A few people have asked me when or if we will be getting a car and if public transport is feasible in Israel.
We have been in Israel for just over a year now and other than two instances where we hired a car for a weekend, we have not driven at all. We would like to eventually buy a car, especially so we have transport for Saturdays/Shabbat when the public transport system is closed.
So far, relying on public transport has been pretty much okay. Having a well oiled (haha) public transport system is a huge help. Buses are plentiful and, mostly, run on time as do the trains. Its also quite a bit more cost effective than buying and maintaining a car. The downside of course is losing the convenience having a car gives you. Standing in rain that is coming in sideways while waiting for a bus is not fun. Taking children to friends and parties that are not within walking distance or on a bus route would also be a pleasure. But, I personally think at this point, not owning a car makes a lot more sense for us.
Recently, public transport was reformed to streamline costs of bulk (monthly) tickets and yesterday the pricing for public transport was dropped across the board by 17%. I now pay ₪299/month and this covers all my buses and trains between Modi’in and Tel Aviv. I worked out that on average I travel 1044km a month between home, work and ulpan. So if my calculations are correct (they very well might not be, I suck at math), then I am paying on average ₪0.28/km (R1.13/km).
According to Numbeo, the same distance traveled in a ‘Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)’ with an average cost of ₪6.38/l of petrol, would average ₪333 in gas or ₪0.32/km (R1.30/km). Already more expensive and that’s just petrol, never mind insurance, drivers licence, car license and general upkeep (and the cost of the actual car!).
So yup, for now I will continue to take public transport.
*For complete accuracy I would really have to take into account Paul’s transport costs too. He also travels by train and bus. But, we would only buy 1 car, so one of us would most probably still take public transport to and from work while the other would use the car. In which case I think my above calculations are reasonable.
I was given an awesome opportunity to run around for four days in the Peugeot 3008 last week.
What a car! I used every opportunity I could to take this baby for a spin over the four days. Couldnt find an ingredient at the store? No worries, just hop in the car and go to the next store. Still cant find the ingredient? What? Its at a store 10km away? No worries! This car is an absolute pleasure to drive.
At least after I got used to the fact it was an automatic! Let me just tell you, 16 years of driving a manual car and muscle memory is a bitch to get rid of!
So, down to the nitty gritty…
So many nifty features.
Retractable side mirrors.
On board SatNav.
On board computer/radio set up.
Heads Up Display for km/hour and for proximity alert.
Independent climate controlled air-con for driver and passenger.
Bluetooth functionality for hands free phone calls.
Adjustable hight for the drivers seat, us short people really appreciate that!
Rear park assist.
Cielo (panoramic) retractable roof.
Refrigerated centre console.
Huge and I mean, HUGE, boot!
Swanky leather interior.
Oh, oh!!!! See that interior light on the left hand side of the boot? It pops out and becomes a torch! No more scrabbling around in a dark boot. Especially because this one is so huge you could lose a few bodies in it!
Not so likes
I was hard pressed to find anything I didnt really like about the 3008.
The centre console opened from the left (passenger side). It should open from the right or from the front. I get that the car is manufactured in a country that makes left hand drive vehicles but surely it doesn’t take too much effort to adjust the features to a right hand drive car?
As above, the bonnet release was also found on the left side. In fact, it was found near the passenger door. Which means that if I needed to open the bonnet, I would have to get out the car, walk around, open the passenger door and then open the bonnet. Not so safe…
The controls for opening/closing and tilting the SatNav screen were ‘just’ too far for my small arms to reach. There is plenty space on the centre console to put these buttons.
Blow my socks off
Automatic headlights! These were amazing, set the lights to auto and you never have to remember to turn lights on or off! This was probably the highlight of the car for me.
Child lock/safety feature. This nifty button locks not only the windows from naughty little hands but also stops them from opening the rear doors. And its just a push of a button on the drivers door. Meaning that when I had an adult in the back seat, all I had to do was press the button to disengage the lock.
There are probably a ton of features I haven’t even covered here but do yourselves a favour and take this baby out for a spin and see for yourself. I am definitely going to beg to test drive a few more models!