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  1. #1
    Hair Free bike756's Avatar
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    My parents won't let me not have a car!

    I need some help convincing my parents to get rid of my car.

    They pay $1500 a year for insurance and the car just sits in the driveway collecting dust.It's driving me nuts that they pay that much for insurance on a car I don't drive when I ride a crappy bike and they won't even buy me tubes. I could use the money from the sale of the car for a decent bike. It is their car but they don't drive it and basicaly let me have it.

    I have used less than half a tank of gas in over a month, but only for groceries' and I could have got them on the bike if I had a trailer.They are convinced that I'll give up after a while or when it gets too cold, but i really want to do this.By the way,I'm 16, I live in the suburbs, I ride or walk to school and I don't have a job.

    Maybe If I don't drive it for a couple of months and then show them all the money that they wasted theyll come around.

  2. #2
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    you may have to persist in leaving a tempting car sitting around for a year or more before your parents decide they are REALLY wasting their money. :-) Believe me, there will be times (and it probably won't be routine stuff like grocery shopping or going to work/school) when you're tempted to drive if there's a car sitting there.

  3. #3
    Dare to be weird!
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    It could be that your dad is like mine was. He was bursting with pride when he gave me a car. I'm still not sure exactly what was going on inside his head, but it was some kind of symbolic thing and it was really, really important to him. I'm completely out of tune with car culture, but there are overtones of some unspoken rite of passage here.

  4. #4
    King of the Forest Totoro's Avatar
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    Okay. I am going to put myself in your parents shoes. I am thinking, I sell the car and then give him some money to spend on a nice bike. Then he wants to go out with his friends and he's going to want to borrow my car, which I have spent a large chunk of my pay on. So then he get's in an accident and my insurance goes up. Ah, better to let him have his beater, even if it just sits in the driveway most of the time.

  5. #5
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike756
    I need some help convincing my parents to get rid of my car.

    They pay $1500 a year for insurance and the car just sits in the driveway collecting dust.It's driving me nuts that they pay that much for insurance on a car I don't drive when I ride a crappy bike and they won't even buy me tubes.
    Perhaps you can propose some temporary solutions. Some companies will let you deactivate the insurance for a while without cancelling the policy. Propose to your parents that they cancel it for a month and give you the savings. Or, will they pay for your gas? Why not suggest they they give you a gas allowance of (quick mental calculations) $50 month, and you can either spend it on gas or on routine bike expenses. That should pay for your tubes and a handy profit.
    Robert
    Last edited by cooker; 09-07-05 at 10:03 PM.

  6. #6
    Knows Bigfoot's Momma
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike756
    ...By the way,I'm 16, I live in the suburbs, I ride or walk to school and I don't have a job.....
    I have a funny feeling that they're hoping you'll use the car to drive to work...

    GET A JOB! ...Damn kids these days...
    nice lugs baby!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Their money, their problem

  8. #8
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    It's there car. If they want to waste their money on it and have it sit in the drive way, that's there problem.

    But, if you want to convince them you are serious about being car free, then you will have to really show them by using your bike all the time, even when it would be easier to use their car.

  9. #9
    jim anchower jamesdenver's Avatar
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    how old are you? let them realize they're wasting your money. maybe you can use it once to drive your stuff to college, then bring it back to them!

  10. #10
    gwd
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    As a former parent, my kid is grown now, I like Cooker's advice. Meet 'em partway with solutions that help you get what you want. Maybe not Cooker's exactly but something along those lines that shows respect for their point of view but still lets you try to live the way you want to. One other thing, you mentioned getting groceries, so it reads as though you use the car to run errands for your parents. You might have to make an effort to show them you can run errands and contribute to the smooth running of the family without that car.

  11. #11
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    Am I the only one who reads these posts and thinks, "Some parents have more money than sense"? Maybe its just because I grew up grateful to have food on the table, but I can't understand any 16yo needing a car, much less parents just buying one for them!

    (Same goes for parents "needing" a car to get kids to various activities. I don't get that either. I walked or used public transit, or I couldn't go, period.)

  12. #12
    it's my road too, dangit sydney_b's Avatar
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    Good point, gwd. Also, the way insurance works, they may not care so much that he drives the car. They may keep it because that's the one he's insured on. I know it was recommended to me that when my sons started driving to keep a junker around 'cause insurance would be much less. Also, I'd like my sons to be able to drive and maintain a current driving license, even if they don't use the car on a regular basis. I guess it comes from living out in the boonies where if you need to get to a doctor, or need help out in a pasture, someone may need to drive out quick.

    As to bike756's money woes and need for tubes ... get a job, or at least do some work for your parents or neighbors for pay. My sons pull weeds, clean gutters, etc. One even spent several hours sifting through an extensive CD collection cleaning and alphabetizing. Look around, you'll see there's lots to be done and someone may willingly part with some $ if you're willing to work.

  13. #13
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    I just realised my previous rant wasn't very useful to the OP, so here is my advice, for whatever its worth.

    First - if you don't want to have a car, don't use it. Ever. Write down the date and the odometer reading, and post that on the fridge. Thank your parents, tell them that you appreciate the though but putting the money in an education fund would be better for you, and give them the keys back. Every month or so point out that the car has not been used, and how much the $$ could have helped your future education.

    16 is a touchy age when you reach out to adulthood but your parents may not see that yet (or be ready for it). Consider this your first challenge in getting your parents to let go a bit!

