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3 ways tech-savvy millennials are living without cars

May 3, 2017  |  #Money Management

Owning a car is convenient, but the costs can quickly mount up

Cars are one of the most convenient ways to travel, and most drivers would say they couldn’t possibly live without their vehicle – but are you one of them?

Roy Morgan Research recently revealed that more than 1 million new cars were sold in Australia last year – a record the company believes could easily be repeated in 2017.

However, the same survey found the average family spends $17,147 per year on transport – owning a car is rarely the most cost-effective way to get around if you’re young and saving for your future!

Many millennials are instead turning to technology to help them avoid car ownership, while still enjoying flexible travel. But how are they doing this?

1. Uber

Uber is a global phenomenon, and Australia is no exception! Simply download an app to a mobile device and request a taxi; Uber drivers will automatically track your current location and send an estimated pick-up time.

Around 1 million Australian millennials already have Uber downloaded to their phone or tablet, according to Roy Morgan Research. Of these, two-thirds have used the service within the last month.

While Uber isn’t as cheap as public transport, the service is fast, convenient and best suited to people who don’t regularly travel – you would have to moderate use to make sure you’re not paying more than you would for a car, though.

2. Car-sharing

Save money on transport with an electric bike.

Save money on transport with an electric bike.

Car-sharing platforms haven’t quite reached Uber status in terms of popularity. Nevertheless, Roy Morgan predicts these services will explode by 2020, with 55 and 56 per cent of people in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively, already aware of them.

Exact processes may differ from provider to provider, but most car-sharing services, such as GoGet and Flexicar, enable you to book a vehicle for a specific time period online or through a mobile app.

You can use the car for a few hours or multiple days, and charges will usually depend on the mileage or time used. One of the biggest selling points is the ability to choose many different types of vehicle to fit your needs on the day.

3. Electric bikes

Uber and car-sharing apps help with the occasional trip, but costs can pile up if you need to travel more frequently. Buying an electric bike is an affordable mode of transport that you can use day to day.

E-bikes, as they’re often called, have electric motors to help with propulsion, meaning you can travel much further than if you’re pedaling yourself or walking.

Ideal for short commutes and shopping trips, e-bikes are also a healthier option for anyone who wants to live without a car and get fit at the same time.

If you are feeling more energetic – the old push bike can do the job too. According to Roy Morgan, cycling is a serious trend on the rise – good for health and budget.

When you figure out what is most important to you, there are many ways to go about achieving your goals by being creative with your finances.

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