How do people afford a car?

miklcct

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That said I’m not sure whether @miklcct has many ties in Bournemouth.
All but one of my friends who I have known since I was Hong Kong are now living in London or its commuting zone. The exception lives in rural Wiltshire now.

I have absolutely no ties in Bournemouth.
 
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DelayRepay

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I grew up in Harpenden, my dad commuted to South Quay until the IRA blew up the building he worked in. That was 30 years ago when the Thameslink service wasn’t as good. Luckily the company moved to Balham after that so it was more direct, although fewer choice of trains.
I think you’d be surprised how long a lot of people’s commutes are/were

Indeed - This thread prompted me to remember a colleague, sadly no longer with us, who worked in the same office as me in Farringdon. His daily commute was from somewhere near Bournemouth. In his younger days, he lived and worked in London. At some point he decided to move away but kept his city job. I think he spent over 20 years doing that commute, in days when working from home was much, much less common that it is today.
 

bspahh

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Most lidos are concentrated in London and in its commuter zone but there are also a few in the North. But I don't think they are located in places with good regional public transport, and not far from a good selection of low cost airlines for longer-distance travel as well.
There aren't many heated lidos that are open all year, and most of those are in and around London, as they are expensive to run.

If you pick somewhere with a good triathlon club, you might find that they have access to facilities that aren't generally open to the public, perhaps at schools and universities. This could be an unheated lido, like Jesus Green in Cambridge, where the club can arrange sessions with a lifeguard, or using indoor pools. For example, Bath Amphibians use the training pool at Bath University. With a club, you may then be able to share transport to distant events.
 

Dai Corner

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My requirements are follows, in no particular order:
1. good regional transport network
2. have job opportunities
3. close to a year-round lido
4. not far from low-cost airline airports
5. easy access to a seaside beach
Pontypridd in South Wales.

The rail network is receiving significant investment and there will soon be very frequent tram-trains to Cardiff where there are job opportunities, particularly if you're prepared to learn Welsh and work in the public sector. Transport for Wales head office is in the town.

The Welsh National Lido is there and there are through trains to Barry Island with its beach.

Cardiff Airport is also easily accessible by train and bus link. Cardiff hasn't got the widest range of flights but Bristol Airport is under two hours away by train and bus.

Plenty of houses to buy at around £120k.
 

miklcct

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I grew up in Harpenden, my dad commuted to South Quay until the IRA blew up the building he worked in. That was 30 years ago when the Thameslink service wasn’t as good. Luckily the company moved to Balham after that so it was more direct, although fewer choice of trains.
I think you’d be surprised how long a lot of people’s commutes are/were

Indeed - This thread prompted me to remember a colleague, sadly no longer with us, who worked in the same office as me in Farringdon. His daily commute was from somewhere near Bournemouth. In his younger days, he lived and worked in London. At some point he decided to move away but kept his city job. I think he spent over 20 years doing that commute, in days when working from home was much, much less common that it is today.

My first out of graduation had a long (72 minutes door-to-door) commute that made me mad and my health was massively deteriorated as a result, and I left the job after one year. I was working for 4 days a week. The reason was that, on the journey home, I had to rely on an express bus route with only 1 vehicle in the final part connecting the rail station back home once the peak hour had passed - the headway was 30 minutes. And in the beginning, I had to catch another frequent bus to the rail station, but it was in the city centre with occasional congestion, and it was already full to the extent that it skipped the final few stops before entering the tunnel (it topped the list of complaint numbers for a decade as it could never satisfy the huge demand despite running every 3-4 minutes) which I used to board, making me extremely difficult to time my arrival to connect to the final half-hourly express bus home.

The other routes home were much worse - they had a dozen of stops after the motorway before reaching my home, making the journey at least 10 minutes longer, and their frequencies were also very bad as well, 2 different routes each at 15-30 minutes headway without coordination.

I only returned to the job afterwards when I moved to the city centre and no longer do such commute, and I changed to 5-day working.



There aren't many heated lidos that are open all year, and most of those are in and around London, as they are expensive to run.

If you pick somewhere with a good triathlon club, you might find that they have access to facilities that aren't generally open to the public, perhaps at schools and universities. This could be an unheated lido, like Jesus Green in Cambridge, where the club can arrange sessions with a lifeguard, or using indoor pools. For example, Bath Amphibians use the training pool at Bath University. With a club, you may then be able to share transport to distant events.

I'm mainly looking for unheated lidos in the summer, possibly in the winter as well depending on my training (although I used a heated one - Guildford Lido - which was "heated" to 12°C in the last winter as I wasn't acclimated to single-digit temperatures)

And for sharing transport to events, my experience in an orienteering club is that I have never successfully arranged one and I had to hire cars on three occasions.

