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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    How much do you save by not driving?

    I'm convinced that the amount of money one saves by going car-free or even car-light is huge. It's been such a long time since I had a car that I couldn't really say, but I do know I couldn't afford to buy and run a car even if I wanted to.

    Have any of you calculated how much you're able to put aside by not driving?
    Smug, bicycle-riding, car-bashing, public transport-using zealot.

  2. #2
    cycleobsidian
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    I'm convinced that the amount of money one saves by going car-free or even car-light is huge. It's been such a long time since I had a car that I couldn't really say, but I do know I couldn't afford to buy and run a car even if I wanted to.

    Have any of you calculated how much you're able to put aside by not driving?
    I remember one of my heroes, Jane Jacobs, saying that she could never have been able to afford a home in New York if she and her husband had bought a car.

    I am thinking that it is much easier for couples to buy a home together (and maybe be less cash strapped) if they bought one car instead of two.

    I have two car-free friends with professional careers and no car. I'm sure the mortgage payments are much easier to manage this way.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Let's start with insurance costs. When I went car-free few years ago and canceled my insurance policy it saved me a big chunk of money. I was paying $1700 per year and my insurance kept going up even with my clean driving record and no accidents and no insurance claims. Before I went car-free I was driving 4x4 truck with big tires and suspension lift and this thing was a gas guzzler my average monthly gas bill was around $350-450 dollars. That equals to $4200-5400 thousand dollars per year for gas. That's a lot of money. I didn't even mention all the maintenance costs yet, which were a lot during some years. I admit I was foolish for driving such a gas hog. Most of the money I save from not driving is now going into savings and investments. For now I want to remain car-free and if I ever decide to buy another vehicle it will small and fuel efficient.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycleobsidian View Post
    I remember one of my heroes, Jane Jacobs, saying that she could never have been able to afford a home in New York if she and her husband had bought a car.
    Interesting.

    I never knew Jane Jacobs and I had something in common especially when it comes to home ownership. While I don't live in New York City, there is no way I could have become a homeowner and a motorist at the same time. My income is just not strong enough to support a mortgage and car payments. In fact, I was the only person in my family of seven that was able to buy a house. All my family members were renters and those that are alive will remain that way for life. They have cars.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    I'm convinced that the amount of money one saves by going car-free or even car-light is huge. It's been such a long time since I had a car that I couldn't really say, but I do know I couldn't afford to buy and run a car even if I wanted to.

    Have any of you calculated how much you're able to put aside by not driving?
    I think the calculation isn't too difficult.

    For example, the medium salary in the United States is $50,500.00 USD. Therefore, using WolfChild's numbers, ($6,900.00) he would spend almost 9% of his income on transport and we are not including tolls, tickets and repairs. If he was making less than the average wage, his transportation costs could be 15 or 20 percent of his income.

    Under these assumptions. It's going to take him 42 days to pay his motoring cost each year! However, he first has to spend the first 107 days to pay his taxes. Altogether, it will take 149 days (5 months) just to pay taxes and motorcar.

    Incredible.
    Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 11-02-14 at 06:19 PM.

  6. #6
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    I did the numbers for myself and I'm very lucky. I spend only 3% of my income on public transit.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I think the calculation isn't too difficult.

    For example, the medium salary in the United States is $50,500.00 USD. Therefore, using WolfChild's numbers, ($6,900.00) he would spend almost 9% of his income on transport and we are not including tolls, tickets and repairs. If he was making less than the average wage, his transportation costs could be 15 or 20 percent of his income.

    Under these assumptions. It's going to take him 42 days to pay his motoring cost each year! However, he first has to spend the first 107 days to pay his taxes. Altogether, it will take 149 days (5 months) just to pay taxes and motorcar.

    Incredible.
    That percentage goes up during the acquisition phase- especially if it is financed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  8. #8
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I think the calculation isn't too difficult.

    For example, the medium salary in the United States is $50,500.00 USD. Therefore, using WolfChild's numbers, ($6,900.00) ...
    Incredible.
    Incredible if you think Wolfchild's numbers (at least 100 gallons of gas/month) or choice in vehicle are typical of the average (medium) American for around town transportation, or typical of someone who is of the mind that his gas expenses can only be reduced by going car free.
    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    Before I went car-free I was driving 4x4 truck with big tires and suspension lift and this thing was a gas guzzler my average monthly gas bill was around $350-450 dollars. That equals to $4200-5400 thousand dollars per year for gas.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I'm currently sharing a 2008 Toyota Camry 2.0L with my family here in Singapore. I've only recently started commute-cycling more but if I was to purchase another car in a few years time, it would cost something like this. Based on today's prices:

    Toyota Yaris 1.5L (lowest end Toyota sedan)
    Car cost: US$39,000
    Certificate of Entitlement (COE) - lasts 10 years before expiry: US$51,000
    Road Tax: US$550
    Insurance (compulsory): $850
    TOTAL: ~US$91,400 drive away

    Standard unleaded petrol: US$7.20 /gal

    Umm yeah, I think I'll stick with the Brompton after this car is scrapped.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I did the numbers for myself and I'm very lucky. I spend only 3% of my income on public transit.
    How much does your monthly pass cost? I pay €42.00 ($52.00) for a rail pass that takes me and my bike to and from the town I work in, a 26 km. round trip.
    Smug, bicycle-riding, car-bashing, public transport-using zealot.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Hey, that Certificate of Entitlement is aptly named!

