For many Australians, owning a car seems like a no-brainer. How else are you meant to get places?
Also read: Where to find free financial help
But when Nick Jungfer and his partner Maddie Rhodes moved from Adelaide to Sydney, they realised that not only did they no longer need their two cars, they had become expenses they could no longer afford.
“[Selling our cars] seemed like the most obvious way that we could cut back on money just because it really feels like cars bleed money, even if you don’t use it much,” Jungfer told Yahoo Finance.
“So it was obvious, but we were also… paying almost double the rent that we were used to paying and it was in the front of our minds, the different ways we could save money.”
Now, Jungfer estimates that by selling the two cars, they saved between $15,000 and $16,000 on servicing, registration, petrol and insurance over the course of two years.
The couple live in the inner city, so jumping on a train or a bus is a simple fix and for longer trips they use Car Next Door.
Car Next Door is a share service which allows drivers to instantly book cars, utes and vans from their neighbours. After verifying their licence, they can book the car and then unlock the vehicle within the app or receive the keys from their neighbours or a lockbox.
Cars can also be booked by the hour or the day, and those with cars they’re not using too much can also put their car on the service to be rented out.
“I definitely don’t think there’s enough awareness that there are better ways to do it,” Jungfer said.
“So many people seem to buy a car just because they assume that you need one. Then when I say to people, ‘I sold my car pretty much as soon as I got here,’ and that surprises a lot of people.
“It just seems crazy to be paying all of these super high expenses. My mates might drive to footy practice once a week and to Woolworths once a week and they’re forking out thousands of bucks a year for that once-a-week luxury.”
While a car is obviously necessary if you need a car every day, or you don’t live near public transport, Jungfer said that for those who could ditch the car, it’s worth considering the savings.
“Why not just rent someone else’s for a couple of hours as you need it?”
Cutting expenses more important than ever
Around 12 million Australians are concerned about their financial wellbeing due to Covid-19, a new policy paper from the Centre for Social Impact has found.
“From a financial wellbeing perspective, the most significant change we have already observed is that many households have seen their income reduced,” lead researcher Dr Jeremiah Brown said.
“The impact varies by household, but the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 2.3 million people were affected by job loss or had their hours adjusted for economic reasons between April and May.”