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Should I sell my car?

My Investments

Should I sell my car?

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My partner and I are in a very fortunate position where we both own a fully paid for car. This is great and super convenient, but does it really make financial sense?

I’ve been thinking about selling one of the cars so decided to share the facts and figures.

This situation may not fully apply to you but hopefully some of the thinking can spark off ideas for yourself and you can evaluate your own situation.

It’s inconvenient!

Let’s just get this point out the way. Yes, it will be super inconvenient! Without a car, one of us (probably me) will need to rely on public transport as well as ride-share services. Furthermore, it’s inevitable that I would also take longer to get to places. I would need to plan trips better and would most probably spend a fair amount of time waiting for my transport or being delayed because of my reliance on others.

This is a huge factor that cannot simply be ignored, but it’s worth doing the financial calculations to determine the actual cost of my current convenience.

The monthly cost of owning a car

So before we even think about the cost of buying a car, let’s look at the monthly cost of running the vehicle. I’m going to use my actual costs for the example but why not reach for a pen and paper and jot down your costs. And in case you’re wondering, I own a Suzuki Jimny 4×4, 2011 year model which I bought second-hand.

First up is the most obvious cost, the fuel. The price of petrol has skyrocketed over the past few years and even when international oil prices come down the government taxes go up. There seems no end in the upward cost of fuel but there is unfortunately nothing that we can do about it. I luckily live close to my office so my monthly fuel budget is only R800. (I say “only” as I know some people spend over R2,500 per month on petrol!)

Insurance is next on the list. I have full comprehensive insurance but have not opted for any of the extras such as a hire car for when mine is being repaired after an accident; I’m trying to keep my insurance premium as low as possible. Yet, it’s still R609.15 per month. See how I managed to save on my insurance!

Then one doesn’t always think of maintenance, tyres and wear & tear. This is a little tricky so I used the AA (Automobile Association) calculator to work out my rate per kilometre. This however includes fuel and possibly other costs which are not clearly stated. I decided for this exercise to not use the AA Rate but to rather estimate the costs myself. Looking at the past 2 years, on average I spend R4,000 on my car maintenance which works out to R333.33 per month.

But that’s not all folks! The annual license disc costs R435 (or R36.25 per month) and then of course there are fines for speeding or parking illegally (sometimes unintentionally). I rarely get fined but it’s safe to allocate R50 per month (or R600) for the year.

So far the total monthly cost is R1828.73 but over and above that are toll roads and e-tolls if you live in Gauteng. And excess on insurance claims if you’re unlucky. I will not take these into account though.

The alternative costs

Now let’s look at my costs if I had to use alternative methods of transport. There are two options; firstly without making any routine changes and secondly with some minor changes…

This is an excerpt from the Take charge of your money blog. See the full article here. Reposted with permission.

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My name is Brendan and I’m a software developer working a regular 9 – 5 job. I’m 40-something years old, married and living in Cape Town (South Africa). I often wish that I didn’t need to “slave away” at my job as there is so much that I would love to be doing! Life is short and I want to make the best of it and hence I am forever working towards a goal of financial freedom and the idea for my blog is to create a collection of thoughts, ideas, tools, useful videos etc that are helpful to me, and hopefully to you too!

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