There are several different ways for people in Australia to get around, including a motor vehicle, public transportation, walking or riding a bike. Each of these types of transport has their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
You most likely will need to look at your own set of circumstance to determine which transportation option would work best for you. Below is a closer look at these different transport options to help you determine which option is right for you.
Walking or Cycling
Certainly, the main advantage of walking or cycling is that they are the least expensive modes of transportation. If you live in the city where everything is easily within walking or cycling distance of where you live, this could be a very viable option. While the cost of walking is absolutely free, the cost of cycling is very minimal and only involves purchasing a bicycle, safety equipment and routine maintenance.
However, there are many limitations on how far you can travel by foot or on a bike. If you live in a rural area, many of your destinations may be too far away to walk or ride a bike. In addition, these transport methods may not be viable in poor weather conditions. Even if you choose to use this transportation option on occasions, you are likely going to need to have a backup plan just in case the weather is poor, or you need to travel a longer distance.
Public transportation is also a viable transportation solution for those living in cities. Those living in rural areas may not have access to public transportation options, so this may not be a good solution for them. However, if you live in the city there are several options including buses, trains, and ferries that can help you get from place to place. The main advantage of this method is that you can quickly get to where you need to go, as long as you are travelling along the public transportation’s route. This method is also cheaper initially than purchasing a car and does not require any of the additional fees like a car does, such as insurance, petrol, licensing fees, and maintenance. You can usually purchase annual passes for public transportation that help to make the costs even cheaper.
A major disadvantage of public transportation is that you may be limited to where you can travel to, based on the transportation’s schedule. In addition, this method may take a little longer for you to reach your destination because you must take the transport route versus the shortest route to your destination. In addition, you must abide by the public transportation’s schedule versus leave whenever you want to.
Car transport is the most expensive option because not only will you need to purchase a car, but you will need to purchase insurance, and pay maintenance fees and petrol costs. The main benefit of having a car as that you can travel wherever you what to, whenever you want. If you live in a rural area, a car may be the only form of transportation available to you. Otherwise, you may need to rely on friends, family members and neighbours to take you where you need to go.
Besides the overall costs involved in keeping car, another disadvantage may be find a place to park your car. This is typically only a problem if you live in the city, but you may need to pay an additional fee for parking. In addition, you may experience toll fees for driving on certain roads. The car may also break down causing you to look for an alternative mode of transportation.
You can either purchase a car or lease a car for a predetermined timeframe. Both options have its own set of pros and cons involved, and may depend on your specific set of circumstance to determine which option is right for you.
- Buying a Car. If you are purchasing a car, you will either need to pay cash for it or take out a car loan. If you buy a new car, it may come with a warranty for a set number of years; otherwise, you will be responsible for paying for all of the repairs on the car. Overtime, you will earn equity in your car and you can use it as a trade-in if you decide to purchase another car. When compared to leasing a car, this option is only cheaper if you keep the same car for more than five years.
- Leasing a Car. When you lease a car, you will make regular monthly payments, however, you will never officially own the car. The main benefit of leasing a car is that at the end of your lease, you will be able to lease another brand new car. This option is perfect for those people who want to have a new car every couple of years. You will still need to purchase car insurance, but since you have a new car at all times, most of the repair cost will be covered under a warranty. You may need to pay an extra fee if you travel more miles that the designated amount in your lease agreement. If you are planning on purchasing a new car every couple of years, leasing will probably be the least expensive option.
Things to Consider
When determining what mode of transportation is right for you , there are several things you will need to determine. It is possible that you may choose to use two or all three types of transportation depending on your needs at the time.
- Your Budget. The first thing you need to determine is how much money you have available to spend on transport costs. If you are planning to purchase a car, you either need to have cash readily available, or be able to take out a car loan. You must also make sure you can afford to cover all of the expenses involved in the type of transportation method you select.
- Where You Live. You also need to think about where you live and what transportation options are available in your area. If you are considering walking, cycling, or public transportation, make sure it will take you to all the destinations you need to go to on a regular basis.
- Your Specific Needs. You also want to think about your needs and perhaps what the most efficient way to travel is for you. For example, if you live in the city, it is likely that public transportation will take you to your destination faster and more efficiently that working your way through city traffic in a car. However, if you work outside the public transportation route, this may not be the best solution.
Image courtesy of planning.ubc.ca