Future cars

A friend of mine has a car that is leased through a government job. The lease is expiring, and she’s seeing if she can swap models to something smaller and more fuel-efficient.

Government policy dictates that, with few exceptions, fleet cars are Australian made. Australian made cars are all big ones: Falcon, Magna, Commodore and Camry. In fact the Australian Federal government subsidises the Australian car industry to the tune of $280m per year to make these big cars. Which strikes me as pretty stupid given the current and future state of petrol prices, and sales of big cars dropping. Maybe they should be putting some of that into PT instead.

Thankfully there is a notable exception: the Toyota Prius is on the list, so she’s considering getting one of those. They are expensive, though in a comparison with the only other currently domestically available hybrid, the Honda Civic, the Prius got the thumbs up, despite the price. The price is less relevant when leasing, so it could end up being a good deal, depending on the state of the waiting list to get hold of it.

As I’ve said before, I’m going to re-evaluate my motoring needs once the kids start getting themselves to school and I’m generally not driving during the week. If I can’t survive with no car at all, then something cheap and fuel-efficient that doesn’t need regular servicing if it’s being driven rarely would seem to be the ticket. Dunno if there’s anything like that around though… apart from a bicycle. Car Sharing might work… perhaps with oil going the way it is, it’ll be offered even in the suburbia of Bentleigh before too long.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “Future cars”

expensive cars are better to lease as the end of lease value remains high.

cheap cars are not good to lease, as the end of lease value is a great deal lower percentage wise.

Hi Daniel

I finally found a job, I am working for Telstra. they are offering me 2 options… 1. To have a car they own at the expense of a sacrifice from my salary…. that at the end I will not own… or option 2. A novated lease. What do you suggest? And also… which car should I choose? I was thinking of a Volkswagen Jetta… it is nice….

I don’t know, but I’d definitely be leaning towards a fuel-efficient car right now. Surprised they’d offer a VW actually; don’t they mostly offer Australian-made cars?

Your friend has Kerry Nettle (Greens senator) for the prius being on the list. She had to push the system around a bit but eventually she got it added to the list so she could have one as her govt vehicle. Sounds like everyone else can too.

If the vehicle is owned by telstra the offer most Australian made cars… if the car is owned by me, they offer ANY car I want. The problem is I don’t know wich brand is better in terms of fuel and spare parts. VW is very common in my country but I think here it is not that common… right? Maybe Mazda 6 could be another option.

Roby, I’ve got a Mazda6. Fantastic car, has never skipped a beat. Does everything the same way every time, fairly quick when you get up it, but lacks the punch of even a Commonwhore.
But drive the Jetta. I’d expect it to be a much better steer, probably quicker, and it definately looks better :)

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