Recently I’ve enjoyed a number of conversations with a few folks involved in the potential future of car usage, and from these discussions I have come away with a certainty that there will be a major impact on how we and future generations view the status of cars in general.
Currently, we aspire to the personal ownership of a vehicle that is at our disposal whenever we wish to make a journey, long or short. I think that this may be about to change forever and I predict that the shift will first occur in the use of ‘second’ vehicles. After all, why pay the costs of maintaining a second vehicle when a share car or lease arrangement could deliver a shiny new example to your door in rapid time?
With more people now working from home, the absolute necessity for a second car has diminished for many. By joining one of the burgeoning ‘car share’ clubs, the occasional need for a second vehicle could easily be met, with the car being within a two minute walk of wherever one is, in larger conurbations of course. This is the stated aim of the clubs, membership of which includes insurance.
It is a model that is working well throughout Australia and other countries and rids car users of the hassles of ownership. The downside is that it may not be so useful for people living in less populated areas, for whom a modern lease agreement would likely be more useful.
Vehicle leasing is nothing new, however modern leasing may involve a ‘type’ of vehicle, rather than a single car remaining with on household, therefore allowing mileages to be averaged out and for maintenance schedules to be met. This model is not a million miles away from car hire and thus the sentiment attached to any individual car is diminished.
Once the cars have reached a certain age or mileage, they will be sold off, but to where or whom remains a matter of conjecture. Perhaps ‘budget’ car clubs and hire companies will step to the fore, offering 5-10 year old cars for use, allowing the vehicles to be completely written down and to pass, uncared for and unloved to the crusher.
This break in the tradition of the family’s ‘pet’ car will have a knock-on effect on the world of classic cars, as emotional detachment from motor vehicles becomes more common. There will of course be folks keen to preserve future cars of the past, but they will perhaps be viewed rather like those niche groups of people who preserve buses and the like, like me in fact.
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