My first attempt was on Boxing Day. No one in my club lived close to me or went to the event at Moors Valley using the A338 from Bournemouth / Lansdowne / Boscombe. Their routes didn't touch the A338 at all.

My second attempt was an evening race in Alderholt, west of Fordingbridge. There were people who were willing to carry me, but unfortunately I was working full time and they went for an early start, so it was before my office hours ended and I couldn't join them.

My third attempt was a multi-race event further out. Unfortunately no one was in my club was doing my combination of races so I couldn't share a car as well.

Pontypridd in South Wales.

The rail network is receiving significant investment and there will soon be very frequent tram-trains to Cardiff where there are job opportunities, particularly if you're prepared to learn Welsh and work in the public sector. Transport for Wales head office is in the town.

The Welsh National Lido is there and there are through trains to Barry Island with its beach.

Cardiff Airport is also easily accessible by train and bus link. Cardiff hasn't got the widest range of flights but Bristol Airport is under two hours away by train and bus.

Plenty of houses to buy at around £120k.

Thanks for your suggestion, will take a look afterwards.

Can’t help feeling that this thread would have gone a lot better if the question was something like
How do people who live in London afford to run a car?

I really had no idea that a car is actually affordable before I saw how small the numbers (especially the home prices and the insurance figures, which I could never got when I browsed for ads on property / car sites) given.
 

Jozhua

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The government use RPI just to push up prices more. They should use CPI. Luckily by 2030 they'll have to as RPI won't be published any more, but not before they've achieved years of gouging us out with large above inflation rises.
Most of us will be RPI + 1%'d into destitution! My student loan interest is looking to hit a staggering 10-12% - on 50K debt!

Truly staggering...
 

Bletchleyite

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Most of us will be RPI + 1%'d into destitution! My student loan interest is looking to hit a staggering 10-12% - on 50K debt!

Truly staggering...

Think of it as a capped graduate tax. It's not real debt. All you really need to consider is the monthly payment and when it "times out".

It is impossible for a student loan to render anyone destitute. If you stop earning, you stop paying. It is impossible to default.
 

RailWonderer

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All around the network

L401CJF

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I dont find car ownership too expensive, ive been earning £25k for the last few years. Ive been driving near 10 years with a £400 corsa off ebay which just kept going. I have recently got a 15 plate diesel corsa for £3k, which I took out a loan to buy cash. Pay around £80 a month for it. Road tax is £0, just had my insurance renewal quote in at £290. Most expensive bit is fuelling the thing! I try to commute using the train where possible, but I have to own a car for the early starts and late finishes.

The Mrs has also recently upgraded from an ebay bargain corsa to a £5k 2016 corsa. Again, loan payment around £110per month, £30 road tax, her insurance is around £400 a year. Fuel is again the most expensive part. Flew through its last mot so no expense there.

She also has to own a car, as she has recently started working - nowhere near a train station and there isnt a bus stop near our house!

We upgraded cars as the ebay bargains were starting to show their age and it was time to get rid. With me getting a new job further from home, my trusty(ish) Y reg wasnt up to the big commute so I opted for a diesel.

Money has been incredibly tight the past few years but the cars arnt a luxury, theyre vital for us to get to work to bring the money in. I really do feel for those on even lower incomes, struggling with rising fuel prices who again dont have the option to use public transport - due to never ending bus cuts, unsociable hours etc - yet without a car wouldn't be able to get to work to bring the money in.
 

gg1

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My previous car (Citroen C4 Picasso) was bought at 12 months old in summer 2015, sold 5 years later after I'd covered 56,000 miles, total running costs for the 5 years of ownership (covering fuel, depreciation, tax, insurance, servicing, repairs and breakdown cover) were just shy of £17,000, or £3,400pa. Bear in mind I was covering around 50% more than the average UK mileage and Citroens aren't the best for depreciation.

As for £3,000pa on parking, I don't think I've even spent 1% of that figure in the past 12 months.
 

Volvictof

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Skimming through this thread and did I see someone suggest they don’t know how anyone could afford a car on less than a £50k salary? Surely that had to be a troll?
 

Davester50

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Can’t help feeling that this thread would have gone a lot better if the question was something like
How do people who live in London afford to run a car?
Agree with that.
Conversely, I don't know why anyone would own a car in London. The options are just a different level from anywhere else.
 

Darandio

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Skimming through this thread and did I see someone suggest they don’t know how anyone could afford a car on less than a £50k salary? Surely that had to be a troll?

Well yeah, it was in the opening post and one of the main reasons the thread exists.
 

43066

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Agree with that.
Conversely, I don't know why anyone would own a car in London. The options are just a different level from anywhere else.

If you’re one of the incredibly few people who has parking at work in central London it can be handy for getting to work, otherwise only really useful for journeys out of the capital.

