View Full Version : Car - Ownership v Rental

13th Apr 2014, 13:25
Posted on another thread about using hire cars when need since Christmas due to driving car into a flood.

Now adding in cost of Insurance 300, Tax 250, Servicing 200-300, replacing 2 tyres a year 250 I have already between 1000-1200 before doing anything else and adds in no depreciation etc.

Hire car costs 30-40 a day depending on car, bigger car will cost more etc. Good thing is that it gives you flexibility so if no need then not having a big lump of metal sitting on drive way.

Ok it depends on usage but clearly there is a trade off in that with Hire car you get new cars.

Of course you will pay cost of travelling by public transport when needed but even then that is limited and if going into central london anyway would not be using the car.

I am trying to think of real downside taking this route.

13th Apr 2014, 13:33
I've done it twice, for about 2 years at a time. You also get the following benefits:
Can choose the right vehicle for the job (compact, people carrier, etc)
Enterprise will pick you up, if you need that.
No storage charges at airports. One way charges with some companies are very reasonable.

Do choose your supplier(s) wisely. A local firm is generally best - cheaper, and once they know you the pick-up/drop-off is very rapid. Also less chance of getting ripped off with non-existent damage.

Public transport can be very reasonable if you book ahead. National Express coaches are miles better than they used to be.

Two's in
13th Apr 2014, 13:39
I am trying to think of real downside taking this route.

There is none, as long as you have a reasonable public transport infrastructure to back you up. After all, car ownership is largely about measuring dick size.

13th Apr 2014, 13:53
National Express coaches are miles better than they used to be

I once was on a Virgin flight where my neighbours were a couple of "cabin crew" from National Express and who thought they therefore had a great deal in common with the Virgin lot. They wouldn't leave them alone.
Meanwhile I had a few hours to ponder the old song that had the words "it's hard to get by, with an arse that's as wide, as a small country." Whoever wrote it must have been thinking of these two.

13th Apr 2014, 14:07
it's hard to get by, with an arse that's the size of a small country

Gruntie, funny you should say that, I downloaded that tune last week on Shazam it's by The Divine Comedy.

13th Apr 2014, 14:09

The only real answer to your question is likely to be the financial one i.e. are you above or below the break-even point where rental would make more sense than the opex associated with ownership. For fairness you should also include the middle-ground option when drawing up your spreadsheet.... leasing a car.

Also, bear in mind, most rental contracts will exclude damage to tyres and undercarriage and make you pay for it. So you should exclude tyres from your comparison since you seem to eat tyres.

Also check the rental contracts because some exclude damage from gravel roads etc. .... so if you frequently do drives that would go against the rental small print, that would also put you more in the ownership camp.

Finally, the depreciation argument is nonsense.....everything you buy depreciates.... its just that private individuals tend not to account for it unlike businesses. I would hazard a guess that if you went to a shop and bought a new laptop or mobile phone, that would depreciate far quicker than any car !

13th Apr 2014, 15:44

Avoiding the leasing a car because pretty much no different to owning as its a committed cost that you need to make every month.

Depreciation is an issue because if you spend 8000 on a car then worth 3000 in 3 years. Saving the 8000 is a real benefit in first place.

Comment on Tyres............work on assumption that replace 2 tyres every year. 20,000 miles for Fronts, 40,000 miles for Rear.............has worked out approx 2 new tyres every year since driving over 25 years.

Rental use is a pretty standard M /A / B roads with no gravel roads....... can't remember last time was on one.

13th Apr 2014, 18:22
If you are over sixty bin the car and use your bus pass. In Scotland you can go anywhere, anytime throughout the country. Outside the supermarket with the weekly shopping call a taxi. Normal shopping use a shopping trolley. They are like dishwashers, women cannot pack them properly but men can.

Long distance, holidays, weddings or funerals rent a car.

If it flies, floats or f$$ks; rent it.

