Two-for-one offers are common in supermarkets and shops, but you wouldn’t think it was a good way of saving money when it came to running a car. However, you can cut your driving costs if you choose a pair of cars wisely in place of a single motor.
Not all drivers will be able to benefit from a two-for-one car policy if they already drive the most economical car possible or their driving needs simply don’t allow any room for cost-saving.
But for other drivers, swapping one car for two could help lower their motoring bills. This is because most of us choose a single car as a compromise between cost, efficiency and practicality, with a bit of fun and style thrown in on the side. Factor in depreciation, which is the biggest cost of any new car, and owning a car from new can be a good way to tear up those pound notes.
Avoiding that initial loss of value is the simplest way to own two cars while cutting your overall ownership costs. By buying two cars that are three years old or more, you sidestep the steepest slope of depreciation.
You could also choose to buy one or both cars that are desirable enough to be rising in value, such as one of the more practical classic cars available like an MGB or Mazda MX-5 Mk1. While this pair of classics might not be the most economical drives, they offset this with low maintenance costs when you buy one in good condition and their increasing value. Add in low insurance premiums and they are sound choices that also deliver plenty of fun.
With only two seats those classics are not the most practical, but as most UK car journeys only have the driver on board, you can afford something fun for the daily commute. Or you could choose a very economical car, such as a Smart or city car like a Fiat 500 for short hop trips.
This then frees you up to pick something quite different for longer journeys or when you need to carry more people and luggage. Some will opt for the most seats, while others might prefer some luxury. Either way, there are plenty of cars to choose from, and you needn’t worry so much about fuel economy if this car is only being used for more occasional long haul travel.
Using a larger car for long drives offers comfort, style and a little opulence, which makes big trips more enjoyable. It may use more fuel than with the small city runabout, but you can offset this by carrying more passengers, so the cost per head of a journey in a larger car can be lower than for two people in a small vehicle. You can also select a larger car with an economical engine, such as a turbodiesel, so running costs can be further reined in.
When you come to sell or replace one of the two cars, by choosing wisely at the start you should find it simple to pass on, getting as much of your money back as possible. With a classic car, you might even make a little money when you sell. So, never mind two for the price of one - you could turn that into buy one, get one free.
Do you run two cars like this or do you use one car for all your work and home needs? Tell us in the Comments section below.