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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 04-09-09, 06:32 AM   #1
poormanbiking
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2007 auto avg. expense

http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/auto...ut-200-a-month

This article states that in 2007 a car took an avg. of $8220. to maintain and drive. Breaking that down to getting paid $20. an hour on your job it would of taken 411 hours of work or over 10 weeks to pay the expense. That doesn't even take taxes into the equation. Just think if you only made $10. an hour.

It just makes me wonder if people think before they commit to money matters.
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Old 04-09-09, 07:04 AM   #2
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Thanks for the data, I know some of us have been looking for that for a while!
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Old 04-09-09, 08:35 AM   #3
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$8220 is a bit steep for annual vehicle expenses, at least at our househould. Even half of that number would be a stretch for the one family member with the highest vehicle expense; loan payment, insurance, and fuel costs included.
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Old 04-09-09, 10:05 AM   #4
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$8220 is a bit steep for annual vehicle expenses, at least at our househould. Even half of that number would be a stretch for the one family member with the highest vehicle expense; loan payment, insurance, and fuel costs included.
What about depreciation?
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Old 04-09-09, 10:09 AM   #5
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Yea, I've spent less than that in 5 years, I don't now where they get their numbers (at work so I can't see any yahoo links, too much spyware).
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Old 04-09-09, 10:31 AM   #6
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Yea, I've spent less than that in 5 years, I don't now where they get their numbers (at work so I can't see any yahoo links, too much spyware).
Don't wory, Yahoo doesn't link to the source document of this "average expense" data. But who needs any source when the "numbers" meet the agenda? Just throw the stuff on the wall and see what sticks.
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Old 04-09-09, 10:34 AM   #7
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What about depreciation?
What about it? Unless you want to double up the cost (to make a misleading point) by including both monthly payments/lease costs AND depreciation.
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Old 04-09-09, 10:51 AM   #8
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I heard a blurb on the local news yesterday about annual AAA numbers. They said about $0.54 per mile factoring in all the normal stuff. Of course this is an average. Got me wondering about what it costs me per mile to ride my bike. Currently it's more that $0.54, but the longer I own/ride current bike the more that number will fall.

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Old 04-09-09, 11:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by poormanbiking View Post
http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/auto...ut-200-a-month

This article states that in 2007 a car took an avg. of $8220. to maintain and drive. Breaking that down to getting paid $20. an hour on your job it would of taken 411 hours of work or over 10 weeks to pay the expense. That doesn't even take taxes into the equation. Just think if you only made $10. an hour.

It just makes me wonder if people think before they commit to money matters
.
Another way to look at is that the 411 hours you're working for your car is about one-fifth of a full-time worker's hours on the job. In other words, you're working for your car one day a week!

My choice has been to work only four days a week, and still have the same standard of living (other than the car) that my colleagues enjoy. Works for me!
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Old 04-09-09, 11:46 AM   #10
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Don't wory, Yahoo doesn't link to the source document of this "average expense" data. But who needs any source when the "numbers" meet the agenda? Just throw the stuff on the wall and see what sticks.
These numbers are pretty close to the numbers given out by AAA - not an organization that I would consider to have an anti-car bias. You can look at them yourself: http://www.aaanewsroom.net/Assets/Fi...gCosts2008.pdf

