RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Cost effective and environmentally friendly car ownership

20th February 2007 Print
The London borough of Richmond took the national and international lead against climate change this week, by taking the decision to introduce emission-based parking charges for all residents. Charges for a parking permit will now be based on the size and carbon emissions of a vehicle, meaning some families will now pay up to £750 per year to park their car.

Avis Rent a Car considers this as an opportunity for motorists to re-evaluate traditional car ownership. Downsizing private vehicles can aid a reduction in a family’s carbon footprint and be kinder on the pocket too - companies such as Avis can help facilitate this.

“The latter half of 2006 saw an increased focus on the effect of the motorist on the environment,” explains Daniel McCarthy, Commercial Director, Avis UK. “Schemes to make motoring more expensive have been highly publicised, however there has been little focus on providing the motorist with a practical alternative for their mobility needs.”

Following the publication of the STERN and Eddington reports last year, Avis commissioned some research into the cost of providing motorists with an option to downsize their car, and rent a larger vehicle when required. Savings amounted to over £6,500 per year (based on 12,000 miles per year).

Avis considered the following scenario: Mr and Mrs Smith have two children, they live in central London. They currently own a Range Rover Sport 2.7TDV6 HSE (diesel) used mainly by Mrs Smith to take the children to school and on weekly shopping trips. The family take two holidays abroad to France each year, in both instances they drive. Mr Smith travels to work on the tube each day. Avis would suggest downsizing their vehicle to something smaller and more economical, e.g. a Peugeot 107, 1.0 Urban 5-door (petrol), and renting a larger vehicle for their two holidays each year.

Cost of 12 months ownership for a Range Rover Sport
2.7TDV6 HSE and an annual tube pass: £14,185

Cost of downsizing to a Peugeot 107, 1.0 petrol Urban 5-door, renting a large people carrier from Avis for 4 weeks each year and an annual tube pass: £7,515

“We have seen the adoption of a similar scheme in Australia,” adds McCarthy. “A substantial rise in oil prices has prompted people to downsize their regular car to a more economical model, and then hire a large vehicle when the need arise.”

Downsizing is a great option for people who still need a car during the week, however in many urban areas cars are left parked on the side of the road and only used at weekends.

In this situation, Avis would encourage people to ditch the car in favour of using public transport during the week and renting a vehicle at weekends.

“We based our figures on a couple living in central London, owning a large 4x4, such as a Range Rover. Generally the vehicle would not be used during the week, and only occasionally at weekends to visit friends or family,” explains McCarthy. “Our figures show an average couple can save thousands of pounds a year by using public transport throughout the week and renting a vehicle when required.”