keys it's important to take note of your average costs. According to The Daily Mail, running a petrol car in the UK costs, on average, £1,000 more than its equivalent in the US and Australia. Following a mass study into the cost of running a car in 2013, the British newspaper summarised the results garnered by WeBuyAnyCar.com.

Taking into account the cost of petrol, tax, insurance and MOTs across 21 countries, the UK came out on top as the most expensive place to drive a car. On average, the annual cost for running a car in the UK was £3,453.66. In contrast, the cost of doing the same in the US is £2,425.36 and in Australia it's £2,128.24. Sitting at the bottom of the cost table is Saudi Arabia with an average annual running cost of £237.22.

So, what's a 20-something to do if they want to become independent and drive? Save. If you're planning on taking your driving test and buying a car then make sure you set up a savings account and starting putting cash aside before you even contemplate getting behind the wheel.

The Safety Concerns



Aside from the cost, it's also important to think about your safety when you drive. Taking control of a one ton machine without having an understanding of driving theory or how to stay safe is a recipe for disaster. Cutting corners and trying to find the easiest way to pass your test should be the furthest thing from your mind if you're looking to become a proficient driver. Intensive courses are great for getting you through your test in a short amount of time, but they fail to give you the experience of driving on busy roads.

Just like everyone else, I yearned to be mobile, but before I took to the road I made sure that I'd done my homework. Planning for every eventuality isn't easy, but if you can run through the average costs, the main safety concerns and the best places to gain experience, you should be as safe as possible behind the wheel. The problem with being immobile is that it limits you in a variety of ways. However, if you don't take into account the full cost of driving then you could find that being mobile is more restrictive than you thought.

9 comments:

  1. I took driving lessons for a while but I hated it. I'd love to be able to drive to places, but I know that sooner or later I'll end up taking someones wing mirrors off, if not worse!
    Rubi | The Den | http://www.the-den.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. I may have clipped a wing mirror on my driving lesson this morning.. oops.

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  2. I just can't afford one and would rather save for a house than pay for car insurance at the moment but I know if I have kids they will be essential x

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    1. They're so expensive! My bus to work is £3 each way and I can usually get a lift back so it's not worth getting a car unless I really NEED one.

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  3. I'm glad I'm not the only twenty something that can't drive. I've never had any lessons and as I approach 24 I do often feel the pressure to learn to drive and get a car. Sure, I am limited in my ability to get around, but I've never felt too hindered by it. Sure, I have to plan to leave the house earlier than a lot of people as I rely on public transport, but when I consider the fact that my bus pass for the year amounts to £650 a year in comparison to the cost of learning to drive then paying for a car, I feel it is well worth leaving it.

    I know if I ever have kids it will be a hindrance, but considering I'm finding it difficult enough to save for a house, let alone a car, I'm content as I am. I may completely change my mind in a years time, though, so who knows what may happen.

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    Replies
    1. I started learning when I was 17 but didn't pass before I went to uni. Since I finished uni, I've been in a car accident (I was a passenger) which has knocked my confidence a lot. I'm learning again now but it is a struggle. #twentyfivecantdrive

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  4. This is such a GREAT post. I'm 24 and can't drive! BUT, I don't see it as a bad thing - I'm not hurting the environment when I cycle or take public transport. Sometimes we need to think positively about our own shortcomings - i'm not 'immobile', just 'environmentally friendly' ;)

    It's nice to see so many people in a similar position. I really need to get my act together because I want to be able to drive before I have kids, but I just don't have the motivation - or the spare moolah! For the mean time, I cycle a lot (10 mile round trip to work) or catch the train/bus when the weather's bad.

    Sarah

    the yup blog

    ReplyDelete

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