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As the dream of home ownership becomes further out of reach for many younger Britons, Generation Rent is facing an entirely new challenge.

For young professionals living in cities such as London, the economics of owning a car no longer make sense.

“It is getting harder and harder to own a car and it is becoming harder and harder to run,” says Andrew Smith, managing director of Sixt, the vehicle rental company.

So it’s PR blather, obviously. But more than that it’s blather anyway. Students and young professionals in London didn’t run a car there 4 decades back either. Why would you?

Sure, folk who do a real job with a toolbox, but office work? Pah, and fie.

Anyway, would interfere with the drinking too much.

12 thoughts on “Blather”

  1. In London, owning a car makes no sense and public transport is available and reliable.
    Outside London, owning a car is a necessity as public transport is frequently unavailable and is unreliable.

    Our politicians create transport policy as if everyone lives in London.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    A mate who is a bit of a car fanatic lived in a flat opposite the MI5 building for about 5 years and could walk to work. He didn’t bother owning a car and would rent something nice and different when he needed one.

  3. Must have been the only one who did, then. And bliss it was. Park outside the Swan in the Bayswater Road, drop in for a pint with Mick Jagger supping at the other end of the bar. Cruising through Hyde Park in the summer sun with the top down. The opportunity to offer totty a ride home to Hampstead with more than coffee to be looked forward to at the other end. You’re right Steve. Even then.

  4. Certainly when I moved from Leeds to the London borough of Highgate, parking was such a pain in the arse that I left my car at my parents and eventually sold it.

    Can’t do much damage as a drunk passenger of a tube carriage and no chance of being done for “Drunk in charge” either.

    I only bought a car once more when I relocated to the distant suburbs and started commuting long distance into London.

  5. What BiS says. Driving a car in London can be an absolute delight, especially at weekends & evenings when parking is free or cheap. The hobbits on the underground don’t know what they’re missing.

  6. Driving a car in London can be an absolute delight, especially at weekends & evenings when parking is free or cheap.

    Is that still the case? I used to take a Saturday drive down to London every month or so in the ’90s and early 2000s; it was a delight as you say. Easy journey in and you could park for free just north of Oxford Street and have a great wonder around the second hand record and book shops, computer stores, etc. It was easy to nip across to Notting Hill for more of the same.

    But then the parking fees came in, and soon after the parking bays started being taken out for cycle lanes and assorted shite. At the same time, perhaps not unrelated, the specialist shops started disappearing. It became increasingly unpleasant and finally there was no reason to go. Not been for nearly twenty years apart from a couple of weekday work trips which were a nightmare. To be fair, most cities have done the same to themselves.

  7. I lived in London for nearly twenty years, most of the time I had the option of renting a safe parking space in the basement at an easily affordable price; never wanted to own a car while there – it wasn’t worth it. London buses were apallingly unreliable but the Tube was good and on the two occasions that I missed the last Tube I hd no problem walking home (luckily it wasn’t raining). I hired a car when went to Aldeburgh with some friends, but within London Tube and feet were all I needed (sometimes a taxi to a meeting when it was on expenses).
    For young men (except estate agents) the economics of owning a car *never* made sense.

  8. The article comes across the same as the rest of the DT’s Net Zero brainwashing nonsense. Trying to put the idea into people’s heads that we can’t do this, we won’t have that, etc.

    “Car bad, they are on the way out, get used to the idea. And enjoy your crickets.”

  9. I just to live in Zone 3 in London and I worked at Canary Wharf so did the bus, tube DLR shuffle each day. But my wife worked in Barking 8 miles away and it was a bit more of a faff travelling there with best part of a mile walk at each end to bus or rail station, so she drove. If you wanted to do a weekly shop, most big supermarkets were a mile or two away so a car was more the preferred mode of transport. So there is some need for a car in outer London.

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