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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 01-03-11, 10:00 PM   #1
Dahon.Steve
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I Can't afford Car Insurance

I seen this ridiculous post on the internet about some young man who lives in Northern NJ like me who could not afford car insurance. Since I have not owned a vehicle in over 10 years, it took me by surprise what young people in their 20s are paying!

According to the poster, if you never had insurance, expect to pay $8,000 per year in New Jersey if you're 18. If you're in your 20s, it's reduced to 5-6 thousand dollars a year for a new driver! THIS IS INSANE!

I don't get how young people can afford to go to college and drive new cars at the same time. I don't think I'll ever have a car if insurance for a new driver costs that much. I remember paying about 900.00 dollars a year for a 20 year old vehicle during my motoring days. I though that was expensive.

Regardless, I'm sending the writer of the post an email about the car free lifestyle on this forum.

http://carinsuranceratesinflorida.co...at-should-i-do
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Old 01-04-11, 12:34 AM   #2
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I went car-free for several years, and then bought a car, and yes, car insurance costs more if you haven't had a car in a while. Even so, the numbers you cite seem unreasonable. I have a hard time believing that insurance in NJ is over $600/month for anyone not driving a luxury car.
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Old 01-04-11, 01:57 PM   #3
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Of course, they seem unreasonable, but I'm afraid they're true My first year, after not owning a car for 5 years cost me $3000 a year. I was 38 and the car was... Mazda MPV minivan. If I was 20 and the car was a sedan or a coupe, or (forget it, something sporty or SUV) I can easily see $6000 a year or more. After two years with no accidents it dropped to around $1000 and now it's only about $600 after 6 years.

But considering the number of young drivers getting into accidents, I'm not surprised.

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Old 01-04-11, 02:59 PM   #4
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Im not going to tell my DMV record by my quote from allstate two months ago was: "Were sorry you do not meet our criteria", seriously they wouldn't even insure me at all. I don't really care i don't wanna drive but if your young and drive anything other than a mini-van you can pretty much be ready for 5-6k a year. The last time i was driving i had a 1988 honda civic wagon with liability only and it cost me 188 bucks a month, after six months i paid them more that the car was worth
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Old 01-04-11, 06:29 PM   #5
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Progressive or Geico.
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Old 01-04-11, 07:31 PM   #6
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$8,000 a year for car insurance? Why that's more than I spend on my bike!

No wonder so many young people are giving up car ownership... that's one way they can afford a better phone.
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Old 01-04-11, 11:34 PM   #7
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Actually, insurance is one reason I plan on going back to car-free in a couple of months. I have an inexpensive car for which I paid cash, and fuel expenses are low because I only drive it once or twice a month, but insurance is US $960 a year. I'm basically paying $40 just for insurance every time I drive it, which is pretty stupid no matter how you look at it.
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Old 01-04-11, 11:53 PM   #8
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Actually, insurance is one reason I plan on going back to car-free in a couple of months. I have an inexpensive car for which I paid cash, and fuel expenses are low because I only drive it once or twice a month, but insurance is US $960 a year. I'm basically paying $40 just for insurance every time I drive it, which is pretty stupid no matter how you look at it.
It doesn't see long ago that AAA stated the average cost to drive a car was something like 4-5 thousand dollars a year. What happened?

The cost seems to be going up and up it's not wonder the motorist screams about gas taxes and tolls! I looked up another site and AAA states the average cost to drive a car in California 15 thousand miles was $8,487.00 dollars. Incredible.

If you're paying 8K for insurance alone, the entire cost to drive must be around 13K a year.

http://www.news10.net/news/local/sto...?storyid=78991
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Old 01-05-11, 12:16 AM   #9
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I think people paying 8K a year is definitely not the norm. I had my own ($14,000) car when I was 19 (5 years ago), no accidents, no tickets, and my insurance was about $50 a month. This was good insurance too, not 15 min insurance. If (young people) have high insurance it's because they also have accidents and tickets.

