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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 02-08-08, 03:35 PM   #1
MUDDY88YJ
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owning a car

Hi does anyone comuting to work full time even though they own a car. What is the least amount that people use there cars even though they still own them and just can't seem to get rid of them. Thanks
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Old 02-08-08, 03:37 PM   #2
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someone posted recently that they spent only $300 last year on gas. That sounds pretty car-lite to me.
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Old 02-08-08, 03:39 PM   #3
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Hi does anyone comuting to work full time even though they own a car. What is the least amount that people use there cars even though they still own them and just can't seem to get rid of them. Thanks
I've owned my car for almost 3 years and it's still on its first tank of gas. I've driven it once in the past two years to prove to the landlord that it was an operable vehicle.

All in all, I'd much rather pedal. I keep it in part, just for a vehicle to be insured. I need to drive for work on occasion. If I didn't have a vehicle, insurance would become prohibitive.
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Old 02-08-08, 03:54 PM   #4
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You might want to take it out a little more often than that....do you at least keep it maintained?
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Old 02-08-08, 04:40 PM   #5
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i've not driven my car in over two years.

i need to sell the beast.


and yeah, i know all about how not driving it regularly is bad for it...
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Old 02-08-08, 04:43 PM   #6
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Hi does anyone comuting to work full time even though they own a car. What is the least amount that people use there cars even though they still own them and just can't seem to get rid of them. Thanks
I commute almost exclusively by bike (I take the bus when the weather is horrible or I have lots and lots to carry) and I'm not even really car-lite.

For me it is just much cheaper, faster, and more fun to ride.
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Old 02-08-08, 04:54 PM   #7
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I commute by foot or by car. I have filled my truck with gas only time since the year has begun. (and I still have 3/4 of a tank).
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Old 02-08-08, 05:04 PM   #8
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For my out of town work I'm bound to a car, too much equipment to lug way too far.
For my in town activities I use a bike ~80% of the time. Ferrying elderly parents or inclement weather (driving rain or very heavy winds) are about the only times I'll use my car locally.
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Old 02-08-08, 05:14 PM   #9
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i drive my car to work four to five days a week, about two miles to work. it only costs two thou sand dollars a year at the most for all expenses for my car. actually i was pretty disappointed to see how much i would save if i just used a bike. with no car i would blow six hundred a year on taxi fare to work when the weather is not suitable to ride a bike. that leaves me with a savings of only fourteen hundred dollars a year.
i can see why people are not given an incentive to give up using cars.
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Old 02-08-08, 05:49 PM   #10
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i drive my car to work four to five days a week, about two miles to work. it only costs two thou sand dollars a year at the most for all expenses for my car. actually i was pretty disappointed to see how much i would save if i just used a bike. with no car i would blow six hundred a year on taxi fare to work when the weather is not suitable to ride a bike. that leaves me with a savings of only fourteen hundred dollars a year.
i can see why people are not given an incentive to give up using cars.
You must have a good deal on insurance and repairs to get away with only $2000 a year for a car. Generally the cost of owning a car is much more than what you quote. Here's a simple calculator that will give you some results.
http://www.bikesatwork.com/carfree/c...ownership.html
Maybe if you don't have a monthly payment, don't drive all that much, get the lowest insurance, use recycled fryer fat for fuel....
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Old 02-08-08, 06:14 PM   #11
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You must have a good deal on insurance and repairs to get away with only $2000 a year for a car. Generally the cost of owning a car is much more than what you quote. Here's a simple calculator that will give you some results.
http://www.bikesatwork.com/carfree/c...ownership.html
Maybe if you don't have a monthly payment, don't drive all that much, get the lowest insurance, use recycled fryer fat for fuel....
Using that calculator I come in at $115 per month, $1380 per year. That includes spreading the purchase price through the 6 years I have owned it.
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Old 02-08-08, 06:16 PM   #12
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You guys who can't quite bring yourself to get rid of the cars should have a neighbor use them every now and again, to keep them working. If they're driving anyway, they might as well give your idle vehicle some exercise. If you must own the car, it ought to be working at least.
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Old 02-08-08, 06:30 PM   #13
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My girlfriend and I share a car. She takes it to work if she's got an off-site meeting, but we normally commute by bike or on foot. It's not something we use daily -- we drive it on weekends and a few times a year we drive up to see our families in Massachusetts.

I'd like to sell it, but she's not ready to let go.
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Old 02-08-08, 10:05 PM   #14
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Using that calculator I come in at $115 per month, $1380 per year. That includes spreading the purchase price through the 6 years I have owned it.
How many miles a year do you put on the car? If you buy $20 gas a week, that would equal $1040 for the year. Sounds like you hardly use a car at all.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:06 PM   #15
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I own an older Ford Escort and fill the tank every other month or so nowadays. The car is paid off and has the lowest possible insurance, so it really isn't too significant a portion of my income. It has over 150,000 miles (all from me) and still runs well. I had new tires put on earlier this winter and the mechanic said I'd get another 100,000 out of it. We'll see...