Assuming 15,000 miles a year: $6,320 for a small sedan, $9,769 for a large, $8,121 on average. $10,448 for a four wheel drive SUV.
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Old 04-09-09, 11:46 AM   #11
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I heard a blurb on the local news yesterday about annual AAA numbers. They said about $0.54 per mile factoring in all the normal stuff. Of course this is an average. Got me wondering about what it costs me per mile to ride my bike. Currently it's more that $0.54, but the longer I own/ride current bike the more that number will fall.
~
54 cents is the figure for a sedan. for somebody who drives 12,000 miles a year, this works out to $6,480 per year--a little less than the Yahoo estimate.
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Old 04-09-09, 11:47 AM   #12
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Don't wory, Yahoo doesn't link to the source document of this "average expense" data. But who needs any source when the "numbers" meet the agenda? Just throw the stuff on the wall and see what sticks.
As usual, you can't be bothered to supply any figures that are more reliable. Put up or shut up, ILTB.
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Old 04-09-09, 11:54 AM   #13
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I heard a blurb on the local news yesterday about annual AAA numbers. They said about $0.54 per mile factoring in all the normal stuff. Of course this is an average. Got me wondering about what it costs me per mile to ride my bike. Currently it's more that $0.54, but the longer I own/ride current bike the more that number will fall.
Cycling may in fact be more expensive per mile, but if you look at the total cost of ownership it's significantly lower - the average car free cyclist probably doesn't rack up 15,000 miles a year on their bike. Per mile is kind of an odd unit of measurement because you still have to own the car regardless of whether you drive 10 miles or 10,000. Of course the less you drive the lower your fuel and maintenance costs will be, but your fixed costs via car payment, insurance, registration, etc do not decrease.
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Old 04-09-09, 12:04 PM   #14
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Cycling may in fact be more expensive per mile, but if you look at the total cost of ownership it's significantly lower - the average car free cyclist probably doesn't rack up 15,000 miles a year on their bike. Per mile is kind of an odd unit of measurement because you still have to own the car regardless of whether you drive 10 miles or 10,000. Of course the less you drive the lower your fuel and maintenance costs will be, but your fixed costs via car payment, insurance, registration, etc do not decrease.
At times bike ownership can get a little pricey. But I ride $200 used bikes that usually don't require more than about $100 a year for maintenence. Parts like tires, lube, brake pads and tubes might run a couple hundred dollars. The extra food I eat to fuel the engine is probably another couple hundred. So let's say at most $700 a year. YMMV.

I think the biggest variable in car costs is the number of people being transported. If you almost always have four or five passengers, cars are probably the cheapest way to go. But this multiple occupancy situation situation is rare in most countries. Typically there are only one or two people per car, so it's a pretty expensive way to travel.
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Old 04-09-09, 12:45 PM   #15
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As usual, you can't be bothered to supply any figures that are more reliable. Put up or shut up, ILTB.
Put up what? The price of apples vice the cost of growing oranges? Car free zealots whining about the burden of of car ownership costs in comparison to their bicycling expense is just such an exercise in irrational thought.
Shifting the burden of proof might seem like a logical response for the statistically challenged ideologue who will grasp at any number or average tossed out, no matter what its source or validity, that meets the requirement to justify a course of action.
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Old 04-09-09, 01:39 PM   #16
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What about depreciation?
not a cost of ownership. You are counting that twice if you count the payment and depreciaiton. Look at it this way, you buy the car for $10,000 and park it. It depreciates $2,000 even though you don't touch it....simply cause its last years model now. Are you out another $2000? No...you are out your 10,000 cash and if you sold it, you would recoup $8,000. If the depreciation was actually a cost it would be $12,000 cost and recoup $8,000
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Old 04-09-09, 01:43 PM   #17
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If you want some #'s.
From 2/25/2005 to today:
Maintenance $1654.70. Thats 10 oil/filter changes changes, 5 tires, one wheel to make the spare match the rest, and one wheel bearing.
Fuel Record:
Total Miles 63,822
Total Gallons 3836.84
Avg. MPG
16.634
Total Cost
$9,718.27
Total Hours 1,732
Gallons / Hour
2.22
Avg. MPH 36.847
Cost / Mile $0.15


add in registration once a year at around $89 * 4 years, I'm up to about 11k. for 4 years. This is higher than average though since its a full size 4x4 truck and since we moved in July we never go more than a couple miles from home unless its recreational use as everything we need is here but those .5 drives to work kill the gas mileage, my highest mpg is 21. So take your average sedan wher it gets 30mpg and averages say 20somehting you should be able to cut those costs by a third, then remember that car tires can be had much cheaper too, I bought truck rated 8 ply off road tires because I was tired of fixing flats on the farm.

I also added $934 in accessories from a truck cap to second battery and isolator as I'm setup like an RV for long days at the parks or camping on the farm.

