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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-17-06, 07:11 AM   #1
FXjohn
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Why so overwhelmed if your car is paid for?

Why does everyone think a paid off vehicle is such a heavy burden to bear?
I have two paid off vehicles and just pay a miniscule amount of PLPD and license plate stickers, which are cheap because they are over ten years old. I ride my bike a lot too, but not everywhere.
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Old 01-17-06, 07:15 AM   #2
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Insurance. I believe that not all states have mandatory liability insurance, but it can be a real pain if you're young or not an experienced driver. Parking, in some cities--you can pay $200 a month just for a place to leave your car at night...
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Old 01-17-06, 07:26 AM   #3
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...insurance, gas, oil changes, maintenance, repairs, state inspections, state registration, county registration, personal property tax, depreciation, garage space, parking, tolls, car washes...
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Old 01-17-06, 07:32 AM   #4
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car washes..<chuckle>
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Old 01-17-06, 09:01 AM   #5
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car washes..<chuckle>
Yep. R.I.P. Rust In Peace
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Old 01-17-06, 09:03 AM   #6
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Clothes for your car.
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Old 01-17-06, 09:04 AM   #7
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I like cars,just went to the car show.
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Old 01-17-06, 09:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FXjohn
Why does everyone think a paid off vehicle is such a heavy burden to bear?
I have two paid off vehicles and just pay a miniscule amount of PLPD and license plate stickers, which are cheap because they are over ten years old. I ride my bike a lot too, but not everywhere.
You could look at it like this: how much money would you have now if you had invested (wisely not in dot coms) the money you spent 10 years ago and kept adding the running costs and loan repayments etc.

Instead you have two 10 year old vehicles that are depreciating as I type.

Some people would rather have the cash thats all. You might prefer to have had the vehicles.

ps. I also have a motor vehicle but I don't like it and only drive it when forced to by my family (part from when I drive to the ski area or to the trails to do MTB) .
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Old 01-17-06, 09:21 AM   #9
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The repair costs are incredible. If you're putting alot of miles on an older car, the repair man is walking away with your retirement fund. I was at the Sears repair center and was numb at all the plastic being melted to pay for those $400.00 dollar bills.

Insurance in a major city is a total ripoff. They want $1200.00 dollars a year for ten year year old vehicle and it's even more if your male and under 25. You can't report minor fender benders and breakins to your car or the insurance goes sky high.

To top it off, tickets in any city are handed out like candy. Large and small cities survive off parking and traffic tickets so the motorist is actually subsidizing local governments. I used to pay $400-600 dollars a year on parking tickets
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Old 01-17-06, 09:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
The repair costs are incredible. If you're putting alot of miles on an older car, the repair man is walking away with your retirement fund. I was at the Sears repair center and was numb at all the plastic being melted to pay for those $400.00 dollar bills.

Insurance in a major city is a total ripoff. They want $1200.00 dollars a year for ten year year old vehicle and it's even more if your male and under 25. You can't report minor fender benders and breakins to your car or the insurance goes sky high.

To top it off, tickets in any city are handed out like candy. Large and small cities survive off parking and traffic tickets so the motorist is actually subsidizing local governments. I used to pay $400-600 dollars a year on parking tickets

I guess i am lucky then. If i buy my vehicle used...there is not much more depreciation to be had.
I don't have inspections, garage fees, or tolls. I change oil twice a year..that might cost 25 dollars.
In the last 6 years, i have paid 700 dollars about every three years for repairs. That's on both cars.
I also save 15% of my income already and pay extra principal on my mortgage, so I am saving lots of money. It just goes to show you, YMMV depending on where you live. i guess i have it pretty good.
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Old 01-17-06, 10:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_Monkey
Clothes for your car.

Just hats <see picture>



http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d1...n/DSC00252.jpg


Last edited by FXjohn; 01-17-06 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 01-17-06, 10:08 AM   #12
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a good solid car that's paid for doesn't have to cost a lot. hell, i had an old honda civic that i paid $75 a month for insurance and about $30 in gas (mid 90's prices). changed the oil, filters, etc. myself. never needed repair (lucky) so i hardly spent anything on it. people spend more for cell phone plans than i did for that car. but that was in spacious arizona. take that same car to new york city and it would be a huge burden. more than it's worth.
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Old 01-17-06, 10:46 AM   #13
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Pretty tough to take my kids to soccer games.pick them up at school when it rains, go food shopping,vacations,ect without a car.
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Old 01-17-06, 11:36 AM   #14
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my car was paid for when i sold it. i lowered my insurance to liability only (p/t driver), then i let insurance lapse as i never drove - and didn't renew registration.

i figured i better sell it rather than get myself in trouble. plus now i don't have to deal with insurance, reg. gas, repair, parking, potential traffic tix.

i love biking/bus/walking around, and when i need to i use cab, or rent car for out-of-town trips.

i can't see myself ever buying a car again, even if it's cheap. if i ever took a job for a year or so where a car was an absolute MUST, i'd just rent one for $200-$400 a month.

of course my lifestyle helps, i'm a city person, enjoy traveling to other cities, and the only time i really need a car is when i go skiing in the mountains, or do a road trip out west in utah or nevada, and that's when it's actually FUN to drive, and not a huge aggravation
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Old 01-17-06, 11:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shokhead
Pretty tough to take my kids to soccer games.pick them up at school when it rains, go food shopping,vacations,ect without a car.
my comment to all this is become a one car family if not already. a little prep work/scheduling and planning makes significant savings.

and i walked home from school in the rain/snow, (in the 1980s), we had the wood paneled station wagon for groceries, but my grandma and great aunt lived downtown (Grand Rapids), and when i visited we had no problem walking for the farmers market and grocery store back then. (and they were 70s 80s at the time!)

vacations? sure disneyland is fun, and you can rent a car for national parks. but a far more enriching experience is exploring big cities as a family. NY, Chicago, San Fran, Mexico City. are great walkable cities and cool subways, and tons to do.

