SPONSORED EDITORIAL: Since passing my test more than 20 years ago, I’ve always owned a car – and despite the illusion of convenience, I’ve always yearned to be free of the hassle.
The MOT, the tax, the repair bills, the paperwork and oh-my-god the parking – all these things add up to one right royal pain in the wotsit, and so when cashflow problems finally forced us to sell our car, I secretly sighed with relief.
One of the things I love most about Brighton and Hove is that nearly everything is walkable, or at a push a bus ride away.
But of course there are some occasions where a car is just so much easier – which is where City Car Club comes in.
I regularly spot the brightly coloured cars around the city, which isn’t difficult in my neighbourhood where they seem to be parked on every other corner.
So one of the first things we did after saying goodbye to our beaten-up old Honda (now enjoying life as a banger racer) was to sign up.
Our first trip was a family day out to Stanmer Park for a spot of gruffalo hunting on a winter’s day for our two small children.
They were thrilled at getting to ride in a new car – and I was thrilled at how easy the car was to drive, particularly the rear camera which made parking a doddle (see, I still can’t stop myself talking about parking).
A couple of weeks later, we took it for a spin to Newhaven to visit Paradise Park. We hadn’t planned the trip, but with so many cars nearby, there was plenty of availability.
And on Sunday, we used it to visit grandma in Eastbourne Hospital, stopping off en route to stock up with Mother’s Day chocolates.
Each trip cost us between £25 to £30, which on the face of it sounds a lot – but when you think that just owning a car was costing us about £100 a month with insurance, tax, MOT, repairs and depreciation, it’s a significant saving.
The cars themselves are wonderful – clean, reliable, and a pleasure to drive. There are also about a dozen cars within easy walking distance of our front door.
As the owners of two small children, getting car seats in and out each time is a little annoying, but more than outweighed by the knowledge you could just park the car, walk away and not worry about it anymore.
I can also see us using it in the future for taking bulky items to the charity shop, or back home from the supermarket, or for more day trips to the South Downs.
Would I recommend it? Definitely.