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.