I know not driving for a while makes your insurance higher, but in general insurance really isn't that expensive if you drive responsibly.
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Old 01-05-11, 01:23 AM   #10
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My insurance company pays me to insure a car with them. They give me a discount on my home-owners policy that works out to about $70. As long as I keep a car and insure it for comprehensive only, they charge me $20. Granted, most of the $50 they pay me is eaten up in registration payments to the state, but I still come out ahead. I don't even use the car if I need to drive somewhere. When I need to drive (like today), I call my agent and he turns on all the liability and such (for $1.50/day) and I rent a car.

I am amazed at the amount some people are willing to pay for insurance. What a scam.
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Old 01-05-11, 08:03 AM   #11
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Insurance IS a scam -- it's betting against yourself (sure, a safe bet, cuz people do silly stuff), and it's now been mandated for too many things. Quite the lobbyists, those insurance people.......

I remember coming back from three years in Germany, while in the military -- I was considered high-risk because I hadn't had AMERICAN insurance for three years! My insurance over there was through AMERICAN EXPRESS, who had a licensing deal with the gov't to cover GIs overseas... but I wasn't covered in AMERICA by an AMERICAN private company... so I was high-risk. Took four years for that to go away, too -- never DID figure that one out.

Oh -- last ticket was 11 years before that, last at-fault accident 7 years before... came back in '88.
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Old 01-05-11, 08:13 AM   #12
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Insurance IS a scam -- it's betting against yourself (sure, a safe bet, cuz people do silly stuff), and it's now been mandated for too many things. Quite the lobbyists, those insurance people.......
I don't think it has anything to do with insurance lobbyists. It's more than lawmakers believe people that drive have responsibilites for their actions. If a driver causes damage or harm to others, they have a right to make things well. Unfortunately a driver in a car has the potential to cause more harm than they potentially have the money to pay and that's why there's a need for insurance.
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Old 01-05-11, 09:11 AM   #13
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Wow there is no way that insurance for anyone cost $8000 a year.
Yes it's very possible not everyone has a shiny DMV record
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Old 01-05-11, 10:03 AM   #14
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Wow that's insane. In Michigan 2 years ago (when I last had a car and insurance before moving to Boston and switching to bike/public transit), my wife and I paid ~$1200 a year for full coverage ($500 deductible) for 2 cars (yes they were 10+ years old) and $30k renters insurance. Of course we were married and had clean driving records and advanced degrees (all help) but were in our late 20's (not exactly a bonus for men).
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Old 01-05-11, 10:33 AM   #15
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Car ownership is very expensive, even with the fact that it is heavily subsidized by our society. Personally I would like to see the full cost of car ownership placed on car owners - this probably means much higher gas tax and registration fees to pay for roads and 'free parking'. One of the reasons that insurance is expensive is that we, as a society, have decided that driving is a right, and even those who have repeatedly been involved in crashes or have violated the traffic laws are permitted to continue driving. The result is much more dangerous roads for all of us.
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Old 01-05-11, 11:04 AM   #16
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I don't think it has anything to do with insurance lobbyists. It's more than lawmakers believe people that drive have responsibilites for their actions. If a driver causes damage or harm to others, they have a right to make things well. Unfortunately a driver in a car has the potential to cause more harm than they potentially have the money to pay and that's why there's a need for insurance.
That's right. My son was in a car accident and the medical bills were in excess of a million dollars. Thank God for the insurance!
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Old 01-10-11, 02:34 AM   #17
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Actually, insurance is one reason I plan on going back to car-free in a couple of months. I have an inexpensive car for which I paid cash, and fuel expenses are low because I only drive it once or twice a month, but insurance is US $960 a year. I'm basically paying $40 just for insurance every time I drive it, which is pretty stupid no matter how you look at it.
I believe they're piloting a program here in CA for a pay-as-you-drive insurance, specifically aimed at low-mileage drivers. I believe the way it's supposed to work is that you'd buy coverage for a certain number of miles at a time. So, someone who only drives 1,000 miles a year could buy 1,500 miles worth of coverage, or what have you. Not sure when this is happening or if this already exists elsewhere, but might be something to keep an eye out for.