I think owning the car makes a huge difference. I can't imagine why anyone would lease, and car payments of $200-300+/month would not be feasible for me.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:49 PM   #16
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My wife and I own a minivan - we could have a smaller car but we "inherited" this from her disabled sister who no longer drives, and it makes sense to use it for now. I commute to work mostly by bike (150 to 170 days per years) and use public transit on snow or ice days (30 to 50 days a years). I drive to work 1-2 times per year. It's a helpful disincentive that our van doesn't fit in the underground parking at work, but in fact I was commuting this way when we had our Volvo 240 too. I would be willing to try living car free but my wife isn't interested. Before I started biking to work in 1992 we maintained two cars.
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Old 02-08-08, 11:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by acorn54 View Post
i drive my car to work four to five days a week, about two miles to work. it only costs two thou sand dollars a year at the most for all expenses for my car. actually i was pretty disappointed to see how much i would save if i just used a bike. with no car i would blow six hundred a year on taxi fare to work when the weather is not suitable to ride a bike. that leaves me with a savings of only fourteen hundred dollars a year.
i can see why people are not given an incentive to give up using cars.
Isn't there a bus for those bad weather days? Or a rain cape?
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Old 02-09-08, 01:08 AM   #18
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Not for -everyone-. My bad weather days take the form of sub-zero temperatures combined with headwinds averaging 20mph+ (gusts 30-50 or worse). I've done what I can, but that's just too harsh on me with my current gear, and with a 25mph headwind, I feel as though i'd be better off walking; my lowest gear has more chainteeth in back than on the front, and strong headwinds can drop me into it for uncomfortably long parts of the trip. Meanwhile i'm wiping ice out of my eyes and flexing my fingers to fight the numbness and pain I get from having my weight on my wrists for so long, and hoping that my headlight batteries don't die on the way home. There is no bus, none, zilch, covering the area. Yet. Part of my job involves trying to get one. But that hasn't yet happenned, and they have to wait through some grant and funding cycle stuff.

If you're just talking about a bit of snow or rain or something though.. what I described was a 'bad weather' day. My usual ride is in 5f, with a gust of wind here and there, in the dark, sometimes with a couple of inches of powder in the process of falling, and sometimes blowing around a bit. Rain is quite doable too, with some waterproof stuff, or on a warmer day just ignore it.

I'm working on putting together a recumbent this spring, which I suspect will ease my tolerance for headwinds a ways.
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Old 02-09-08, 01:16 AM   #19
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Hi does anyone comuting to work full time even though they own a car. What is the least amount that people use there cars even though they still own them and just can't seem to get rid of them. Thanks
I commute full time on my bike, and my wife uses public transport save for two or three times a year when she drives. (She drives when she has something rather heavy to take to work or a very early morning meeting.)

We fill up the tank of our car about once every three months or so, although more in the summer as we like to go to the countryside.
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Old 02-09-08, 08:10 AM   #20
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How many miles a year do you put on the car? If you buy $20 gas a week, that would equal $1040 for the year. Sounds like you hardly use a car at all.
I use it to transport work material about 1,000 miles per year and about the same for personal use.
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Old 02-09-08, 08:27 AM   #21
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I have a car, it is parked down the street somewhere. I put about 300 miles on it last year.
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Old 02-09-08, 09:59 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne View Post
someone posted recently that they spent only $300 last year on gas. That sounds pretty car-lite to me.


I'm lucky if I spent a third of that amount last year on my SUV and lawn equipment combined, though I made up for it several times over at the LBS, but at least I have more to show for my money than an empty tank.
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Old 02-09-08, 01:32 PM   #23
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My wife and I own a minivan - we could have a smaller car but we "inherited" this from her disabled sister who no longer drives, and it makes sense to use it for now. I commute to work mostly by bike (150 to 170 days per years) and use public transit on snow or ice days (30 to 50 days a years). I drive to work 1-2 times per year. It's a helpful disincentive that our van doesn't fit in the underground parking at work, but in fact I was commuting this way when we had our Volvo 240 too. I would be willing to try living car free but my wife isn't interested. Before I started biking to work in 1992 we maintained two cars.
The one-car family is probably just an interim while our North American society finds out how it wants to travel in an era of reduced petroleum supplies. I'm in a similar situation to you. Our bus service is a little less than ideal, but I do use it through the winter. My wife prefers to have a car around, but even she is using it a lot less than 5 years ago. We seemed to have settled into a lifestyle where our immediate world is just a few blocks from home and occasionally we use the car to move outside that range.

However, in the not-too-distant future, I think we'll see more and more people will decide that even my lifestyle is too non-sustainable. It's just got to happen.
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Old 02-09-08, 09:37 PM   #24
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I regularly walk or run to/from work even though I own a bike.
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Old 02-10-08, 01:15 AM   #25
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... If you must own the car, it ought to be working at least.
I am presently car-free, but this year I will be buying a car. I am looking to spend less than $50 on it. The best case scenario is if I can buy one just before it used for scrap.

What I really need is uninsured/under insured insurance coverage in case some illegal runs me down and wipes out my bicycle. As far as I can tell such coverage only exists if you own a home or a car. I won't need the car to run, just to exist until I can get it insured the first time.
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