  14. #14
    Hair Free bike756's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker
    Perhaps you can propose some temporary solutions. Some companies will let you deactivate the insurance for a while without cancelling the policy. Propose to your parents that they cancel it for a month and give you the savings. Or, will they pay for your gas? Why not suggest they they give you a gas allowance of (quick mental calculations) $50 month, and you can either spend it on gas or on routine bike expenses. That should pay for your tubes and a handy profit.
    Robert
    Thats exactly what I was thinking. The problem is , my parents consider the bike a hobby and are pretty determined that I pay for any expenses myself to learn "responsability". Isn't saving money in other areas to get something you want being responsible?

  15. #15
    Hair Free bike756's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydney_b
    Good point, gwd. Also, the way insurance works, they may not care so much that he drives the car. They may keep it because that's the one he's insured on. I know it was recommended to me that when my sons started driving to keep a junker around 'cause insurance would be much less. Also, I'd like my sons to be able to drive and maintain a current driving license, even if they don't use the car on a regular basis. I guess it comes from living out in the boonies where if you need to get to a doctor, or need help out in a pasture, someone may need to drive out quick.

    As to bike756's money woes and need for tubes ... get a job, or at least do some work for your parents or neighbors for pay. My sons pull weeds, clean gutters, etc. One even spent several hours sifting through an extensive CD collection cleaning and alphabetizing. Look around, you'll see there's lots to be done and someone may willingly part with some $ if you're willing to work.
    The car I "drive" is a chevy s10 pickup truck with 109,000 miles and pretty fuel efficiency. It was my dads old truck so they didn't really buy me a new car. My grandmother passed away before I got my license and left us a nice huyundai acord with only 17,000 miles. I was going to drive that but insurance would have been $3000+ per year so I got stuck with the truck.

    As for the job, I do do a lot of work for my parents, but almost all of my money goes towards saving for a new bike. It's taken me a long time to save the $567 I have so far and every $5 counts. I want at least a $1,500 bike so I might be waiting a long time.

  16. #16
    Hair Free bike756's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwd
    As a former parent, my kid is grown now, I like Cooker's advice. Meet 'em partway with solutions that help you get what you want. Maybe not Cooker's exactly but something along those lines that shows respect for their point of view but still lets you try to live the way you want to. One other thing, you mentioned getting groceries, so it reads as though you use the car to run errands for your parents. You might have to make an effort to show them you can run errands and contribute to the smooth running of the family without that car.
    If I could get them to invest in a good trailer that might be possible. The grocery store is about 4 miles away and its its almost impossible to ride with a 40 pound pack full of groceries on my back. It really throws off my balance and I would have to do several trips to get enough.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dang's Avatar
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    Why not take the car to the bad area of town and just accidently leave the keys in it and.....get it? Or park it next to a cliff and forget to set the break.....
    Get lots of speeding tickets.....throw a bra in the back seat so mom finds it....keep rubbers in the ash tray..... loose the oil pans drain bolt.....Oh! Don't do that. Cars worthless then. And if the car isnt fully covered you dont want to leave the keys in it. You have to be a bad boy with that car so Ma and Pa want to sell it and get a good bike for you.
    Oh, heres a good one that made my parents ground me from my car for 6 months. If you keep repeating the offence youll surely loose that car. Leave a bong on the floor somewhere. Man that will piss them off!
    Good luck and keep riding!

  18. #18
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike756
    I want at least a $1,500 bike so I might be waiting a long time.
    Are you mad?!?!? Why would you want to drop such a chunk of change on a bike? A $500 will last the rest of your life, and you will have enough left over to buy tubes and tires for decades.

    You didn't ask for it, but I'm gonna share my advice anyway: Don't spend that much on your bike.

  19. #19
    Hair Free bike756's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Are you mad?!?!? Why would you want to drop such a chunk of change on a bike? A $500 will last the rest of your life, and you will have enough left over to buy tubes and tires for decades.

    You didn't ask for it, but I'm gonna share my advice anyway: Don't spend that much on your bike.
    I have a good $600-700 bike already, and it is serving me well, but I really want something better for racing and training rides.

  20. #20
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Oh, I didn't know you were a racer. Yeah, I'm getting intetrested in picking up a racing bike too. I see what ya mean.

  21. #21
    Zee
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    Just Say No! (to gas) =0P Zee's Avatar
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    If you know it will be a long time before you save up enough money for the (more) expensive bike, why not go ahead and just buy the tubes and the trailer, so that in the meantime you have what you need to prove your self-sufficiency without a car? You could even use the trailer as a means to earn more money, and it would eventually pay for itself (run errands for people, or deliver groceries, newspapers, etc.).

    Personally, my parents never gave me anything like that; I had to pay for my first car (which cost about $600 lol), and every one since. Maybe their thought is that if you are asking them for money for a trailer or for tubes, then you aren't really self-sufficient.

    You could also do what I'm going to do - build your own trailer from recycled pieces and parts. Get a couple of used bike tires, etc., some wood or some pvc, and just build one; you can't get much more self-sufficient than that, and if you get the stuff for free the trailer costs you nothing more than a couple of hours of your spare time.

  22. #22
    Chicago Cyclist ViciousCycle's Avatar
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    bike756, if you do have a long term interest in being car free, then here's a little extra advice. If you're planning to go to college or other school after you finish high school, then it would serve you very well to look at schools located in places where students can get by without cars. There are a lot of schools that fall into this category. Unfortunately, a lot of schools are better at describing themselves than the communities in which they are located, so this will mean a little bit of extra research on your part. If, on the other hand, more schooling is not what you're planning, then consider the various places where it's possible to live car-free when you're not living with your parents anymore.

  23. #23
    @ Checkmate Cycling jbhowat's Avatar
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    I don't know what you're considering for school. I will say, however that Colorado State is one of the bike-friendliest schools in one of the bike-friendliest cities, in one of the bike friendliest states.... Consider it.
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