On the OP: Our insurance was around $85 a month for liability-only. Insurance and gas, coupled with high registration costs made it too crippling. My coworkers sometimes ask how I'm able to afford to do this or that on my wage... I note how much I save by not owning a car. They seem to not want to believe the answer.
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Old 01-10-11, 05:59 AM   #18
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Driving should be expensive.
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Old 01-10-11, 07:59 PM   #19
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I went car-free for several years, and then bought a car, and yes, car insurance costs more if you haven't had a car in a while. Even so, the numbers you cite seem unreasonable. I have a hard time believing that insurance in NJ is over $600/month for anyone not driving a luxury car.
We've been in and out of the car-free life-style. The magic number seems to be two years, after which the insurance companies try to treat you like a new driver. We've always had luck by shopping around and being persistent -- twice being rewarded with a ten-year good driver discount.

For the person who said the government requires too much: I'm sorry, but I can't see how anyone could be so naive as to not make insurance a requirement for operating a vehicle.

As to the theme of this thread: I have no problem with insurance rates that correspond to a driver's risk. (Though we don't know the driving habits of the individual in question.)
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Old 01-11-11, 06:13 AM   #20
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We've been in and out of the car-free life-style. The magic number seems to be two years, after which the insurance companies try to treat you like a new driver. We've always had luck by shopping around and being persistent -- twice being rewarded with a ten-year good driver discount.

For the person who said the government requires too much: I'm sorry, but I can't see how anyone could be so naive as to not make insurance a requirement for operating a vehicle.

As to the theme of this thread: I have no problem with insurance rates that correspond to a driver's risk. (Though we don't know the driving habits of the individual in question.)
One huge problem (at least in this state) is enforcement. I saw a recent AAA article that indicated that in the South that 1:4 cars on the road were uninsured and in some states that goes as high as 1:3. Factor in the suspended licenses or no license and it gets even uglier. The other problem is the minimum required insurance is not enough in most cases.

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Old 01-11-11, 07:45 AM   #21
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One huge problem (at least in this state) is enforcement. I saw a recent AAA article that indicated that in the South that 1:4 cars on the road were uninsured and in some states that goes as high as 1:3. Factor in the suspended licenses or no license and it gets even uglier. The other problem is the minimum required insurance is not enough in most cases.

Aaron
True, true. I'm not saying that simply requiring it solves the problem. There are much more fundamental problems with personal responsibility. Of course the critics are somewhat correct when they ask, "What's the point of requiring it when the only people who follow the law are the responsible ones anyway?"

I just have no problem saying that anyone who drives should have a certain amount of insurance.
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Old 01-11-11, 11:29 PM   #22
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One huge problem (at least in this state) is enforcement. I saw a recent AAA article that indicated that in the South that 1:4 cars on the road were uninsured and in some states that goes as high as 1:3. Factor in the suspended licenses or no license and it gets even uglier. The other problem is the minimum required insurance is not enough in most cases.

Aaron
Incredible.

I stand behind my statement that a huge majority of Americans cannot afford to drive a motorcar. If you cannot afford insurance, you are too poor to drive.

GM is advertising on this website and I searched around for the cost of auto insurance on a 2011 Volt. It's amazing how all these insurance companies will not give you an estimate of a new car on the internet. If they truly wanted to save you money, why not tell you how much you'll pay each month for insurance?

Reason why? There is no such think as cheap insurance for the new car buyer.
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Old 01-12-11, 01:45 AM   #23
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Actually, insurance is one reason I plan on going back to car-free in a couple of months. I have an inexpensive car for which I paid cash, and fuel expenses are low because I only drive it once or twice a month, but insurance is US $960 a year. I'm basically paying $40 just for insurance every time I drive it, which is pretty stupid no matter how you look at it.
ZIPCAR!!!
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Old 01-12-11, 09:33 AM   #24
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This is why I sold my car last year. I could no longer afford the insurance, especially after job-seeking to no avail. My car was paid for, but it was better for me to sell it than to let it sit in the driveway, while I used up my last paycheck to pay car-owner's insurance (you have to pay insurance even if you are not driving the car you own), then after that, having to bum people for bus passes.

I'm way better off without a car.
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Old 01-12-11, 11:01 AM   #25
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ZIPCAR!!!
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