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Steamdrivenandy

Do you really need such a big car?

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The reports in the Press that the popularity of big SUV's was compromising the country's move to reduce vehicle emissions got me thinking.

 

Leaving aside the towing requirement, which the majority of UK car owners don't have, how do the economics of owning a small car work out if you decide to hire a bigger car when needed. Obviously there are a lot of variables in such a calculation but as a base line I compared a Fabia 1.0TSI SEL with a Karoq 1.6TDI SEL, using 10,000 miles a year, with a £2,000 deposit on Skoda's current PCP financing over three years. I added in insurance costs, servicing and repairs, fuel and VED.

 

The Fabia came in at £14,150, or £4,717 per year.

 

The Karoq was £20,269 on the same basis and equals £6,756 per year.

 

To hire a full size SUV from Enterprise in August for 16 days costs about £600 

 

So the annual difference between the two vehicles is a smidge over £2,000  and you could hire a large SUV for 1.75 months a year for that money. Before retirement my company insisted we used hire cars for business trips and I know from experience that they can be hired at very short notice and get delivered and collected from your home address. As most journeys are commuting with just one person in the car, using a smaller car could save up to and maybe more than £2,000 a year, which isn't a small amount.    

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It's much more about wanting rather than needing, our lives are full of 'stuff' that we want but I'd guess we don't need 90% of it.

 

I have big SUV because I want a big SUV, cost is irrelevant to me.

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10 minutes ago, Borussia 1900 said:

It's much more about wanting rather than needing, our lives are full of 'stuff' that we want but I'd guess we don't need 90% of it.

 

I have big SUV because I want a big SUV, cost is irrelevant to me.

+1

 

I drive what I do because it's what I want - hiring a tow car would simply be unaffordable for 20+ weeks/year - plus I need a big 4x4 two or three times a month to go out with friends on unmade roads.

 

While it's not the way everyone works, my car is an extension of my personalitity - driving a hire car just isn't the same for me, others may find it more acceptable.

 

I've looked at the economics of buying a second-hand EV as an additional car for the shorter journeys when I don't need a big car but it's just too expensive.

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You could also criticize the people who "want" to change theirs cars regularly!  How long does it take the lower emissions of a new car take to repair the environmental impact of scrapping an old car and making the new one?

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Us too-there are plenty of cars out there that produce more emissions than some of the suv's out there-seems they've found a good scapegoat again. Our Navara does 37mpg on a good run.  If they freed up the roads by sorting the endless road works and pinch points and traffic lights we'dnot sit there producing fumes for no movement. Did anyone see the cost to the enviroment of a cargo vessel-will see if I can find it-but as per usual the car /Suv is the easy target. 

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My Yeti is in for a long repair and they have given me a courtesy car.  But it's a Citigo and I hate the low driving position.  I feel much safer in a car with an elevated driving seat.  Unless you cover a high mileage, the cost of fuel is a small part of the ownership cost.  But in twenty or thirty years' time, I think car ownership will be rare - most will used shared 'cars'.

 

Of couse, some will consider the Yeti a small or compact car; I don't foresee ever wishing to have anything larger.  My manager wants a hybrid or all electric but I don't think they are superior or greener yet.

 

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If it wasn't for towing I would have an electric car. The likely monthly payment needed to lease would be around the same price as the fuel I put in the Shogun.

 

My concern for hiring a tow-car is:

I've found it very difficult (as in impossible) to hire a towcar with suitable tow-ball and electrics in the past at short notice.

Booking sites with CMC I need to put the tow vehicle reg in. Similar stories for booking ferries.

I would need to get a new reg-plate made with each hire.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

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Personally I’d rather have a smaller car - the only big cars we’ve ever had are the current Passat and a previous Citroen C4 Picasso (which actually took up very little road space but was vast inside), I’m also not a fan of the high-up seating position much preferring to feel closer to the road.

 

Assuming we didn’t have a caravan, I would much rather have a roof box for the holidays which is in fact what we did - the Citroen DS4’s were a perfect size for us, okay a little cramped if going out with 5 in the car but that was the exception not the rule.


As we are quite happier with a smaller/ lighter caravan than the norm and as my confidence and experience towing continues to grow I can see my next car being 1500kg-ish but with more punch to tow a 1400kg-ish caravan, something like a Focus ST Estate or Golf mk8/ next Octavia vRS Estate.


I’m happy for others to drive trucks, simply can’t see the appeal!

 

 

 

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In June I did a 300 mile round trip in my wifes Fiat 500. Never again. Ignoring towing duties I prefer large comfortable cars, especially when doing  25,000 miles a year. I like to get out of a car and not need an osteopath!

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Towing or not, I like driving big 4x4’s, always have. I’m a big guy at 6’6” and 17.5’, so the Jeep fits. I do use them properly off-road too. Kay has a Mini, which she loves, but I loath it. Too cramped, and the ride is abysmal. 

 

I’m a bike guy too, I rarely use the car if I have to go into the city, nor for short journeys unless the weathers truly vile. I did 12 years with just a motorbike, rain, hail, snow and all,  and if I was ever in the position again where I couldn’t afford both, I’d lose the car in a heartbeat. My bikes are a load of fun and a quick and efficient way of getting about, far more so than any small car, but not much good for towing a caravan. 

