There’s no doubt about it: COVID-19 has done a number on the Australian economy. With unemployment figures at a 22-year high and job security at risk, we’re all looking for new ways to manage our personal finances and cut household costs.
For many, the big-ticket expenses such as mortgages and rent are largely unavoidable. But, one real option for Australians looking to de-risk their finances is sitting in the garage. Car subscription is a simple, risk-free alternative to the financial burden of traditional car ownership.
Car subscription might sound new, but it’s already taking hold in Australia. Research commissioned by Carly, Australia’s most flexible car subscription provider, found that 31% of Australians are extremely or very worried about their financial situation in light of COVID-19, and of those, 46% would consider car subscription over traditional buying or leasing options.
Carly’s research, conducted in June 2020 by Omnipoll©, surveyed a sample of 1228 people aged 18+. The results are post-weighted to the Australian Bureau of Statistics census data, providing the first-ever statistically reliable insights into the attitudes of Australians to car subscription and how they are becoming increasingly favourable – even as the economy slows.
The appeal of subscribing to a car is simple: unlike a traditional car lease or loan, car subscription doesn’t require a large financial outlay; all running costs (minus petrol) are included; and you can stop the subscription at any time with just 30 days’ notice should your circumstances change. Given the impact of the pandemic on job security and employment, committing to a car lease or loan is now a potentially risky option for many families. But, having access to a car has never been so important.
Public transport usage in NSW was down almost 50% between February and March 2020, as people stayed home due to the coronavirus lockdown. While people are gradually returning to their routines, many Australians are opting to travel by car due to health and safety concerns around the use of public transport.
Sydney-based university graduate and retail assistant Sophia Phillips found herself without a car when her vehicle was suddenly recalled due to faulty airbags at the beginning of March. At the same time, her retail shifts were being cut due to the pandemic, so she wasn’t in a financial position to commit to purchasing a new car. Sophia wanted to avoid public transport but she still needed to get into work, go to the gym and meet up with friends. For this millennial, a car subscription was the ideal solution.
“I rely heavily on my car because I value experiences and my social life. While you may expect to use your car less during a pandemic, I wasn’t keen on catching public transport, so I felt a lot safer having a car,” Sophia explains.
“I think a lot of people would still prefer to drive, so Carly is one way you can do it without the long-term financial commitment or worry about hidden costs, as everything like rego, insurance, maintenance and road assistance is all included. It makes managing a budget easy.”
The Netflix generation aren’t the only ones embracing the convenience of car subscription. Carly’s research found that 47% of Australian households with children would consider subscribing, rather than purchasing, their next family car.
Harriet Harris, a Sunshine Coast holistic health and nutrition coach and mother of three-year-old twins, discovered Carly car subscription earlier this year. The service offered Harriet and her husband, Jake, who had just bought a house, a budget-friendly second-car alternative.
“To get a house loan, our second car had to go to pay down our debts. But with two three-year-old girls and my commute to Brisbane for work each week, not having the second car was becoming really challenging,” shares Harriet. “We knew a second car would be useful but we weren’t ready to jump into the financial implications of that, so Carly helped out.
“Now that I’m working from home, we’ve been able to go back to just one car. If we had taken out a loan we would have been locked in, but with Carly we simply gave 30 days’ notice to stop the subscription. That flexibility was really important to us and it’s certainly something we’d do again.”
As the pandemic continues to upturn our lives, car subscription offers reliability and financial relief amid the madness. You can choose the vehicle that best suits your current circumstances and, should your employment or financial situation change, you can stop your subscription at any time, without any financial penalty – just give 30 days’ notice. That’s the kind of security we could all use right now.
To find out more, visit www.carly.co