Last edited by enine; 04-09-09 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 04-09-09, 01:55 PM   #18
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At times bike ownership can get a little pricey. But I ride $200 used bikes that usually don't require more than about $100 a year for maintenence. Parts like tires, lube, brake pads and tubes might run a couple hundred dollars. The extra food I eat to fuel the engine is probably another couple hundred. So let's say at most $700 a year. YMMV.

I think the biggest variable in car costs is the number of people being transported. If you almost always have four or five passengers, cars are probably the cheapest way to go. But this multiple occupancy situation situation is rare in most countries. Typically there are only one or two people per car, so it's a pretty expensive way to travel.
I don't recall anyone ever saying they thought their transportation costs increased when they went car free. My transportation costs would have to increase dramatically to compensate for the fun and health and extra time benefits of car free living. How about it car-free people who mad the switch from car culture to car free? Are any of you willing to assert that your transportation costs have increased so much that you want to go back to car culture? Lets hear how it happened. Several people have posted that they thought they had more money in the bank after ditching a car.
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Old 04-09-09, 01:56 PM   #19
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thanks for the data, i know some of us have been looking for that for a while!
+1
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Old 04-09-09, 02:41 PM   #20
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Car free zealots whining about the burden of of car ownership costs in comparison to their bicycling expense is just such an exercise in irrational thought.
It isn't whining. It's gloating.

But I don't know what to call it when people like you seem to claim that it's cheaper to drive than ride a bike. "Tomfoolery" comes to mind.
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Old 04-09-09, 02:47 PM   #21
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IRS says the deduction for cars is 58.5 cents per mile. This is remarkably close to the Yahoo figure, which is remarkably close to the AAA figure.

I suppose the obfuscators like ILTB will claim that the IRS and AAA are whiney bike culture advocates who are distorting the truth in order to make their ideological point.
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Old 04-09-09, 05:41 PM   #22
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IRS says the deduction for cars is 58.5 cents per mile. This is remarkably close to the Yahoo figure, which is remarkably close to the AAA figure.

I suppose the obfuscators like ILTB will claim that the IRS and AAA are whiney bike culture advocates who are distorting the truth in order to make their ideological point.
Yay! My data for when I drove all the time was 59 cents a mile! I'm above average!

Seriously, though I'm not sure why anybody even responds to ILTB most of the time.
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Old 04-09-09, 05:46 PM   #23
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I don't recall anyone ever saying they thought their transportation costs increased when they went car free. My transportation costs would have to increase dramatically to compensate for the fun and health and extra time benefits of car free living. How about it car-free people who mad the switch from car culture to car free? Are any of you willing to assert that your transportation costs have increased so much that you want to go back to car culture? Lets hear how it happened. Several people have posted that they thought they had more money in the bank after ditching a car.
For me, it's quite simple. Our family has one car in the driveway nowadays. Prior to 2005 we kept 2, one of which I used for my personal transportation. The way we afforded to do this was to pay off one car, then buy another and pay it off. We always had a car payment.

Nowadays, I am car payment free. My last payment was $299 a month. Nowadays it's $0. My current wheels -- all two of them -- cost me $60 and I put another $60 into parts. I figure I won't put another $60 into it for a few more months.

So $60 every 3 months vs. $299 a month. All this ignoring gas, insurance, repairs....

Just who says their carfree transportation costs increased??
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Old 04-09-09, 05:48 PM   #24
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ILTB is actually just Roody and he likes to argue with himself in his free time!
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Old 04-09-09, 06:07 PM   #25
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Even at the top end numbers quoted here, operating a car would cost me about 306 hours of labor per year. But it'd save me more time than that compared to public transportation or cycling to work.

My own true reality is I probably only work about 50 hours to pay for my car costs each year because I drive a 40 year old car I maintain myself... But let's just say I had a brand new car and it was taking me 300 hours a year to pay for the car. Well, cycling to work would take me at least two hours round trip daily. Driving takes 30min round trip. So driving saves me 1.5 hours of time a day, or about 350 hours a year. Conclusion: it'd still be totally worth it to me to drive rather than bike because my time is valuable to me.

Yes, I spend some of that time riding my bike anyway, but I am now free to do so on whatever road or trail I want and not the boring, dangerous roads I'd be cycling on if I rode to work.
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