 

We’re fortunate that trying to save a few quid by scrimping isn’t a big deal for us these days, so we have what we want. 

Edited by Fireman Iain
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we wouldn't have such a big car if we didn't have the van, however we couldn't have the low sporty ones  or ones that are really small . With the hire car , has the OP factored in the extra insurance cost for peace of mind ?

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Our big SUV makes no additional contribution to vehicle emissions, unless we use that one, and that only happens when there is a "need" for it.

So hiring a big SUV would make more, as not only will it do our task, it has to be collected and returned by someone so more road miles than getting our own out of the garage.

For "car" duties not needing the big SUV we use my wife's Golf,  it makes a decent enough shopping chariot, easier to park and sportier to drive.

Where a car is not needed and walking is impractical, then weather and task allowing I cycle.

We have near zero access to a bus directly from home, but do drive to a car park to pick one up if needing to travel into the two local cities, it is easier doing that.

 

I expect we don't "need" a car at all, there are taxis, but we want the sort of life that having a car can bring those like ourselves living  rurally without public transport.

 

 

 

Edited by JTQ

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5 minutes ago, joanie said:

we wouldn't have such a big car if we didn't have the van, however we couldn't have the low sporty ones  or ones that are really small . With the hire car , has the OP factored in the extra insurance cost for peace of mind ?


I get indemnity insurance, £35 per year and covers all my excess payments on hire cars

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4 hours ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

...To hire a full size SUV from Enterprise in August for 16 days costs about £600 ...

The theory is good, but it's hard to find one with a towbar.

 

I could manage with a smaller car, but the pathetic payload on my caravan means that I have to carry a load of stuff in the car. 

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Life's short and it's your money.

 

Emissions are not just vehicle related but mileage related. An SUV may emit less than a Prius.

 

And the Prius owner may have two or three long haul holidays a year. 

 

So it's never easy to judge.

 

But on the SUV issue. Owned several, ran several for work. Greats tools but never made me feel like I wanted to just go out for a drive. 

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As I said at the beginning this wasn't relevant to caravan towing, but could be to the far larger set of people who don't tow.

 

And yes, additional insurance might be called for but as it's for short periods it shouldn't be too large a cost.

 

As to having larger vehicles so that long journeys don't cripple the joints, that's when you hire the larger car.

 

Obviously having a hire car delivered or collecting it adds miles,  but probably less emissions than driving around all year in a big car. 

 

And I'm 6ft 2ins and 17.5 stone and happily drove Mrs SDA's Twingo for two years and there aren't many cars smaller than that.

 

Hiring a towcar is a pain, I'll agree, so that's why I specifically made the point that it didn't include them. However the one time I did hire a towcar the spare number plate was supplied by the hire company.

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The OP only seems to want to use his caravan for 16 days of the year. In this case whynot sell it, have a small car and use hotels.

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5 minutes ago, Benfica said:

The OP only seems to want to use his caravan for 16 days of the year. In this case whynot sell it, have a small car and use hotels.

No, he said you could hire a SUV for 16 days for a cost of £600.  Then he said you could buy the smaller car and use the savings to hire a SUV for seven weeks.

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I took the Fiat 500 into town earlier rather than the Volvo purely off the back of this post.  Admittedly it was easier to park the Fiat (no surprise) but the V90 still wins for me. It'll be taking me to Swindon tomorrow and I'm actually looking forward to the comfort. 

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16 minutes ago, Benfica said:

The OP only seems to want to use his caravan for 16 days of the year. In this case whynot sell it, have a small car and use hotels.


It is best to read the post.

 

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4 hours ago, Borussia 1900 said:

It's much more about wanting rather than needing, our lives are full of 'stuff' that we want but I'd guess we don't need 90% of it.

 

I have big SUV because I want a big SUV, cost is irrelevant to me.

+1

its what we want...

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29 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

...And I'm 6ft 2ins and 17.5 stone and happily drove Mrs SDA's Twingo for two years and there aren't many cars smaller than that.


We used to own smart cars, at 6’4” and formerly 16st I was more than comfortable in them, we often used them for longer trips

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As a family we do require 3 cars due to work and mobility.

 

Jag XF

Skoda Octavia

Skoda Citigo.

 

To be honest the XF hardly ever goes into town.  The Citigo is like a dodgem it's so agile and easy to park.

 

If I only had one car and didn't tow then no the XF would be too big, do away with my commute then I'm not sure. I'd like to say F-Type more likely a quick hatch or small saloon.

Maybe then if I needed something bigger I could hire?

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The dog‘s dead now so that’s free’d the boot up on the Shogun, won’t be downsizing though because Mrs B will find something to fill it and no small cars can tow my caravan.

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1 hour ago, FrankBullet said:


We used to own smart cars, at 6’4” and formerly 16st I was more than comfortable in them, we often used them for longer trips

 

The Twingo was a Smart with Renault badges, built on the same line.

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