No not joking, Mexico City is extremely family friendly, (as are most mexicans), amazing museums, great zoo, day trips to pyramids and great food.
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Old 01-17-06, 12:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shokhead
Pretty tough to take my kids to soccer games.pick them up at school when it rains, go food shopping,vacations,ect without a car.
Some of my neighbors have kids and do all those things and they don't have a car. And yes the kids do go to school and the family buys its food like everyone else.
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Old 01-17-06, 01:06 PM   #17
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I found the insurance and repair costs to be pretty onerous. But really I just find that cars don't provide much value for the expenditures. They don't provide exercise or fun, and I was never challenged to shave a few seconds off my commute time when I drove. Cars smell funny and they start wars, problems that don't occur with bikes.

Basically, I feel good when I ride a bike and I feel bad when I drive a car. How many dollars and cents does that add up to?

That's just me. I honestly wish you continued success with your autos. It sounds like you have a system that works well for you.
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Old 01-17-06, 01:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shokhead
Pretty tough to take my kids to soccer games.pick them up at school when it rains, go food shopping,vacations,ect without a car.
That's why all the good ideas on this forum should be taken with many grains of salt by people responsible for families. Urban childless healthy adults with very limited transportation needs have an altogether different set of requirements than people responsible for working at a job and taking care of/transporting dependents.
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Old 01-17-06, 01:46 PM   #19
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I'd also find it hard to justify giving up my car for purely financial reasons.

$25 a month for insurance (yes, NC rules!).
About the same for gas (I don't drive much).
$20 a year in property tax.
Maybe $25 for two oil changes.

Throw in $300 for repairs and we're up to a whopping one grand. At this point, that's still cheaper than renting a car when I need one (mainly to transport elderly relatives). I could easily end up spending more this year on my bikes.

I got the thing ('92 Taurus) used 10 years ago and paid cash. I almost hate to say it here, but I kind of...like the thing. I do feel better the less I drive it, if that helps.
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Old 01-17-06, 01:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesdenver
and i walked home from school in the rain/snow, (in the 1980s)
Don't you know? Kids today melt or something. If poor little precious had to get wet, then mommy and daddy would feel all guilty about neglecting the poor kid (as opposed to parking the kid in front of a video game all night, which is perfectly fine, of course ).

We are bringing up a generation of wimps. The only bright side is that the next generation will be so weak and unhealthy that they will all die young, thereby solving the global overpopulation crisis.
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Old 01-17-06, 02:00 PM   #21
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only bright side is that the next generation will be so weak and unhealthy that they will all die young, thereby solving the global overpopulation crisis.

You could go ahead and start with yourself.
Jump into a rendering vat, turn yourself into catfood, do your part against overpopulation.
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Old 01-17-06, 02:21 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by FXjohn
You could go ahead and start with yourself.
Jump into a rendering vat, turn yourself into catfood, do your part against overpopulation.
I have done my part, I am child-free and intend to stay that way. I made that decision long ago for a variety of reasons, one of them being a wish to NOT contribute to overpopulation.
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Old 01-17-06, 02:27 PM   #23
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I have done my part, I am child-free and intend to stay that way. I made that decision long ago for a variety of reasons, one of them being a wish to NOT contribute to overpopulation.

Same here, no children either.
Overpopulation-the problem no one ever wants to talk about.
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Old 01-17-06, 02:54 PM   #24
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I have done my part, I am child-free and intend to stay that way. I made that decision long ago for a variety of reasons, one of them being a wish to NOT contribute to overpopulation.

I applaud your stand. I believe in the same thing but my wife doesn't. We may have kids eventually but I'm hoping we won't be able to.
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Old 01-17-06, 03:00 PM   #25
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children already are:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&q=...en&sa=N&tab=wn

(not to be confused with type 1 DB, which is completely different)

one reason i live in an older area downtown is that i AM child-free (not childless), and fully support the concious desicion to not raise kids, and no single person of couple should feel odd or out of place in society because of it.

but should an odd sit-com situation arise where i take in a kid and raise him/her. there's four great hospitals with pedatriac offices within a mile of me, three playgrounds within a few blocks, two parks, elementary/middle schools, and he/she would be the most well behaved five year old at starbucks reading baby einstein while i sip latte and work from my laptop. hey i've babysat my nephew for the day and we got around fine without a car. (not to the hospital thankfully)

BUT - it comes back to the way our cities are designed. suburbs versus regular grid neighborhoods. i don't live in a high rise with shops below me, (like anti-city folks think new urbanists are forcing on everyone). i live in a regular house, in a grided street, with grocery/hardware/misc stores places within a reasonable walk. i DON'T live and will never live in a windy circle street ville area where i face the back of a big box store, but have no way of getting to that store (barring pole vaulting a fence via a trench)

THAT's what makes it easy or hard, is the way streets and shopping are designed in proportion to the person. walking across the parking lot of several big box stores in the exurbs is the equivalant of a 6-7 block walk in my neighborhood, which provides me with all the same services, plus seeing neighbors, trees, squirrels, etc. (and it's not more expensive where i go).

back to reality, i'm late for my skydiving massage...
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