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In the News

Have you bought your last car?

Graham Watson

30th October 2017

In the week that Singapore announced it will cease issuing car ownership permits in February 2018, here is a provocative John Harris piece that comes up with a fascinating hypothesis. Owning a car will soon become a thing of the past. This might well be true - just think about your family car.

You pay a large sum of money - especially if you insist on buying a new car and bearing the costs of depreciation - for an asset that sits unused for at least 90% of the time you own it. You might argue that the same is true for lots of things you own, but it might be argued that they cost you significantly less. 

And car ownership has many substitutes. I've often toyed with the idea of a back of the envelope calculation about how much owning a car costs me per year - and I mean 'cost' in the economic sense too. Would it be cheaper to use public transport/use taxis and then hire a car for extended trips?

A counter argument - will driverless technologies accelerate car ownership?

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to Tutor2U, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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