Short term car insurance for short term motoring
I grew up in a time when owning a car was something really special. The majority of us commuted to work by public transport and the most that many of us could hope for was a small two-stroke motorbike like a BSA Bantam or a more powerful four stroke like a Triumph Tiger Cub. Times have now changed and it is not unusual to find two or even three cars sat on suburban driveways. Is this the way that things will be in the future though, or are we heading towards being short-term drivers, using cars only when we really need them?
I have two sons both of whom are at university. They have accommodation provided by the University for most of the year, and it is a short walk to and from their campus. They don't need cars for most of the year and the only time that they do drive is when they come back home during the holidays and borrow my car. Each time they do this I make sure that they take out short-term car insurance policies of their own.
They are not in the least bit unique. Many of their friends have realised that not only can they get by quite nicely without a car available to them 24 hours a day, but that it is ecological far better for the world if they drove as little as possible. Since they are mostly young people under the age of 25 buying a 12 months policy would run into four figures; and that is on top of the cost of buying, taxing, maintaining and storing their cars. Compared to the relatively low-cost of buying the occasional temporary policy, and borrowing a car from either a relative or a friend, they are finding that they have more money in their pockets to spend on things that really matter to them (surprisingly, despite the opinion that many of us have of younger people, this is more likely to be deposits for homes or saving to get married) as well as doing their bit for the environment by cutting down the amount of petrol that they burn and the amount of noxious fumes that they pump into the atmosphere.
The world is changing rapidly. More and more local authorities are creating pedestrian only areas; there are real efforts being made to improve public transport and make that public transport less polluting. Many planners envisage a day when all cars will be driven by electricity and will be self driving, at least within the major cities, during the lifetime of many of our younger people. This means that in the future there is a great possibility that people who need transport will be able to summon up a self driving car from their mobile phone and tell it where to take them, and then once they have arrived the car will move off automatically to the next, nearest person who needs it. Similar perhaps in a way to the way that Uber operates, but without a driver.
There is an interesting article about the future of transport in Prospect Magazine
If and when that utopia arrives there will still be those of us who need our own transport, if only for long-distance journeys; but car sharing may become the norm rather than the exception. If that day arrives we will all buy our car insurance temporarily, and people will look back on the days when we insured a car for a full year, at enormous expense, with incredulity.