Golden Lesson 6: I have become a car salesman

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This was certainly in my list of unexpected impacts of car freedomness: I have become a more discerning consumer of, and thus promoter of, different kinds of cars.

OK – I have not been car-use free, but car-ownership free.  But whenever I have decided to use a shared car I have thought about the various features I want from a car.  Passenger space, economy, size of boot, proximity to my home, size of load I am carrying (eg taking very large loads to recycling etc).

These are pretty usual things to trade-off but I can also add to the list – technology such as parking sensors/cameras, sat nav, Bluetooth.  (The kids will often ask me if the car we are getting has Bluetooth for long journeys so we can all listen to iPods. Yesterday I took my lovely daughter Tess to start University in Leeds.  Her iPod was pretty good – here’s a snippet:

Laura Stevenson singing to us between Edinburgh and Leeds

Sometimes, being “irrational” I have also become attached to one type of car – I remember my Fiat 500 phase well.

It’s great that I have a choice around all these parameters – if you own a car you haven’t.  You have made the one time guess (at purchase) about the type of car which best suits your overall needs.  How rubbish.

I now tell friends about the relative merits of the Toyota Hybrid Auris Estate, Yaris Hybrid, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Aygo, Peugeot Expert Van, Fiat 500.

I think this is interesting (well to me!) at two levels:

1. That I am doing this at all.  I have never been into cars at all and know little about them.  I have now found myself giving advice to friends about car purchases (after trying to get them to eschew ownership).  I have found people actually asking me about hybrid cars as they are new to hybrid and have never driven one.

2. That I am now discerning per trip based on features.  I’ll make a choice based on a range of gadgets, requirements that best suit my needs.

So what?

Imagine a world where many people have given up their car ownership and are consuming mobility as a service – sharing lots of cars.   They will be trading off between models and features like…..…wildrabbits!  It will reinforce the importance of features and technologies.

It will be a community of people talking about and consuming these features in real time – not one at a time every time they buy a car.  We may get a car industry supporting an important car share market and learning lots for their (hopefully smaller level) car sales market.

Lots of opportunities there for all stakholders.

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