Is renting a car cheaper than owning a car?

Currently, 9 in 10 adults in Great Britain have reported that their cost of living has increased. Which is why it’s no surprise that many of us are looking for ways to cut costs and save money where we can. In fact, 42% of us have already started to cut back on non-essential car journeys to save on costs - so why not take it a step further and completely cut out the costs of owning a car?

How much does owning a car cost per year in the UK?

After forking out the initial cost of buying a car, there are the ongoing costs that come with keeping a car; road tax, insurance, maintenance, fuel, parking and repairs. The current annual cost of running a car is approximately £3,500. This has risen by £500 (17%) in the last year alone, with the general rise in fuel price and higher insurance rates contributing to this.

A recent study conducted by NerdWallet tells us that almost two thirds (64%) of car owners say their vehicle is the most expensive outgoing in their life after their rent/mortgage. When most drivers (80%) are only using their car for two days a week, why should a car be their second most expensive outgoing cost?

Should I sell my car and rent instead?

The idea of selling your car and switching to renting instead might seem unimaginable depending on your personal circumstances. What if you’re one of the 24% of people in the UK who use their car every day? In that case, it’s not likely that renting a car each day will be cheaper or more convenient than owning a car yourself. However, with the average car sitting idle for 96% of the time, there are many who could save a significant amount by ditching their car!

“I’ve been without a car for 4 years and I got rid of my vehicle because it was sitting there, but I was still paying for insurance, parking and fuel. When I do need a vehicle for a day, I just book out a car on Karshare, then there’s no responsibility for me to look after the vehicle or maintain it - it just goes back to the owner. With the cost of living and everything, the cost of maintaining a vehicle is not a cost I want when it’s not necessary.” - Namul

We’re encouraging you to figure out your current car usage and check out the nearby cars on Karshare to see how much you could rent one for instead.

Let’s say you use your car once a week for a food shop and general errands, then once a year for a week long getaway and throw in a few weekends for time to visit family and friends. That would total at £2,440 per year on rentals (excluding fuel costs) based on a Karshare car rental of £40/day.

This doesn’t take into consideration that you might split the rental cost between passengers, or choose to rent for just a few hours instead of a full day. Every situation is completely unique, but if you currently own a car and you’re not dependent on it for most of the week, it’s definitely an approach that can save you £1000s each year. And this is on top of the money you’d earn from selling!

The realities of ditching the car

Many of our current customers have said goodbye to their car and simply rent one whenever they need. As more people open up their car for sharing, the more options you’ll have to choose from!

“After selling my car, I just hire one on Karshare if I need to go shopping, take my family for appointments - important things like that you know. Some of the car locations are really convenient, so I can easily walk there in 5 minutes.” - Mumin

On the flip side, if you’re not ready to completely say goodbye to your car, then why not share it instead? This generates income on the days you’re not using your car to help offset the costs of ownership. Callum from Putney started sharing his car earlier this year and says

“I’ve been renting my car out for five weeks and I’ve made just over £1000. The money I’ve had from Karshare has been fantastic so far. Especially as I’ve just had my MOT, my car service and my tax on the vehicle, so normally that would be a lean month for me, but now it feels like I have a free car.”

Adopting car sharing in one way or the other can help you either cut your costs or boost your income. It’s all about finding what works best for you!