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Old 02-17-03, 02:51 AM   #1
mike
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Just bought a car today - and gas. HELP!

I had to buy a car this weekend.

I am in sales and when I am on the road, I usually take a taxi or rent a car. However, sometimes customers visit HQ and I have to drive them around. In the past, I would fire up the old automobile, but it finally froze-up from sitting unused too long so I started renting cars when needed. I have a unique job, though, and for the most part rarely need to drive. In any event, I will drive this car more frequently just to keep it in running condition.

Visitor travel to HQ is picking up, so the economic balance pointed toward car ownership again.

That sucked. What really sucks is all the taxes and fees and license/registration that gets tacked to the price.

The real big shocker was buying gas! I haven't purchased gas in about six months. Great zounds! At $1.86 per gallon, filling up a tank is a major investment. Now, I look at these low-income families rolling around in old '80's vintage gas sucking station wagons and wonder how they can keep gas in the car and buy milk too. That must be a huge burden.

In the past, I always said that the reason I bicycle commute is not because it saves money - it is about the love of bicycling.

HOWEVER, if the price of gas keeps going up, it might be about the money too.
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Old 02-17-03, 06:20 AM   #2
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HI MIKE

JUST FOR INFO

A LITTER OF PETROL (UNLEADED) COST 1.20 EURO (1EURO = 1.1 USD) IN FRANCE

YOU NEED ABOUT FOUR TO A GALLON

IN UK THE LITTER IS ABOUT .69 PENCE (NOT SURE ABOUT THE CHANGE RATE) BUT MORE THAN IN FRANCE

SO YOUR GALLON IS STILL VERY CHEAP FOR EUROPEANS
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Old 02-17-03, 07:13 AM   #3
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A litre her is roughly 76p, or $1.21, i.e approx $5 per gallon US.
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Old 02-17-03, 07:18 AM   #4
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PETROL IS CHEAPER IN SWITZERLAND 1.36 CHF PER LITER (1 EUR 1.47 CHF ; 1 USD 1.36 ; 1 GBP 2.25 CHF)

BUT THE BEST PLACE IS LUXEMBURG AND ANDORRA .80 EURO CENTS
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Old 02-17-03, 07:33 AM   #5
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I wouldn't know as I don't own a car, but I went and checked a web site that has gas prices in various parts of Finland (and a couple of quotes outside of Finland, as well): Finland 1,1 - 1,2 euros per litre; Tallinn, Estonia 0,62 euros; Tenerife, Spain 0,59 euros; Chicago, USA 0,42 euros. Mike, your prices seem dirt cheap to us.

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Old 02-17-03, 08:09 AM   #6
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Actually gas is much more expensive in the US than what one sees at the pump. Oil companies receive government subsidies, tax exemptions and numerous other forms of corporate welfare. Even dedicated cyclists who don't own cars end up paying for gasoline. The goverment keeps the public blind to this by engendering class warfare where social welfare is portrayed as the Great Satan. Meanwhile Exxon, Texaco and company keep laughing all the way to the bank at the expense of the public and the environment.

Peace y'all,
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Old 02-17-03, 08:11 AM   #7
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Our gas would be cheap at 3 bucks a gallon compared to outside the us.Another reason to hate us.
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Old 02-17-03, 08:18 AM   #8
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Amerpie is right. Add to that the cost of our road system, the most expensive in the world. Add on
medical costs and lost wages from the higher rate of transportation related injuries and death. Add to that our susceptibility to economic damage from
fluctuations in petroleum prices. Add to that the cost of an endless series of wars in the Gulf (you didn't think this one coming up would be the last?) to protect our oil supply. Add them all up together, and you have the most expensive gas in the world. The price at the pump is just a down payment.
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Old 02-17-03, 09:05 AM   #9
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Hey, Sacha:
There's a little key on the left side of your keyboard marked "Caps Lock". Please press it once. Now, make sure the little green light in the upper right corner of the keyboard also maked "Caps Lock" is off.
Thank You.
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Old 02-17-03, 09:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by mike
I had to buy a car this weekend.
Just enjoy your car, Mike, and don't sweat it. Besides, you may have helped some guy keep his job at the plant.

Remember, you don't have to drive it all the time. In fact, since you already consider your bicycle the major transportation vehicle,
that won't be too difficult.

Hey, I find people are very impressed when you tell them you put more miles on your bike than your car.
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Old 02-17-03, 09:44 AM   #11
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Many of the oil companies that sell here in the states are foreign owned. Do they receive subsidies from there countries or has somebody come up with a scheme for the U.S. to subsidize them?
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Old 02-17-03, 10:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bobatin
Many of the oil companies that sell here in the states are foreign owned. Do they receive subsidies from there countries or has somebody come up with a scheme for the U.S. to subsidize them?
In these days of multi-nationalism coporations it's hard to tell. Besides we seem glad to let formerly US owned corporations open a PO Box in Barbados, and all of a sudden they are "foreign owned" and exempt from all kinds of taxes.

