Author Topic: Cheap new rental car trumps used car purchase.  (Read 1229 times)

pab88

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Cheap new rental car trumps used car purchase.
« on: October 06, 2018, 03:30:03 AM »
For the last 15 months I've been car-free. In that time I've also moved out of home, about 10 miles away from work and my parent's place. I have a sizeable mortgage in a HCOL on a median salary, so the purse strings are pretty tight already, but I've managed to make double mortgage payments each month partly due to being fairly lean (home-cooked meals, flatmate and no car).

I've been bike-commuting pretty happily to work and back for the past year, enjoying the guaranteed baseline exercise and de-stress. Compared to the 8-9 hours I am at work, the 1h 15min of bike commute is very manageable. I'm in the best shape I've been in my whole life.

For context, I'm a teacher, so I have a few 2-week breaks during the year during which this routine is disrupted, and I find it a bit of a pain being car-free:

- to pop into my parent's place for a short visit takes 1.5hrs round trip.
- unlike riding before 7am, the traffic is much worse during the middle of the day.
- riding during the midday hours means more wind, harsher sun.
- short visits to work to do planning or photocopying are less likely to happen with a 1h 15min round trip ride (that's going hard on a road bike).
- transporting heavy textbooks to work is a bit of a pain using a backpack.

So I almost gave in and started looking at second-hand moustachian vehicles.

I hit a major bottleneck - for the bare minimum knock insurance, compulsory injury insurance (this is Australia) and registration, a used $3K Yaris/Echo/Corolla banger would cost me something like $1.5K a year in fixed costs, before adding on fuel, maintenance and repairs. I couldn't justify it when for 44 weeks of the year I function perfectly happily without a car. There had to be a better way. I think I've found it.

I'm now renting a car for the second week of my break. It's a near new Toyota hatchback and costs me $21 a day with a $2K deductible in the event of an accident.

I love driving a near-new vehicle, new-car smell and everything, but I get to hand it back before I worry about keeping the birdshit, sun and scratches off it. I won't have to move my bikes around to make space for it in the garage either, because what do I care if it sits outside? And instead of redrawing a few thousand off my mortgage offset account I fought hard to build up, I can use pocket change from a side gig to pay the weekly rental. I could, if I wanted to, rent it out for 10 weeks before it approached the annual fixed costs of owning a beater second hand car. More likely, I could myself renting 4-6 weeks a year during breaks.

Anyway, just wanted to share. I think this is an awesome solution for a single moustachian who wants a car for leisure use during specific periods but doesn't need one to commute to work.

HipGnosis

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Re: Cheap new rental car trumps used car purchase.
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2018, 12:10:47 PM »
Does Australia (your town) have Uber or Lyft?

pab88

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Re: Cheap new rental car trumps used car purchase.
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2018, 06:48:43 PM »
Yes, Uber is here and would work well for occasional trips when one is between rental cars.

I've only caught one Uber, and was a little underwhelmed by the value proposition ($27 for a 10km trip).

HipGnosis

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Re: Cheap new rental car trumps used car purchase.
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 07:51:23 AM »
Also;  it's a good idea to walk around a rental car taking pictures (and interior) before and after ea rental.
Could save you $$$ if they say you damaged the car.

MrOnyx

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Re: Cheap new rental car trumps used car purchase.
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2018, 08:45:12 AM »
This is a fantastic idea! For someone who is not dependent on cars - who rarely finds need for one - this sounds great as a stepping stone between car ownership and lower expenses - with the best of both worlds.

You could also potentially use this in conjunction with MMM's King For A Day principle - that is, you get to experience something grand and fantastic, but only for a short amount of time. Short enough that it doesn't get old, the expenses don't start dragging you down, and the hedonic adaptation doesn't force you to want more. You may not be renting high-end cars, and you may well not want to, but I'd say this still fits well in line with the aforementioned principle.

And I echo the comment above; while you don't seem to have had any trouble yet, if you happen to find yourself renting from a dodgy rental, they could try and sting you for damage that you didn't cause.

HenryDavid

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Re: Cheap new rental car trumps used car purchase.
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2018, 08:47:43 AM »
Congrats. This is a good strategy. Everyone who only rarely needs a car should Do The Math on this.
When I was single I did it for years and saved many thousands on insurance, parking.... not to mention depreciation and maintenance.
Now have a spouse with car, old and carefully maintained and cheap. (I mean the car, of course!)