Here’s 3 easy steps to using your car less.
Step 1 Think about whether you really need to use a car for the trip. Could you bike or cycle instead. Think about the calories you’ll burn, earn that latte! Did you know two thirds of car journeys are less than 6 kilometers?
Step 2 Okay, you’ve thought about whether you need to use a car. It’s too far to walk and not suitable for cycling. Could you catch a bus or train? You’ll save money; sometimes it’s quicker, but you will also be reducing your carbon emissions. Feel virtuous as your train chugs past those commuters on their one occupant cars stuck in a motorway jam!
Step 3 Get serious; now you may have discovered you can manage without a car reasonably well. You sometimes need to use it but not that often. Work out what it costs you to have it sitting in your garage ready for whenever you might want it. Really work out the costs, add in the car registration, servicing, 6 monthly WOFs and insurance, petrol and so on. Chances are, if you sold the car and invested the money you could have quite a nice holiday every year.
Consider whether you really need to be a 2 or 3 car family. But what about when I need a car? Have you heard about car sharing?
In Auckland and Wellington Cityhop offers a membership scheme where members can access brand new eco-friendly cars for only $15 an hour. So you need never be without a car for the weekly trip.
The more people who car share the more likelihood that there will be more cars around the city and suburbs.
Finally, if you have kids, find out if your school has a walking school bus and join them in. It’s a great way for you and your kids to make friends, get exercise and be friendly.