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Should you buy a car if you live in the inner city?


RateCity Staff

By RateCity Staff

4 min read

Everyday household costs can quickly add up and if you live in the inner city chances are you’re already paying more for everything from groceries to eating out.

Add in home loan and credit card repayments and your expenses can escalate if you don't stay on top of them.

If you’re then considering putting a vehicle in to the mix, along with regular maintenance and fuel costs, you might be reaching the limits of your budget.  

So if you're living in the inner city and want to keep costs down, is it worth ditching a car altogether?

Consider some of these points before committing to a purchase:

Ride sharing services

With the rise of ride sharing services such as Uber in metro areas the days of expensive taxis are numbered. If you’re someone who figured it was probably cheaper to run your own car than to catch taxis your calculations need to be revised taking into account the inexpensiveness of an Uber trip.

Of course we all know by now to keep an eye out for pesky surcharges during peak times when using the Uber app but in general this service could be the decider between whether or not you purchase a car.

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Your green credentials

Motor vehicles offer convenience, but that's not all they provide. They also discharge air pollutants, including carbon monoxide, benzene, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds, which can lead to photochemical smog and health problems, according to government organisation Green Vehicle Guide.

There are a number of vehicles that are more environmentally friendly than others, which you could take into account when taking out a car loan. But if you're located in close proximity to your workplace, have efficient transport links to head to the suburbs or don't have off-street parking, it might be worth saving your money — and the environment — by going car free!

Steer yourself to the bus stop, train station or ferry terminal

If you're living in an inner-city apartment or perhaps a city-fringe villa, there's another great reason to ditch the car.

Public transport links tend to be plentiful in these areas, given that commuters from far-reaching suburbs need to get into the city. Plus, there are often inner-city bus loops. 

For instance, there are train stations across central Sydney and Sydney Buses run virtually 24 hours per day, while the route 555 city shuttle bus provides services every 10 minutes and is entirely free. That's not to mention the ferry services on offer.

The Opal card can be used across the Sydney Ferries, Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink Intercity services. Regular users benefit from the weekly travel reward and 30 percent discount on off-peak train travel. Plus, you'll never pay more than $2.50 for all your Sunday journeys.

In Melbourne, the extensive tram network is great news for inner-city dwellers, not to mention the free City Circle CBD tram.

If you’re still convinced you need a car to get around the city then here are some useful tips to consider:

  • Choose an ecofriendly model that will not only be good for the environment but also cost you less in fuel
  • Consider buying a used vehicle to save on the initial cost of the vehicle
  • Compare car loans to make sure you get a competitive interest rate

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