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How I Funded My Karting Hobby: A Case Study

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 4 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
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For one-off or semi-regular sessions, go karting can be relatively cheap compared to some sports. However, taking part in regular go karting sessions or getting involved in a karting class can soon see the costs mounting up, as Jake Carter discovered.

Although he had no plans to turn his go karting hobby into a potential career, he was keen to take part in regular karting races to test himself against other karting enthusiasts. He explains how he scraped together the cash to fund his karting hobby.

Rising Costs

After totting up the cost of buying a go kart to use in his karting competitions, clothing, equipment and membership costs, Jake was shocked to discover that his karting outgoings were running into the thousands.

“Because my involvement in go karting competitions is only on an amateur basis, I wasn't bothered about getting a top-of-the-range go kart to compete in. Even though the go kart that I bought was not brand new, it still set me back around £300. As I am taking part in go karting competitions, I like to wear proper karting overalls and boots to look and feel the part, and this forced the costs up even higher. By the time I was ready to start competing, I had already spent over £3500. For someone who aspires to become a professional go karter, I imagine that the initial costs would be in excess of £5500, and maybe even higher”.

Funding a go Karting Hobby

To meet the initial costs of getting started in go karting competitions, Jake had no other option but to borrow money from his family.

“At the time, I was a teenager without a steady job, so the bank were not interested in giving me a loan as I did not have the means to pay it back. I had a Saturday job and I used my earnings from that to pay my parents back bit by bit while I was still at school. I was able to pay the rest of the loan back once I got my first full-time job, although the loan had increased by then as my parents had also been paying for my membership fees along the way as well. Luckily, the membership fees are relatively inexpensive at around £50-£60 per year, but this obviously still added to the amount that I had to pay them back”.

Jake has the following advice for others who want to participate in their go karting hobby but are worried about the financial side of things.

“It is easy to assume that go karting won't turn out to be expensive unless you want to turn professional. This isn't always true, and as I found out, the costs can quickly mount up. I was lucky enough to get a loan from my parents, but other people will not necessarily have this option at their disposal. Using savings is an alternative, but not something that everyone will want to use to fund what is essentially a leisure activity and not a career investment”.

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