The day I gave up my car
The day I gave up my car
I’ve been driving since I could, I passed my driving test at the age of 17 and have been driving now for 30 years. It was the most important thing for me to do when I was 17. It was also the only thing I ever really knew I wanted to do. Driving I’ve always loved, loved being behind the wheel heading off somewhere. Each year I’ve driven between 20,000 and 35,000 miles, doing 30,000 was the norm for me. Just getting in my car and going off somewhere was me.
To be able to drive
I’m not sure about anywhere else in the world, but here in the UK to be able to drive first you need a driving licence and second a car. A car which is road worthy, cars has to pass an annual test each year to make sure they are. The only acceptations are new cars, 3 years before they need to have their first test and then it’s every year after that. Then your car needs to be insured for you to drive it and last and by no means last your car needs to be taxed, it’s a road tax which everyone as to pay. This tax goes towards maintaining the roads, repairs and building of new roads. After all that, you are ready to go. Just add fuel.
Today's fuel price in pence per litre
My car was due its annual test ( it’s called a M.O.T), but it failed, failed big time, well it was for me, it needed about £600 ($900)worth of work doing. It could be more if a part needed replacing completely and the man at the garage said it was possible but wouldn’t know until the work was being done. I had the money at the time for the repairs, but also I needed that money for other things, I sat long and hard thinking what should I do. How could I get my car back on the road and still have money for other things I needed. It was simple there wasn’t going to be a car in my life for a time. I simply couldn’t afford it. The price of everything has gone up and up and what spare money I once had I no longer have.
From the pervious test to this test I had driven 27,000 miles and with the cost of fuel and then servicing, insurance and road tax my car had taken almost £6,500 ($10,000) of my wages, I was staggered when I sat down and did the sums, if only fuel was cheaper and my car insurance too, I’ve not had an accident for 20 years but each year my insurance as gone up.
I decided I was going to use public transport for a time until I had the money to get my car sorted and back on the road. Public transport I’d always hated, never knowing what times they ran, what buses to catch to get from A to B. But I needed to accept it and start using it I had no chose in the matter.
First I used the bus to travel into work, they were ok, but the times were wrong for me, making my working day much longer. Then I decided to use the train, that way I could also use my bike to cycle to the station and then travel by train and then cycle to work once I got into Nottingham where I work. Sometimes I have cycled home from work a distance of 18 miles. My children live in Plymouth some 270 miles from where I live, now if I book the train in advance I could half the cost of what it would cost me to drive in the car. And the best bit about it you just sit and relax, maybe read, maybe watch a movie on my laptop or something.
Since giving up my car I have find it can be easy to travel around, if you plan ahead and is often cheaper than using the car. The only drawback I see is you can’t just get up and go, you have to wait for public transport to turn up. My car still sits there waiting to be repaired I’m not sure if it will be repaired, I may give up driving all together, but I don’t think I could do that, than again I have for the last 6 months