With approximately 19.5 million cars in Australia, it’s obvious how important they are to us. They’ve become a significant contributor to how we move through life and stay connected with others. We rely on them to be there whenever we need them. When it comes to considering the pros and cons of car sharing or exclusive ownership, it pays to think about the impacts not just on your wallet but your lifestyle too.
If you’re not one of the 50% of women over 35 who are the only driver of their car (a recent survey finding that likely relates to men too), we’re here to tell you why you should. From freedom to fun, these lifestyle benefits of being the sole driver of your car are difficult to ignore.
Let’s explore some of these lifestyle perks for exclusive owner-drivers.
1. Your Car’s Always Available When You Need It
Of course, this is the number one reason many people decide to invest in a car. We lead busy lives. Who can afford the extra planning and travel time to get to where we need to go?
When you’re sharing your car with others, it’s not always available when you need it. You need to work around someone else’s schedule, not your own. Not so lifestyle perk-y.
Ride sharing like Uber can be expensive to rely on, especially if you need it often. Plus, you have to wait for the driver to arrive and potentially go a longer way than you would’ve chosen.
Public transport? That can be a pain too, often adding more distance and travel time to your trip – particularly if you’re heading somewhere outside usual routes.
Having exclusive access to your car gives you the freedom and flexibility to be spontaneous with your decisions. Want to go out for dinner with friends at the last minute? Unexpectedly need a grocery top-up? Without a car, you’re stuck trying to find alternative ways to get there. You’ll either be late, have to foot the bill for transport or give up because it’s too difficult to organise. #nofun
2. You Can Holiday As Long As You Want
Who doesn’t love a road trip? If you share your car, your co-driver will need to arrange alternative transport while you’re away. You might be forced to cut that hard-earned break short or rent a hire car instead. Not much room for impromptu travel fun.
And what happens when your co-driver wants to take the car on their own camping adventure? You’ll be left high and dry. Is the payoff worth it?
3. You Stay Connected, Living Life to the Fullest
There’s no doubting that technology has changed the way we drive. By connecting our phones and other digital devices to our cars, we have access to navigation, traffic updates, reminders about scheduled appointments – we can even control smart devices in our house from our cars.
Sharing your car means multiple connected devices and fiddly transitions between phones. Who’s got time for that? You just want to get in your car, trust it’s set up just for you, and get onto the road.
4. Your Fave Tunes Are Always Ready to Go
There’s nothing like relaxing into the driver’s seat after a stressful day, crankin’ the tunes and singing your heart out. Your car instantly becomes your space to unwind – helping you happily live in the moment for as long as it takes to get to where you’re going.
Research also suggests that letting loose with car karaoke might even reduce your road rage, because it releases feel-good chemicals in your brain.
As the only driver, you’ll never have to worry about someone else’s terrible taste in music setting your teeth on edge you when you get in.
5. Never Adjust the Seat, Mirrors or Aircon Ever Again
Yup, that means you, short stuff! There’ll be no need to pull that seat in, yank down that rearview mirror or fiddle with your side mirrors. Ever again.
Want the aircon cranked to deal with frequent hot flushes or a two-day temperature? Or maybe you’d prefer it to be a balmy 24 degrees all year round? As the sole driver you have full control over the settings of the heat, air, lights, volume, everything. You deserve it.
6. Your Car is Your Sacred Space
We know you like driving when the conditions are ideal. It’s your quiet space to unwind on the way home from work, or somewhere you can dance alone (without judgement) to your fave music station.
You want to find your car in the condition you left it in – clean, dry and comfortable (or messily yours). Without that half-eaten biscuit jammed down between the seats from your sister’s kids. The days-old juice smell from your mum’s McDonalds misadventure. A soggy towel and mini sandcastles from your housemate’s beach trip. Or a pile of moving boxes that your boyfriend couldn’t be bothered pulling out of the car after his final trip.
When you keep your car to yourself, you can really enjoy your driving time without managing other people’s smelly/untidy/annoying baggage. #breathe
7. All Your Things Will Stay Where You Put Them
Have you pulled up at the shops ready to grab groceries in the pouring rain and you can’t find your umbrella or your shopping bags? Sigh.
Your hubby pulled everything out of the car on the weekend, to load it with cartons of rubbish for the tip – and he didn’t put anything back. Your girlfriend has left lying around all manner of bits and bobs from the baby shower she helped host over the weekend. Sharing a car with your significant other is just not what it’s cracked up to be.
Just another great reason to say no to sharing your wheels. You know your supplies are there ready for you, where you want them, when you need them.
After all these pros and cons of car sharing, you can see how sharing your ride might cause you unnecessary stress. And at PD Insurance, we want your time on the road to be enjoyable and fuss free.
To make life easier, we offer a range of insurance discounts for drivers. Importantly, as the only driver of your car, we’ll give you an exclusive-driver discount on your comprehensive car insurance. Why? Because our research tells us sole drivers are likely to be safer, so we think that’s worth rewarding.
There are other ways to save on your car insurance – read our article here.
Before, you go – remember to check out our financial, safety and cleanliness perks of being the exclusive driver of your car.
Over to You – Pros and Cons of Car Sharing
What other lifestyle tips (or sharing disaster stories) can you share with us? Do you have any pros and cons of car sharing worth noting below? We’d love to know.