If a country has it's headquarters in Barbados, it's offices in Newark, its operations in Kuwait, its money in Germany -- what country is the company to be associated with and thus pay taxes to?

Companies get tax breaks all the time in the name of "job creation" however congress and the president won't mandate that those jobs be created in the US and often they are not. I guess that would interfere with the "free market".
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Old 02-17-03, 11:14 AM   #13
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Well, Mike since nobody has asked, what kind of a car did you buy?
I am in a similiar situation. I work as a carpenter and having a truck is part of the job. I purchased the smallest truck that would do the job and only use it for work. I would really like to be carfree and I will be in the future but this will require a change of employment.

If your looking to save money on gas buy regular grade instead of the higher grade gasolines. The only difference is the amount of octane and unless you purchased a Viper or Corvette a new car should run fine on regular grade.
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Old 02-17-03, 01:08 PM   #14
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Many of the countries outside the USA add taxes to gasoline that have nothing to do with the actual price of the oil. On any given day oil prices are fairly constant around the world. What Europeans pay in higher fuel costs are more than offset in lower health care premiums, etc. It's hard to make real comparisons without looking at the total cost of living for a family.

That being said, each of us probably live in the best damn country on earth, where-ever that happens to be (unless you're from France because the US and France are currently having a diplomatic pissing-match over what should happen in Iraq).

One of my favorite things about these forums is their international flavor. Hopefully that will never change.
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Old 02-17-03, 02:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by amerpie
If a country has it's headquarters in Barbados, it's offices in Newark, its operations in Kuwait, its money in Germany -- what country is the company to be associated with and thus pay taxes to?
It doesn't matter. The company must set up a separate corporation in EACH country that it does business in and each corporation must pay taxes in the country where it is located.

The USA is the only country that requires companies to pay income tax on foreign earnings, which is why so many corporations have relocated off shore. That doesn't exempt them from taxation- it just prevents the US from taxing them on foreign income.
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Old 02-17-03, 03:20 PM   #16
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Last time I owned a car was ten years ago, but yesterday I can't help but notice the price of Gasoline here in T.O. was .79 cents/ I don't know if its lite or gallon, so I don't know the market right now.....
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Old 02-17-03, 06:28 PM   #17
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I've always been surprised by the fact that other countries pay so much more in gas- that is, until I saw what the gas pays for.

I don't think you can compare other countries to the USA- other countries slap on taxes and fees to their gas prices, while here in the USA, taxes on gases are left up to the government. When gas prices began rising a few years ago, we learned that here in Chicago, there was a 5 cent tax on gas to pay for some kind of pollution emissions program... We are taxed in a variety of ways so that the City can get their money to pay for their programs- it doesn't all come out of our gas prices, or we'd be looking like the Europeans and their $1.80 a liter gas prices.

What I always wondered is why people who are in these other countries don't find out exactly what the cost of the gas is, and then find out what the extra costs are that are slapped onto the cost of the gas, and THEN find out where that extra money goes- I suspect maybe a lot of it goes to their social programs, such as their national health care plans, which we lack here in the USA.

This is not meant as a rip on Europeans- just a speculation as to why there is a difference between the gas prices in Europe (Australia, Canada, etc) and the gas prices here in the USA.

Too bad about the car thing. I would never buy a car right now. I wouldn't even rent one either. I doubt I could pay for the gas! I am curious- what kind of car did you end up with?

If I had to get a car, the only one I would be impressed enough to get would be a Smart Car out of Europe. I am seriously considering having one shipped- it's still cheap to buy it abroad and have it sent over here, and I was completely impressed with the car.

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Old 02-17-03, 07:27 PM   #18
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My son just got a lesson in the Dark Side of motoring, when a pickup truck skidded into his lane on a rain-slicked freeway. Fortunately, no one was injured and my son was not at fault, but the close encounter with the concrete center divider damaged my 14-year-old, 60K-mile/100K-km car irreparably. At best, we will be able to recover $1700 (per Kelly Blue Book) for a car which could have easily provided another 5 to 10 years of economical, reliable service. I had hoped to avoid purchasing another car until the selection of hybrid-electrics broadens.
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Old 02-17-03, 09:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Companies get tax breaks all the time
Companies don't truly pay taxes anywhere! Only comsumers of the products pay the taxes in the form of increased product prices. If you don't want to pay the taxes, don't buy the product! Here all the gas pumps have a sticker that list the amount of federal tax and state tax that is added to the price of a gallon of gas. Now if I burn the gas "use the energy" I pay the taxes this is the way it should be, at least I know how much is in taxes.

