Just as the pandemic revolutionised the way we work, so the soaring cost of fuel could change the way society owns and uses cars, a journalist has predicted.
A recent survey suggested that around one in 10 people are considering giving up driving, with many citing the eye watering cost of fuel and the climate crisis.
However, motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert thinks the solution should not be as drastic as giving up your car completely:
“The big thing I would see happening [in the next few years] is a Netflix approach to car ownership,” Ms Herbert told The Hard Shoulder.
“That you can dip in and out of a subscription type model. You can have a different car at different times of the year. You might do without a car at all during the summer and only have it during the winter.
“So I think that’ll be the biggest change.”
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Currently the market for short-term car rentals in Ireland is quite small, but Ms Herbert said it has begun to take off in Britain and it is likely that Irish consumers will soon follow suit:
“In the UK obviously they’ve a much bigger market and it’s becoming a much bigger thing,” she said.
“But if you think about it, your car is really no different from your CD collection or your DVDs and we swapped all of those for Netflix and Spotify.
“So it’s just the convenience that these subscription based services would offer.
“If there was actually a company that could offer a huge range of cars and great flexibility, the benefits of having the likes of your insurance, your maintenance, your motor tax, all taken care of with one subscription would be very appealing to a lot of people.”
Cost of driving
Out on the streets of Dublin, Newstalk found that the rising cost of running a car was already making some people think twice:
“I try not to drive anywhere now,” one woman said.
“It’s just too much, you can barely get anything for a tenner.”
Instead, she has begun taking public transport to work.
“I only drive when I have to [ever since] the past month or so. I’ve noticed it a lot more, I’ve had to drive down to the country a few times in the past month and I had to stop off twice because I wasn’t getting the fuel for the buck I was putting in.
“It’s just not worth it. Better off getting the trains and the buses.”
Main image: Land Rover cars at a Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Reading, Britain. Picture by: Tim Ireland/Xinhua.