My previous car (Citroen C4 Picasso) was bought at 12 months old in summer 2015, sold 5 years later after I'd covered 56,000 miles, total running costs for the 5 years of ownership (covering fuel, depreciation, tax, insurance, servicing, repairs and breakdown cover) were just shy of £17,000, or £3,400pa. Bear in mind I was covering around 50% more than the average UK mileage and Citroens aren't the best for depreciation.

That’s a lot to pay for what many would consider a fairly average car. To put that into perspective a mate of mine has an Aston Martin V8 vantage which he paid £30k for four years ago, it’s worth about the same now, possibly a little more.

Appreciate a high annual mileage and lack of practicality would preclude something like that in your situation, but depreciation is a real killer.
 

Davester50

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If you’re one of the incredibly few people who has parking at work in central London it can be handy for getting to work, otherwise only really useful for journeys out of the capital.
I'd imagine for those times ZipCar and similar are what you're after.
 

cactustwirly

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I basically have to drive to work, it's on an out of town industrial estate, so the train isn't practical.

There is a bus, but it is very slow and doesn't run at a convenient time to get to work.

The car is basically the same price as the bus fare. Plus I get an extra hour in bed. It's also really handy for shopping, or spontaneous weekend trips, you don't have to worry about advances.

I still take the train into London though
 

43066

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I'd imagine for those times ZipCar and similar are what you're after.

Those don’t work for things like day trips to the sticks, where you’ll need the car for the whole day but only drive it for a couple of hours, or overnight visits to parents in the rural Home Counties etc.

The car is basically the same price as the bus fare. Plus I get an extra hour in bed. It's also really handy for shopping, or spontaneous weekend trips, you don't have to worry about advances.

Buses are the worst possible form of public transport, even in London where they’re reasonably priced and regular.
 

gg1

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That’s a lot to pay for what many would consider a fairly average car. To put that into perspective a mate of mine has an Aston Martin V8 vantage which he paid £30k for four years ago, it’s worth about the same now, possibly a little more.

Appreciate a high annual mileage and lack of practicality would preclude something like that in your situation, but depreciation is a real killer.
We're in the middle of highly unusual spike in used car prices now though, virtually all cars have increased in value the past couple of years, not just performance/luxury marques.

After I traded in my old Citroen I saw the dealer was asking £6,400 for it on Autotrader in July 2020. Just checked Autotrader again, the closest I can see is same model, engine and gearbox but higher mileage (70,000 compared to 66,000) and 3-6 months older (2014 63 plate compared to June 2014 registered 14 plate), asking price is £7,090.
 

Davester50

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Those don’t work for things like day trips to the sticks, where you’ll need the car for the whole day but only drive it for a couple of hours, or overnight visits to parents in the rural Home Counties etc.
Yes, that's the problem with car clubs, very few have one way rentals.
I understood ZipCar Flex was able to be taken one way though.
 

43066

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We're in the middle of highly unusual spike in used car prices now though, virtually all cars have increased in value the past couple of years, not just performance/luxury marques.

After I traded in my old Citroen I saw the dealer was asking £6,400 for it on Autotrader in July 2020. Just checked Autotrader again, the closest I can see is same model, engine and gearbox but higher mileage (70,000 compared to 66,000) and 3-6 months older (2014 63 plate compared to June 2014 registered 14 plate), asking price is £7,090.

Yes that’s true.

I’m approaching a point where I will want to get another car, and the exotic/performance option would fit my use case very well as I have no need for practicality and would cover a low annual mileage, only using the car on “high days and holidays”. I could be tempted by a 997, M4 or aforementioned AM V8, albeit all have jumped in value substantially over the past year or so.

Forthcoming move to deal with first however!
 

jon0844

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That’s a lot to pay for what many would consider a fairly average car. To put that into perspective a mate of mine has an Aston Martin V8 vantage which he paid £30k for four years ago, it’s worth about the same now, possibly a little more.

Appreciate a high annual mileage and lack of practicality would preclude something like that in your situation, but depreciation is a real killer.

Probably didn't do much mileage as that would impact its value perhaps more than anything else. And we are in a very odd situation right now where second hand cars are in so much demand than even a first generation Nissan Leaf with a dodgy battery is going for more money than 2 years ago... and most cars are selling for well above their book price.

That does of course mean that all these examples of buying a cheap second hand car might need some adjusting until the shortage of new cars starts to sort itself out.

People are waiting 6 to 18 months for a new car (the latter being quoted for the new Mercedes luxury EV) and some car makers are de-speccing cars because of the chip shortage. Imagine waiting up to a year and finding out your new car has features removed, and they're offering pitiful discounts as compensation. You can hardly refuse the car as you've already had to work out some alternative arrangement for transport during that wait.

