There was a time that a boldly proclaimed I had no need for a car in London! How could I? I have buses at my fingertips, I loved walking most places and the wonderful Sainsburys had just started delivering (yes I’m that old!) How times change. Now that it’s not just me, I have a dog and stepson in tow, life without a car in the Capital would be a nightmare. Sure I still take public transport or walk most of the time when I’m alone but when there are little ones and furry ones in tow the tube and bus system aren’t quite so friendly.
The one pain with cars though is the upkeep. Initially, because of this I opened for Zipcar but found it, in the end, to be quite inconvenient and also expensive! Especially when you do an Ikea trip….que adding on more time about 5 times in a row then extra time still to unload and drive it back to where you found it.
So after spending a hefty amount on Zipcar I returned to the idea of my own little runaround. I decided any convenience is going to have to a price tag and I was ready to pay to make my life that little bit more convenient. However, to avoid a full bank account emptying session I chose to lease my car, it’s something people are doing more and more as it’s like a pay as you go system that’s a hell of a lot more convenient than a hire as you go, park it miles away from you option.
With a car lease gone is the massive payment you have to fork out initially and gone is the shopping around for second-hand options when you have no clue how to check if a car is road worthy! Instead, a shiny, spankers car waits for you in front of your house, or in London, on the roadside below your flat... for around £300 a month! So how to keep costs down even further once you have the car? I’ve got a few tips-
A little secret I’ve learned from leasing cars is something called halves and thirds which you’ll find in most contracts. It allows you to swap in your car for another brand new one when half your contract is up! Doing this you never have to pay another down payment and you continually have a new car! It’s a massive double win!
Another money saving option for car owners in the capital is an offer that Halfords have on at the moment to save you the cost of your MOT! If you buy any product from any Halfords get a FREE, read it, FREE MOT at one of their 300 Autocentres across the UK!
My final suggestion is the wonderful thing that is air. We went through a stage of having so many issues with our tires puncturing - God knows why - slow punctures it seemed, as for a good few weeks we were able to fill the tires up with free air at the petrol station and it would get us through for a good week or so before the light came on again! Now I know this isn't strictly advised but really what I'm saying is go to the free air before you go to change a tire. Sometimes there is just a problem with the tight fit and you can go a good month with the pressures being fine!