Remember also that no government of any type generates revineu. The only way a government has of finance is through taxes, fines, and levies! I have no problem paying taxes in a country where they go to help finance the way of life we enjoy.

Gas now is cheeper per income levels than they have ever been in my life time ,40 yo, and this is the reason that there are so many low milage autos on the highways of the USA today. When I was starting my adult life there where greater numbers of fuel effecent cars on the highways then than now. If your close to my age just look at what is running up and down the roads! Gas prices will have to get to around 5$ a gallon to have the same impact on a family income that $1.35/G gas had in the early 80s. If it does the ones driving autos that get poor milage will be crying FOUL because of gas prices and not because of the choice of auto they choose to drive!
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Old 02-17-03, 11:46 PM   #20
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Our petrol is about to reach $1.00AUD per litre which is the equivalent of $2.24US per gallon. Luckily I don't drive much.
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Old 02-18-03, 12:02 PM   #21
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">>>>>>>I had to buy a car this weekend. "<<<<<<<

I often find that people put themselves in a situation where they HAVE to buy a car. I have made it a conscious decision long ago to choose my career and home in a location where public transportation is inexpensive and abundant and a car was not necessary for survival.

USA Today reported that gas WILL go up to $2.00 a gallon by the summer so get ready to shell out more money. The days of cheap gasoline in the United States are rapidily coming to an end. Once the war starts, I predict gas will skyrocket to over $2.50 in some states. For those driving large SUV's, expect to shell out $40 - 70 dollars each time you you say "Fill it up".


2. ">>>>>That sucked. What really sucks is all the taxes and fees and license/registration that gets tacked to the price."<<<<<

Taxes, fees and registration are the inexpensive costs of car ownership. Auto insurance where I live (New Jersey) is going through the roof as the motorist is being blead to death to pay for uninsured and careless drivers. Skyrocketing parking tickets in New York City and other states are being handed out for minor infractions since cities across the nation are facing major shortfalls in revenues. Furthermore, if you purchased a used car, within two and a half years auto repairs and oil changes will probably equal a year of auto insurance.

You will need to set aside money each week in your budget for repairs and oil changes. If you don't do this, when that large repair bill comes by, you'll end up using Visa/Mastercard to pay the bill thus increasing your auto expenses with compound interest.

All of this money that could have gone into your retirement account now must pay for a vehicle what will spend 95% of it's time parked.

You have my condolences.
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Old 02-18-03, 12:13 PM   #22
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Speaking of auto insurance... mine just dropped from over $500 a year to less than $250 a year. Probably because my truck just turned 10 years old. But I also have a perfect driving record so maybe that contributed a little.
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Old 02-18-03, 01:49 PM   #23
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It doesn't matter. The company must set up a separate corporation in EACH country that it does business in and each corporation must pay taxes in the country where it is located.

The USA is the only country that requires companies to pay income tax on foreign earnings, which is why so many corporations have relocated off shore. That doesn't exempt them from taxation- it just prevents the US from taxing them on foreign income.
cycletourist... You're right about one thing, doing business in different countries requires registering the corp and clarifying their tax status. But, I think you need to review who and what's actually relocating offshore. Mfg is moving offshore seeking lower mfg, distribution and labor costs, unions and state taxes are killing many industries.

The vast majority of US incorporated stock mkt companies are NOT moving offshore. I don't think it's right, but it's the much smaller individually owned companies that are incorporating offshore for tax reasons. Also, each state requires incorporated companies to pay various taxes depending on inventory, employee's and facilities, not to forget city taxes.
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Old 02-18-03, 02:13 PM   #24
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One of the principal reasons I began commuting by bicycle is that it saves a considerable amount of money otherwise spent on gas. Now if I could just save that money rather than spending it on stuff for the bike.....
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Old 02-18-03, 03:35 PM   #25
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>>>>>>Mfg is moving offshore seeking lower mfg, distribution and labor costs, unions and state taxes are killing many industries. <<<<<

Manufacturing has already moved offshore for the most part and white colar work is next. The company I work for closed it's entire IT staff of computer engineers last November and offshored the work to India. We saved millions of dollars in salaries while devastating the lives of dozens of highly educated IT workers. This scenario is happening ALL OVER the United States I don't see this changing anytime soon. Within twenty five years, I predict only a fraction of those employed currently as "computer programmers" will be needed as this work is headed overseas. None of these IT workers that were let go from the company were unionized. A union might have protected their jobs but NOT having a union ment they were all employees at will and were just tossed out like dogs.
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