13th Apr 2014, 18:43
In Toronto I found Autoshare extremely handy and economical. Zip Car works the same way.

The cars are located at various locations -- most convenient to transit. You book online and go get the car. The hard part is that you must have the car back in its assigned spot on time for the next customer or you can get stuck with his cab fare:uhoh: I only got caught out once with a heavy snowfall, but the office went easy on me since the next customer had wisely cancelled.

Gertrude the Wombat
13th Apr 2014, 19:32
Last time I did the sums, if you needed car every week you owned, if you needed a car one weekend in three you rented, if you needed a car one weekend in two it was a toss-up.

But that was a long time ago, and since then car clubs have come along to sit in the middle and, if they've got things right, really ought to own the once-a-fortnight market.

13th Apr 2014, 20:00
30 to 40 POUNDS a day? You need to work harder or are you renting a Roller?

We're going to Winterpeg next week and we're renting for $11.00 a day and that's for a mid-size sedan. Of course mid size is smaller than it used to be but we no longer have six kids to transport and the Peg ain't the hottest market for rental cars, perhaps.

One year we were in Orlando and got upgraded two sizes. Brand new Lincoln Continental for about $16 a day.

It would be interesting to know what you can do with car hire if you really tried. We have also swapped in a Nissan Micra for one dollar a day more to get a Firebird, (red too,) and had a brand new (16Km on the clock) Lincoln Town Car for $6 a day over a standard full size.

These days at a lot of places they do the paperwork and then say "Choose any car from row B." Last time out we could choose a Jeep, a mid size SUV or about five different sedans. We took a Kia (can't remember which model) because we had cameras and were going to have to leave it on the street at times with our luggage in it. Turned out to be a very nice driving car indeed.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
13th Apr 2014, 20:03
No one has mentioned convenience. With my car standing outside, if I want to go somewhere I jump into it. The only decision to make is whether press the button to lower the folding hard roof or not.

If I had to book a hire car every time I needed transport I'd need to be leading a boringly predictable and inflexible life. My life ain't like that.

13th Apr 2014, 21:22
No one has mentioned convenience. With my car standing outside, if I want to go somewhere I jump into it. The only decision to make is whether press the button to lower the folding hard roof or not.

If I had to book a hire car every time I needed transport I'd need to be leading a boringly predictable and inflexible life. My life ain't like that.

Trust me I was in the we need a car until managed to damage it at Christmas...............now I question it.

Amazingly finding out that you can do without, and this was through the winter.

Kids get a bus to school so nothing there, SWMBO does after school activities and uses public transport.......cost 5 each time during term time and adds 30 minutes to their school day.

London we train it, shop locally and do a big online supermarket shop once a month. SWMBO has used the Brazilian river people for lots of stuff anyway so no difference there. Last Christmas we visited no Malls because everything was done online and this before I tried floating the car.

As for flexibility well I can book and collect car within couple of hours and reality is there are few reasons I have found where need car right this minute.

Course would love to have the car outside the door BUT based on saving between 1-1500 a year for the Ins, Tax, Service, MOT and AA membership and ignoring cash spent on replacement / loss in value it starts to come down to being not a bad idea.

Assumming 35-40 a day car hire it means 40-50 days a year, add in cost of replacing car then double number of days easily.

13th Apr 2014, 21:35

Maybe the answer is to just buy a car that's cheaper to run.

Would you allow yourself to be seen dead in a G-Whizz ? :}

13th Apr 2014, 21:39
I find not having a car in UK at least to be very liberating. Public transport is good and cheap, traffic is appalling in many places, parking is a nightmare.

On the rare occasions when I need to go on a journey that's not easy by public transport I rent a car. I've just booked a VW Golf for 11 days, pick up LHR, drop off LGW, 270. Whether that seems like 'a lot' or 'a waste' of money to others is irrelevant. It suits my purpose and is cost effective for me in my situation.

