It seems we spend most of our lives in cars but is that factually true? According to Donald Shoupe, a car’s “natural” state is being parked, it’s like that 95% of the time, which accounts for 165 hours in a week. Though just because it’s parked doesn’t mean you’re not in it!
When we are in the car we’re generally taking a journey of less than a mile, this accounts for 28% of trips. We take 18 of these trips per week.
We say, “time is money” in this case it is true because using the car can be the most efficient way from getting from A to B. Then again the real reason we’re taking a car might be some other factors such as rain, shopping or other luggage which makes taking mass transit less convenient.
Time is Certainly Money on the Dealer’s Lots.
What people don’t know is that the more expensive the car the more likely that it will be stuck on your lot for longer. Other factors such as being a sedan also mean it’s slower to sell. If the goal is just inventory turnover it is better to stock reasonably priced cars and hatchbacks. In reality, most dealers go for a range of cars.
Time is Tricky in the Rental Business
For the car rental market, it is important that a car is returned on time. Unfortunately, due to the pressures of work or family, this might not be all that convenient, so drivers may decide to pay more (or just forget to return the car at the appointed time).
What consumers don’t tend to know is that a rental company doesn’t necessarily want you to return to the car early as they may not have anywhere to store it.
On the Road
Many people don’t like those who take their time driving, calling them Sunday Driver…or worse. Taking your time after the light turns green, for example, could well cause an accident. It is probably not as dangerous as most of us shout at the moment, but slow drivers do cause accidents. The actual association might be that slow drivers are driving slow for another reason entirely, like being tired, and it’s the sluggish reaction time, not the sluggish speed that creates an accident. Although most accidents are about a “perfect storm” of circumstances – the weather, the time of day, the amount of coffee drunk and so on, not your lack of fast-twitch reaction.
The other problem about slow drivers is that, particularly on single lane roads, they create a bottleneck which slows down the flow of traffic.
Time in Car Advertising
Following some drivers on the road might feel like following a funeral procession! No wonder car advertisements always show the vehicle on empty roads, but seldom going fast. The goal is to show a car-free commute. Sure it’s strange to hear the voice-over talk about how fast the car accelerates from zero to sixty while watching a car mosey down a country lane at maybe 30 MPH.
Perhaps for the first time ever, let’s conclude that we should be more like a commercial. Enjoy your time on the road, drive well and not too slowly. And make sure that you take advantage of the bargains on the car lot, it kind of makes sense that you do.