Which is cheaper monthly – buying or renting a car?

September 16, 2021

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Can’t decide between dropping some serious dough by investing in a new ride — or exploring other alternatives? We’re here to break down the pros and cons of buying or renting a car: 

Pros and cons of buying a car 

Pros

While there is a myriad of positives in regards to owning a car, one of the biggest ones is freedom. Who doesn’t love the freedom of going (or leaving!) anywhere at a moment’s notice? Just grab your keys, put them in the ignition, and take off onto the open road! 

And there’s no arguing how convenient cars are. Instead of having to operate around a bus or train schedule — or have to lug your groceries home from the store by yourself — a car operates exclusively on your time!

And if you live in an area where public transportation isn’t widely accessible, cars can become more than just a convenient luxury, but an absolute necessity!

Cons

Cars are expensive. Expensive to buy, and even costlier to maintain between scheduled maintenance, tune-ups, and those inevitable repairs (which never come cheap). Then there are insurance and registration fees if you want to do anything more than just sit parked in the driver’s seat. And if it’s a combustion engine, your car will require a liquid diet of fuel reserves to keep it moving from A to B (which also doesn’t come cheap!).  

And you can’t necessarily call a car an investment. Unlike a house, whose value tends to compound over time, you can literally feel your car slowly decreasing in value with every kilometer driven. And that value decreases much more quickly if you’re an accident-prone driver and/or aren’t disciplined with your vehicle’s maintenance schedule — both of which will end up costing you more at the repair shop. 

And cars aren’t just expensive financially, they’re expensive environmentally, too! Take New Delhi, for example, widely recognized as one of the most polluted cities in the world. City pollution is visible with the naked eye in the form of toxic smog that hangs heavy in the air. The air quality index is known to skyrocket from moderate-poor all the way up to hazardous (550+) — comparable to smoking 50 cigarettes in a day. Air pollution in India kills 2 million people annually.   

And while the blame doesn’t fall exclusively on the emissions from New Delhi’s 9 million vehicles, it’s still a big part of the problem. And New Delhi isn’t alone. One positive aspect of the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 was that no one was driving. Emissions dropped, air quality rose, and politicians and government officials took notice. That’s why cities across the world are taking action to make sure all those cars that left during the pandemic, stay away for good (the same goes for exhaust, traffic jams, and noise pollution).

The bottom line on buying a car 

Cars are fast, convenient, and downright liberating. But they’re also really expensive, especially as governments around the world notice how much vehicles that run on fossil fuels are contributing to climate change. If you’re considering buying a car, make a budget of all the different costs, and consider exploring some alternative solutions. 

Pros and cons of renting a car 

Pros

Well, it’s a lot cheaper, for starters! And a whole lot more sustainable to use a car only when you need it rather than letting it rust, alone and unused, in your garage. 

And since ride-sharing and vehicle-rental companies like Bolt make it more sustainable, cheaper, and more convenient to rent a car for everything from an impromptu scenic drive to a trip to a big box store to pick up a brand new big screen tv — renting a car is significantly more attractive than it used to be! 

Another bright spot: you also don’t have to worry about remembering to bring the car in for routine maintenance or (gulp)… paying for it!

Using more sustainable transport options which include only using a car when you need it will make a huge difference in the fight against global warming. 

Cons

It’s not yours (but to be fair, that was always the point). 

The Bottom Line on Renting a Car

Due to significant innovation in the rideshare industry through companies like Bolt and short-term rental solutions like Bolt Drive, people around the world can have their cake and eat it too. Or in this case — enjoy the freedom and convenience of having your own vehicle without the financial and environmental cost!

Download the Bolt app today. 

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