After that first trip to IKEA I knew I was reaching the limits of living without a car. At least when it came to setting up a house. And it was my next challenge, buying a bed that posed the greatest challenge.
I was mainly looking at bed companies that offered a delivery service. But the prices were pretty steep – especially since the beds they were selling weren’t the greatest. So when I came across a classified advertisement on Gumtree (sort of like Craigslist) for an unused bed for a fraction of the retail cost, I new I had to have it.
But how to get it home without a car? Renting was the first thing the came to mind but I could only find vans or moving trucks. Because of where I lived and where the bed was car shares weren’t an option – plus they only had vans anyway. Again another friend came the rescue, he had a ute (or pickup truck) and very kindly allowed me to use it for the weekend.
My transport sorted, I organised collection of the bed.
I arrived on Saturday morning and after making sure the bed was as described, I hitched the bed to the roof of the ute and drove it home. And while it was one of the more stressfull drives home, what with the mattress flapping around on the top and chance of rain hounding me. I got home in one piece and put my new bed in its place. All in all (and not counting my own time) I spent around $20 in getting my bed home.
But it wasn’t over.
Because I had a bed, but no bed frame. So I had to get that as well. And once I did find one (a second hand bed again) I again had the challenge of getting it home again. And this time I had no one to lend me thier car. After some more searching online I came across a small delivery service (one guy and his truck) which quoted me $60 to pick up and deliver the bed to my house. I agreed immediately.
I had to reschedule twice because of things getting in the way (weather and the seller locking herself out of her house of all things) but eventually things worked out and I gladly handed over the $60 to the delivery guy. And the guy was even nice enough to help me move the bed into my house.
So while the delivery guy was a great save, if I used him every time I bought something it was going to get very expensive, very quickly. But while I did save a good bit of money driving the first purchase home myself – I’m not quite sure if it was worth the hassle.
For when only a car will do
Using the delivery service was, of course, the only way to get these jobs done – Public transport wouldn’t work because that’s not what public transport is for. But a few instances of freight delivery per month still don’t justify the environmental and financial cost of vehicle ownership. But at the same time those monthly deliveries do start to add up financially. There had to be a third option.
In recent years car sharing programs have started to pop up and are now becoming quite popular. What was initially a ‘rent my car when I’m not using it’ system has become a much more sophisticated and affordable industry which offers decentralised vehicles for use at a fraction of the cost of standard renting. They offer the benefits of vehicle mobility without the burden of vehicle ownership.
For my next and final challenge in this vehicle ownership saga, I tried the local car sharing company – “GoGet”.
Coming up next… The final challenge.