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List it or ditch it? 20 Jan 2020 Want to save or make money? Take another look at your car, says Tricia Crowley

You’ve heard of Airbnb for holiday lets. Love or hate it, Airbnb has revolutionised the way people book short term holiday and short stay accommodation. Money making for the owner and saving money for the holiday maker or lodger.

Now there are equivalent operators for private cars. These are ‘carpooling’ companies that connect drivers with empty cars, cutting out the middleman. Insurance and breakdown cover are provided for the duration of the hire period. Potential income generating or possible transport cost savings make these ‘carpooling’ or ‘peer-to-peer’ car companies so exciting. Examples include turo.com and hiyacar.co.uk

But which one is the best for Eynsham residents? Try them and let us know what you think.

If I didn’t have a car how much could I budget for car hire? Private cars are far more expensive than other transport modes (walking, cycling, public transport). Excessive use of the beloved motor car also brings other health-related costs such as weight gain and air pollution.

The Money Advice Service suggests it costs UK motorists an average of £3,500 a year (£292 a month) to run their cars after purchase and cites depreciation cost of £350 a month for a typical medium-sized family car bought new three years ago. You can work out the cost for your car with their calculator bit.ly/MAS-ccc

The RAC says around three million cars in the UK are used less than once a week. A third of these are virtually new – a year or two old at most. That’s a very expensive weekly outing and lot of money disappearing on your driveway or parked on the roadside.

In Oxford, companies such as co-wheels and zipcar operate on local streets but sadly they don’t have current plans to start offering cars in Eynsham. There is also a good array of traditional car hire companies in Oxford but these, though very competitive price-wise, are more useful for infrequent longer term lets.

That’s why these new peer-to-peer sites are so exciting. It may now be possible to live in West Oxfordshire without 24/7 access to your own personal (but expensive) car and still be able to use a car sometimes. Or maybe to have friends, family and neighbours contribute towards the cost of your under-employed (less than 6 years old) car by listing it on one of these sites.