13th Apr 2014, 22:36
racedo, your sums may make sense if:

1) You face off against buying a new(ish) car every few years

2) You don't commute on a daily basis - with no public tsp alternatives.

I commute daily, not too far (60kms return) with no alternative. I gave up buying new/nearly new several years ago.

I buy older (5 - 10 yrs) privately, choose carefully and budget 500 ish to get it perfect. Has worked a treat so far, never been left stranded. Costs me approx 500 p/a for fussy maintenance/tyres etc and a similar amount in depreciation.

The key is finding a well looked after vehicle, service record is only part of the story, do your research (easy - lots of others have posted their experiences online) Choose wisely and trouble free/worry free motoring is cheap.

There is nothing worse IMHO than watching your pride and joy depreciating a decent safari holiday each year in your driveway.


Confession: I'm an Automotive Engineer with post grad accountancy quals.

Metro man
13th Apr 2014, 22:59
Leasing and car clubs are fairly common in Singapore where a Toyota Corolla will set you back SIXTY THOUSAND POUNDS new. Fifty percent deposit and seven years to pay it off. After ten years you either scrap it or pay 35 000 pounds for another ten year permit.

I'm looking at leasing a Corolla/Sunny/Elantra at around 700 pounds per month including road tax, insurance and maintenance.

Obviously it depends on your location and usage, a two year old car with three years warranty left could be a good option as could a new Dacia with an extended warranty. Do the sums based on scrapping it in the event of a big bill as soon as the guarantee is up and enjoy any trouble free period as a bonus.

If renting, it may be worth sticking with one company as a certain number of rentals per year will generally get you a higher status giving upgrades and other special offers.

A mug buys depreciating assets at high interest rates, a wise man buys appreciating assets at low interest rates.

13th Apr 2014, 23:09
A mug buys depreciating assets at high interest rates, a wise man buys appreciating assets at low interest rates.

This situation will never exist for motor vehicles...

14th Apr 2014, 00:40
When I first moved to London, I had a car for a short time, and drove it once in a month. I don't miss a car at all.

Due to a hip problem, I can't drive any more; I can't sit upright, can't change gears and have difficulty pressing the accelerator with a tricky ankle.

I live in SW London and I cycle EVERYWHERE; I can't remember the last time I was away from my bikes for more than 24 hours. I take my road bike on holiday and on the trains & tube (when I can) if I can't cycle the distance I'm going. I use my bike as a crutch/support when walking, even into some shops. Without my bike(s), I'm virtually housebound.

I take public transport every few weeks or so, and usually wish I didn't. Not being able to sit in a normal way on a moving vehicle means you're usually in the gangway or disabled areas, and you get rough treatment if you're not 'visibly' disabled. I've been reduced to :{ many a time.:ouch:

(In the future, I'd like to move back to Wales, to be with family, but I can't as where they live, it is hilly as :mad: and having a car is virtually compulsory. No food deliveries, and carrying a load of shopping on your back or in panniers is easy enough when the road is more or less flat, but when every hill requires a bottom gear unloaded, it's simply not possible, especially when you have some physical weakness. I would be dependent on the goodwill of others.)

So for London, I'd recommend considering a bike for those short journeys, to the pub, light shopping, etc.

Unfortunately, the problem with this is the lack of cycling infrastructure, and the :mad: drivers trying to kill you or saying they're going to kill you.:(

14th Apr 2014, 03:37
If you are over sixty bin the car and use your bus pass.

This only works if you've got a decent bus service. Six miles outside Cambridge and there's only two or three buses a day to be seen in the village. Not having a car is not an option when there's no decent public transport infrastructure.

I bought my last car new back in 1999 and I've still got it, so I've had full value out of it. I'll be donating it to a relative soon, once the big move to the US is complete.

14th Apr 2014, 06:37
Every litre of petrol not burnt by your car is one less 60% lump of tax on one litre of petrol you've stopped the thieving UK Government getting its sticky, selfish, despicable fingers on. :cool: