Ask Away...: Searching for the Ultimate Companion Vehicle to Your Car

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Searching for the Ultimate Companion Vehicle to Your Car

Most of us are fine with just one car. If you only drive around occasionally and do it just for certain purposes (such as driving the kids the school or commuting to work) then your vehicle probably feels more like a necessity than a luxury. Despite improvements to public transportation and the lower costs, having a car can be an amazing convenience that most of us would find hard to give up.

However, that doesn’t mean we can only stick to one type of vehicle. If you’re even the slightest bit conscious about your carbon footprint, then you’ve probably made a few questionable travels in the past. For example, maybe you drove no more than a few hundred metres when you could’ve just walked, or perhaps you’ve completely neglected your carbon emissions and drove to work for years despite there being a perfectly acceptable and cheap public transport route.

Sadly, even if we are of about the environmental effects of driving a car, it’s not like we can just get rid of it. Even if you only occasionally drive long distance, it’s still going to be a useful vehicle to keep around. However, the opposite also applies. What if you have a vehicle that’s great for short distances such as an electric car, but is absolutely terrible at going long distance? The answer to this is to buy yourself a companion vehicle. Unsure what that implies or what to pick? This article will have the answers.

What Is a Companion Vehicle?

A companion vehicle is essentially a second vehicle that goes with your main vehicle. Here are some examples to illustrate the point.

  • Bicycle - Bicycles are fantastic alternatives that can be used for fitness reasons as well. They’re easy to manoeuver and it’s not expensive or difficult to maintain them either.
  • Motorcycle - Motorcycles look fantastic, offer some exhilarating rides and offer more flexibility than most cars. Their designs are also appealing to the eye and many people would love to own a motorcycle just for the sake of looks and luxury. Take a look at an American motorcycle trading company and you’ll find many classic motorcycles that look amazing and are surprisingly affordable.
  • Scooter - Scooters are like smaller low-powered versions of motorcycles. They go slower but they’re generally safer and contain a bit more storage space. They’re also incredibly easy to pick up and learn and are inexpensive.
  • Electric Bicycle - If you like your bicycle then why not kick it up a notch with an electric bicycle? These are great for getting a little extra speed and if you do run out of power, you can always pedal instead. Most electric bicycles have hybrid modes that use both electricity and your pedalling for a great balance between speed and efficiency.
  • Electric Skateboard - For something a little wilder, consider an electric skateboard. These are great for adventurous people that want a little action in their daily commutes or travels, and it’s perfect for a quick drip down to the local store.
  • Electric Scooter - Electric scooters are an in-between for bicycles and skateboards. They’re not as open as skateboards but you still get some freedom of movement unlike a bicycle.
  • Road Vehicle - On the opposite end of the spectrum there are road vehicles. If you find that your car is too small for long-distance travelling and you want something more extravagant, then why not choose a road vehicle? They might be expensive but they’re fantastic for road trips thanks to all of the onboard amenities so it opens up a lot of options for weekend breaks and travelling.
  • Pickup Truck - Why not pair a smaller vehicle with a larger one that has more space? If you regularly find yourself moving around heavy items that can’t fit in your regular car, then getting yourself a pickup truck could save you plenty of effort and money in the future.
  • Another Car - Even cars can serve different purposes and they aren’t just limited to a single purpose. Some people purchase electric vehicles for short distances and compliment it with a more powerful or efficient vehicle for long distance drives.
  • Boats - For the rich and wealthy there’s always the option of a boat. Be it a small boat or a huge yacht, there are some situations where crossing a body of water could be a great alternative to driving, but this is an extreme scenario.

Now that you know some of the companion vehicles to your main car, let’s look at some reasons for why you’d want to buy another vehicle in the first place.

Why Purchase Another Vehicle?

The main reason to get another vehicle is for options. As mentioned already, it’s important to consider cost and efficiency when using your vehicle. If all you have is an expensive luxury car such as a sports car, then it’s going to be impractical to drive every day and it’s going to cost you a lot of money to run both in terms of insurance and maintenance. It goes without saying that having a single luxury car in your garage is foolish, and even the rich and famous know that luxury cars are about the experience and not the practicality.

Practicality is one of the main themes that we’ll be exploring. Let’s first discuss short-distance travels. The most cost-effective form of travel for short distances is to simply walk. However, it’s also considered one of the least practical because of several different reasons. For starters, it can be tiring for people especially if they’re not used to walking. You also can’t carry as many things with you, making it a bad choice for something like a weekly grocery run. You might also encounter accessibility issues, such as certain roads not having safe walkways. What you do get is a lot of convenience, a health form of exercise and also drastic savings because you’re not paying for anything.

If you want to strike a balance between cost and effectiveness then there are other options too. Cycling is a fantastic way to get around a city since it’s so flexible and parking your vehicle is fairly simple. It also offers you a great workout and can be used for longer distances than walking. You’re also able to carry more things with you if you purchase bags to place on your bike. However, it does introduce some maintenance concerns and is more expensive to maintain.

On the other end, purchasing a vehicle that is more suitable for long distances is also a fantastic idea. Perhaps your current vehicle is already efficient and doesn’t cost much to run, but it’s not ideal for long distances. In this case, it might be worth investing in something with even better fuel efficiency or even a road vehicle to give you the opportunity to go on a road trip. While it’s more expensive, it offers you convenience and comfort that your regular vehicle won’t be able to provide.

In short, purchasing another vehicle is a great way to cover the weaknesses of your current car. Whether it’s needing a larger vehicle or a more efficient one, there are plenty of fantastic companion vehicles to consider.

Considerations Before Purchasing Another Vehicle

There are a couple of things you’ll need to think about before you invest in another vehicle.

  • Cost considerations - Owning another vehicle isn’t going to be cheap. Make sure you’re financially stable if you want to purchase a second vehicle. Keep in mind that you may need to purchase insurance, road tax, repairs, maintenance and other costs. There are a plethora of considerations to keep in mind before you invest in another vehicle, so make sure you can afford it before you regret it in the future.
  • Do you actually need it? - If you’re purchasing a vehicle just for luxury reasons then it probably isn’t the best idea unless you’re relatively wealthy or have saved up a lot of money. Ask yourself if buying another vehicle in your current situation is actually worth your time, effort and money investment.
  • Learning curve - Although learning how to ride a bicycle or drive an electric vehicle isn’t exactly difficult, there are going to be other things you need to learn in order to make the experience a lot more enjoyable. For instance, there may be certain rules that apply when you’re riding a motorcycle that you never knew before. Perhaps there are certain license requirements or maybe the way you approach the road is entirely different.
  • Maintenance requirements - Cleaning your vehicle, learning how it works so you can replace parts in the future and keep it in great condition will be your responsibility. If this sounds like extra work you could do without, then perhaps you should reconsider getting a companion vehicle.

To conclude, buying a companion vehicle is a great way to make up for the weaknesses of your current vehicle. It does, however, come with a number of considerations that need to be cleared before you put in your investment. Overall, it’s a great way to add more transportation options to your lifestyle.

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