Fuel prices – are they driving you to car and van rental?

This week, the average UK cost of a litre of unleaded petrol tipped over £1.30. Diesel drivers passed that mark weeks ago and are now paying an average of £1.34 a litre. And the rises are expected to continue. Here’s why car and van rental may be the simplest way to avoid the fuel hikes.

Pumps at Petrol Station

The cost of filling the average family car has risen by £6 since April. Fuel prices in the UK have risen every week for the past 10 weeks. And if the rumblings coming from the Treasury are anything to go by, the Chancellor’s autumn budget could remove the freeze on fuel duty, because in a post-Brexit world he’s likely to need all the money he can get.

It’s not a good time to own a car or van. And that could mean it’s a better time to consider the alternative to car or van ownership.

Now, we’re not suggesting ditching the car is a viable option for everyone, or even most people. If you live in a rural area with little public transport, if your work demands the permanent availability of a car or van, or if you have a family who need to be in several different places, often almost simultaneously, there’s no substitute for buying or leasing a vehicle permanently.

But sometimes, having permanent access to a car or van isn’t essential. Sometimes it’s a ‘nice to have’ that becomes less nice as petrol costs skyrocket.

The car rental trial

Recently, we hired a car to a graphic designer in Leeds who was trialling living without a permanent car. The city isn’t short of public transport, and his job meant that he worked mainly from home. If he needed to visit clients in the city, public transport was easier than finding (and paying for) a parking space. If he needed to head out of town he could hire a car for a day or two – which is how he arrived at our door.

Permanent car ownership was a convenience. He was missing the freedom to nip to Starbucks for the occasional coffee, but in terms of practical benefits, he had cut his monthly outlay on car lease repayments, insurance and petrol by around 75%, instead hiring a car two or three times a month as and when required.

He’s going to give the trial until the end of the year to see how he manages, but right now he imagines he’ll stick to occasional car hire to escape the cost of ownership.

If that sounds like something you could try, talk to us about making it easy.

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