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Owning a car in South Africa is a necessary evil for most of us. It’s necessary because we don’t have a safe, reliable public transport system in place. And it’s evil because it’s a serious drain on our wallets and it’s making us poorer!

How many of us would gladly take a bus or a train to work and back every day, if the infrastructure was in place and we felt safe about it? The answer to this question is – most of us.

Imagine the money we could be saving every month?

Consider for a second the costs associated with owning a car:

  • The exorbitant cost of financing the car and paying it back over 5-years
  • Paying insurance premiums every month
  • Filling up our tanks twice a week
  • Maintenance and general upkeep
  • Licensing the car every year

If you add up all your monthly costs associated with having the privilege of getting into a R300 000 piece of tin, which depreciates every time you turn the key, it will make you sick to your stomach. What’s going to make you feel even worse is what the potential R5 000 monthly saving could do for you over 5-years if you didn’t have to own a car. If you were able to redirect your monthly “vehicle expense” into a 5-year investment, it would be worth R345 000 (and that’s at a conservative bank interest rate of 5.65%)

But what choice do you have if you need to drop your kids off at school, pick up groceries, and get to work and back to make a living?

You have Hobson’s choice – And that’s the choice of having no choice at all!

Makes you wonder if our Government doesn’t have an agenda?

Rather than investing billions of Rand into transport infrastructure to get more people off our roads, our Government is more than happy to keep us commuting in privately owned vehicles. Adding more vehicles to our already overcrowded roads seems to be the strategy.

Why?

It’s because our Government is collecting big bucks.

  • Every new car that is sold includes VAT
  • Every company involved in the automobile industry pays Company Tax
  • Every litre of fuel we pump is taxed
  • Every license renewal is additional revenue
  • Every speeding fine and parking ticket adds more Rands to the coffers

If you had a business that was failing, what would your strategy be?

  • Spend more money?
  • Collect more money?

It’s safe to say that our country is in a crisis. It’s also safe to say that our Government’s strategy seems to be “collect at all costs”.

Could you imagine they got away with E-Tolls? Imagine having that additional Tax to add to your overall transport expense every month? Hopefully, that ludicrous idea has gone away for good.

A recent article published by The South African suggests it hasn’t gone away. It looks like there are rumblings that SANRAL wants to blacklist motorists who haven’t paid their outstanding E-tolls.

It’s laughable!

Anyway, back to our Government’s strategy.

Why build a new transport infrastructure that would kill billions of Rand in existing tax revenues?

That’s the question they are probably asking themselves, right?

Most Governments would counter that with some basic logic:

  • It would free up more money for our citizens and make them wealthier
  • It would lead to fewer unnecessary deaths on the roads
  • It would save us billions down the line in road maintenance costs
  • It would create jobs
  • It would attract foreign investment

So, as ordinary South Africans, what can we do about it?

Not much. The elections are coming up, so casting a vote is a good start.

Besides that, we just need to bite the bullet and try and keep our costs under control.

Here are a few ideas to shave off some of your monthly transport costs:

  • Carpool
  • Don’t buy a new car if you don’t need one
  • If you do buy a new car, get one that is light on fuel
  • Shop around for cheaper car insurance

There is only one thing we can help you with:

We can get you cheaper car insurance premiums by handing you over to a few of our partners. We’ve partnered with the guys at BetterCompare who will call you back with 3 comparative car insurance quotes. Maybe they can beat your current premiums? If you’re interested, simply leave your details below.

Feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post. We are interested in hearing about whether you think our Government is doing its best to get more people off our roads.

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