Two hours stuck in the pouring rain, wet clothes, flooded motorbike wheels, Mr. Duc remembers the days when he drove a car, when the price of gasoline had not increased.
“It’s only through days like this that I can see how much better it is to ride a car,” said Hoang Duc, 32, in Cau Giay district (Hanoi). Going to work by car, he does not worry about the sun, rain and cold.
But nearly two months ago, Germany switched to motorbikes because of the sharp increase in gasoline. The man said that if he goes by car, he spends nearly 2 million VND per week on gasoline, while riding a motorbike only costs about 200,000 VND. “No one wants to suffer, but driving a car is too expensive,” he said.
In 2020, he and his wife collected money to buy a car of more than one billion dong to serve daily work and take his wife and children to visit his hometown. At that time, the car cost about a million dong in gas per week. Monthly car maintenance costs include gas, maintenance, insurance, tolls, parking, parking, the total cost is nearly 6 million.
But when the price of gasoline exceeded 30,000 VND per liter, Mr. Duc paid nearly 1.9 million VND to fill the tank. It is estimated that every month a man working in the field of event planning costs VND 7.6 million for gas, not to mention going out or going back to his hometown. The monthly car maintenance fee costs 10 million VND, accounting for 1/5 of the couple’s total income.
To save money, Duc and his wife switched to motorbikes, not eating out or shopping. Every time he goes on a business trip to the province, he chooses to take a bus or invite a colleague to rent a car and split the money. He admitted that he was uncomfortable when he shared a car, but he was forced to accept when the price of gas from April 21 to now increased seven times.
Gasoline prices in Vietnam have increased dramatically since the beginning of 2022. In January, RON 95 gasoline was at 23,000 VND per liter, by the end of June it was up to 33,000 VND, the highest ever. Since July 11, under the influence of a series of government policies, the price per liter of gasoline has decreased by more than 3,000 VND.
But even when the price of gasoline drops to less than 30,000 VND, consumers still think that this is a high level, forcing them to replace cars with other means. Ms. Thu Thuy, 29 years old, from Dong Da district is an example. Two years ago, a woman working in the media industry bought a car for more than 500 million VND. When gasoline increased, every week Ms. Thuy filled the tank with 1.2 million dong, before it was 900,000 dong. It is calculated that each month she spends 4.8 million dong on gas, plus deposits, insurance, parking fees, tolls, nearly 7 million, while her monthly income is only 15 million dong. “It’s too much for me to spend nearly half my salary just to keep the car,” she said.
More than two months ago, Thuy decided to switch to cycling in combination with the elevated railway to save money. The house is nearly a kilometer from Cat Linh station, every morning she takes the folding bike to the tram, gets off at Van Quan station (Ha Dong) and continues to move 2 km to go to work.
This way of moving helps her only cost 200,000 VND, saving more than 4 million VND compared to going by car. About 15 minutes on the train, Ms. Thuy takes advantage of taking a nap or handling work, the total distance is about 30 minutes, twice as fast as traveling by car. “Not to mention, combining bicycles and electric trains helps me improve my health, avoid traffic jams of kilometers long, especially on rainy or sunny days,” she said.
Not only Ms. Thuy, many people choose public transport when gasoline prices increase. According to the Hanoi Public Transport Management Center, public passenger transport by bus and urban railway reached 48.1 million in the first four months of this year. In which, buses reached 46.1 million; urban railway 2A reached 1.9 million turns. Bus volume in February increased by 94.6% compared to January, March increased by 38.8% compared to February, April increased by 49.7% compared to March… The number of monthly ticket users continuously increased. .
Mr. Vu Hong Truong, general director of Hanoi Railway One Member Company Limited (Hanoi Metro) said that the increase in gasoline prices is considered one of the seasonal reasons for the increase in passengers at this time.
According to Hanoi Metro, after 6 months of operation, the whole route has transported 3.16 million passengers. The number of passengers taking the train increased 2.5 times compared to the first time and during the distance. Every day, 21,000-22,000 passengers take the train; Saturday and Sunday 25,000-30,000 guests, not including holidays.
Before many people switch from personal cars to motorbikes and bicycles in combination with public transport, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Do Minh Cuong, former lecturer at the University of Economics, Hanoi National University, said it was a change. smart and timely conversion to solve economic problems when gasoline increases.
“Instead of taking their own car, they have to find another form, for example, the sharing economy model, ie using technology-based ride-hailing apps or public transport. Especially, both of these options. helping people reduce the worry of rising gasoline, cutting maintenance fees and wear and tear. However, users have to accept limitations such as when they no longer have their own cars, “said the expert.
Since the price of gasoline increased, the Toyota Vios of Mr. Quoc Truong, 40 years old, Ha Dong, was left in the basement of the apartment complex. In the past, even though the distance was only 1-2 km, he still drove to avoid having to wear a helmet and avoid dust. On weekends, the whole family drives home or invites friends to go out.
Now, he and his wife accept to ride a motorbike for more than 15 km to work. Every time I go back to my hometown, I take a passenger car, because the price is only 150,000 VND each time, instead of pouring nearly a million money for gasoline. “Which is cheaper we will prioritize,” he said.
Not in use, but the car still costs more than 2 million VND in deposit and maintenance every month. Anh, his wife suggested selling the car, but he did not agree. “When will the gas go down again,” he replied.
It is more difficult to raise a car, but many people still have the same mentality as Truong, believing that the expensive gas price is only temporary. Two surveys conducted by VnExpress show that, when gasoline prices first peaked, 32% of people said they would switch to electric cars, but after three months, only 16% of respondents had switched to electric cars. While the number of people using petrol and oil cars accounted for 54%.
But not everyone can wait for gas prices to drop. Duc Manh, 45 years old, in Hai Phong has just sold his family car. Two years ago, he accumulated 600 million, borrowed 400 million from the bank, paid both principal and interest in 3 years, to buy a Mazda 6 for nearly one billion dong.
At first, when buying a car, the price of gasoline was half of the current level, the couple’s salary of 30 million VND was enough for living expenses and car maintenance. But now every month, the cost of gasoline costs more than 4 million VND, parking fee in the basement of the apartment building is 1.2 million VND, an additional one million deposits at the agency and other expenses, the total cost is 7 million VND, not to mention 12 million dong of principal and interest when buying a car in installments. The car maintenance fee is high, the 45-year-old man switched to a motorbike, but he still loses 13.2 million VND per month for parking fees and bank debt and now has to put it up for sale.
Confess that switching from cars to motorbikes is not familiar, but when the price of gasoline and other items both increase, Manh said selling the car is necessary. “In the near future, when the gas is low or the couple’s income improves, we will consider buying a car again. Currently, selling a car is the most effective solution to not lose more money,” he said.
As for Mr. Duc’s family, if gasoline prices continue to rise and still keep the car in a corner, he considers bringing the car back to his hometown to help save money. “When gas prices go up, raising a car costs more than raising children to school,” sighed the 32-year-old man.