Once we get flooded with smaller, cheaper, EVs in the coming years - with far lower maintenance costs - I think we'll see cars getting more affordable and practical again. Otherwise the cheap way to drive is a basic, no-nonsense, car that gets you from A to B but might lack some of the creature comforts that people want these days (you know, to make that long car journey more pleasant).
 

43066

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Probably didn't do much mileage as that would impact its value perhaps more than anything else. And we are in a very odd situation right now where second hand cars are in so much demand than even a first generation Nissan Leaf with a dodgy battery is going for more money than 2 years ago... and most cars are selling for well above their book price.

That does of course mean that all these examples of buying a cheap second hand car might need some adjusting until the shortage of new cars starts to sort itself out.

People are waiting 6 to 18 months for a new car (the latter being quoted for the new Mercedes luxury EV) and some car makers are de-speccing cars because of the chip shortage. Imagine waiting up to a year and finding out your new car has features removed, and they're offering pitiful discounts as compensation. You can hardly refuse the car as you've already had to work out some alternative arrangement for transport during that wait.

Once we get flooded with smaller, cheaper, EVs in the coming years - with far lower maintenance costs - I think we'll see cars getting more affordable and practical again. Otherwise the cheap way to drive is a basic, no-nonsense, car that gets you from A to B but might lack some of the creature comforts that people want these days (you know, to make that long car journey more pleasant).

I honestly don’t understand why people buy brand new cars, unless you’re genuinely in the category of “too rich to care”.

The depreciation on most types is simply horrendous.

You can hardly refuse the car as you've already had to work out some alternative arrangement for transport during that wait.

You’d be on safe ground legally to reject it as it wouldn’t be as described etc. Whether you’d want to or not is another question, which is what they’re playing on, I suppose.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I honestly don’t understand why people buy brand new cars, unless you’re genuinely in the category of “too rich to care”.

The depreciation on most types is simply horrendous.

I completely agree but...ssshhh...if someone tells them there won't be a good selection of 2-3 year old used cars for us to buy! :)
 

43066

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I completely agree but...ssshhh...if someone tells them there won't be a good selection of 2-3 year old used cars for us to buy! :)

:)

Albeit still far too new! The next car I buy will almost certainly be 10-15 years old.
 

Bletchleyite

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:)

Albeit still far too new! The next car I buy will almost certainly be 10-15 years old.

Fair enough. I generally wouldn't buy that old because I want my car to be reliable, and at that sort of age you might be lucky or you might not. An experienced home mechanic with time on their hands is likely to be served well by a 10-15 year old car, that said, particularly if they have welding experience and a welder.

I tend to buy at 2-3 years old and keep for 3-5 years. Generally this means you've missed the worst of the depreciation and have a couple of grand of value left at the end to put into the next one.
 

43066

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I generally wouldn't buy that old because I want my car to be reliable, and at that sort of age you might be lucky or you might not.

I’m just not sure that age = unreliability necessarily follows these days. A fair few years back I ran an old focus I had bought for £700 for over a year and 15,000 miles. It never let me down once, true turn key reliability. I’ve spent a lot more time and money maintaining less reliable and far more expensive BMWs I’ve had.

My next automotive target will be something a few years old, around the £30-35k mark, with a good badge that I will enjoy driving, with close to zero depreciation - possible even *appreciation* if I choose wisely.
 

jon0844

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I honestly don’t understand why people buy brand new cars, unless you’re genuinely in the category of “too rich to care”.

The depreciation on most types is simply horrendous.



You’d be on safe ground legally to reject it as it wouldn’t be as described etc. Whether you’d want to or not is another question, which is what they’re playing on, I suppose.

I've only ever bought a new car once, because I wanted a set of options that wasn't widely available otherwise.. but other than that, I've often gone for ex-demo cars that were significantly cheaper and might still only have a couple of hundred miles on them.

And, yes, you could reject your new car after waiting a year - but would you? To get to the back of the queue (or have to go down a road of trying to take legal action to remedy the situation, which might prove fruitless as you either take the car or don't).

I think the car market is currently quite mad and that's why I opted to lease to see how things pan out in a few years. Have to say, as my first car lease I have warmed to it and might actually consider getting my next car on lease. It saves the pain of selling a car (even if, right now, you could sell anything without much fuss) down the line, as well as hefty maintenance costs as the car gets older. Modern cars are not easy to fix, and the days of tinkering around at home are pretty much over.
 

Twotwo

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I get 75% off underground and national rail fares but I'd rather drive to places cause I hate public transport. Even if I'm going up north or Midlands I'd rather perfer to drive as it gives me a bit of freedom when I'm there. I live in zone 3 in London and having a car makes my life so much easier.
 

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