It is a sad state of affairs that ordinary motoring is outside the reach of many a person in today’s society because of the cost of automobiles. Even when bought on a finance plan, spreading the cost over years, it can still be tricky for someone on a low income to buy a car and drive it – not to mention the inherent instability of financing plans (lost your job? Lose your car, too!).
However, there is the beginning of a movement to cheaper motoring taking place at the moment, and how successful this is may well govern whether the movement picks up pace and is joined by all or most vehicle manufacturers. The Tata Nano is believed by many to be the cheapest new-model motor car on the market and is bringing new cars within the price range of less well-off drivers.
A low cost automobile will necessarily be less advanced than a mid-price or expensive model, but in order to get off the assembly line it will need to be safe to drive and workable as an option for motorists. If enough people drive the cheaper models – which are after all cheaper to make, too – then more companies will build similar models.
How many people want to drive budget vehicles is another matter. In a world where the car is often a status symbol, it is indeed tricky to take to the road in something that everyone knows was cheap. Additionally, most governments would agree that what they want is fewer cars on the road and not more. But for those who want it, at least one option is now there.