    With all of those taxes and fees, I imagine car-free living is popular. Do many people cycle or do they rely more on buses and trains?
    Hardly popular - the roads are still jammed, parking is still a b****, though public transport is great and there's a train station within several miles wherever you are on the island.

    Yes, the CoE is one of the biggest gripes of car-ownership here - we're talking a printed piece of paper, literally. And it gets more expensive - meaning the US$51,000 is for the lowest-end bracket.

    The vast majority of cyclists are either the elderly, foreign low-income workers or the lycra-clad. There's few major roads on the island that aren't packed with cars during peak hour. Otherwise, the infrastructure is actually pretty good, and getting better all the time.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post
    Hardly popular - the roads are still jammed, parking is still a b****, though public transport is great and there's a train station within several miles wherever you are on the island.

    Yes, the CoE is one of the biggest gripes of car-ownership here - we're talking a printed piece of paper, literally. And it gets more expensive - meaning the US$51,000 is for the lowest-end bracket.

    The vast majority of cyclists are either the elderly, foreign low-income workers or the lycra-clad. There's few major roads on the island that aren't packed with cars during peak hour. Otherwise, the infrastructure is actually pretty good, and getting better all the time.
    Wow! All of those fees, good train service, and major roads are still packed with cars. Go figure.
    Smug, bicycle-riding, car-bashing, public transport-using zealot.

  13. #13
    Senior Member jgadamski's Avatar
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    I figure I save about $400 per month, offset by about $50 in bus fares. So about $350 monthly. My wife and I own one car which is mostly hers. I either commute by bike or ride the bus, depending. When we sold the second car 10 years ago, I rationalized that if I needed a car occasionally, I could rent from the Enterprise 2 blocks away. In ten years I have done that twice. Reducing or going totally car free depends on where and how you live. I live in an older neighborhood that has all the 'stuff of life' in walking distance. My kids are grown. My needs are few. It is very easy for us. Perhaps as age encroaches, my choices may change.
    When we were raising kids, we lived suburban. 2 cars were necessary, we felt, though we were certainly conflicted. Where safety is the dealbreaker as to cycling in the city, the same applies to navigating suburbia.

  14. #14
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    Well, if you assume the average new car in the U.S. is about $40,000, and you assume that you'll be replacing that car every five years, and you assume that you'll be doing that from the age of 16 to the average age of death, and you assume that all the money not spent on cars and car-related paraphernalia will instead be spent in high-yield investments, then the answer is a couple of million dollars, at least if previous such threads are to be believed.

    OTOH, if you buy a used car for $5000, do the maintenance yourself, carry only liability insurance, and turn your dead cars in to charities for the tax break, your total investment will come out to a few thousand dollars a year. If this investment allows you to upgrade to the kind of job which requires a suit and tie and a lack of significant body odor, it will more than pay for itself. Significantly more, in many cases, my own included.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    If this investment allows you to upgrade to the kind of job which requires a suit and tie and a lack of significant body odor, it will more than pay for itself. Significantly more, in many cases, my own included.
    You seem to be implying that those of us who ride bikes and use public transit suffer from acute body odor and are incapable of wearing suits.
    Smug, bicycle-riding, car-bashing, public transport-using zealot.

  16. #16
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    Hi! I live Norway and everyting cost a lot here. Normal paychek is around 50000$ after tax for normal working people. A new Honda Accord is 60000$ bus card one year is 800$!
    Ibelive If a bought a new car and all the cost with it ill pay around 8-10000$ a year!
    And i havent had a car for 20 years now thats 150-200000$ saved! I dont have that money now, that money have is spend on having a better life with lots of holidays,party, women, and rest... Up in smoke

  17. #17
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgadamski View Post
    I figure I save about $400 per month, offset by about $50 in bus fares. So about $350 monthly. My wife and I own one car which is mostly hers. I either commute by bike or ride the bus, depending. When we sold the second car 10 years ago, I rationalized that if I needed a car occasionally, I could rent from the Enterprise 2 blocks away. In ten years I have done that twice. Reducing or going totally car free depends on where and how you live. I live in an older neighborhood that has all the 'stuff of life' in walking distance. My kids are grown. My needs are few. It is very easy for us. Perhaps as age encroaches, my choices may change.
    When we were raising kids, we lived suburban. 2 cars were necessary, we felt, though we were certainly conflicted. Where safety is the dealbreaker as to cycling in the city, the same applies to navigating suburbia.
    So why haven't you actually gone carfree for the last ten years, if it is so easy? Owning one less car as a family's size and transportation requirements are reduced is pretty much a no brainer. Going from one car to no car (IOW car free) isn't always so "easy", even when your needs are few as your own example seems to indicate.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    You seem to be implying that those of us who ride bikes and use public transit suffer from acute body odor and are incapable of wearing suits.
    I'm not implying anything. In my particular case, there's no way I could have the job I have if I depended upon bicycle commuting or mass transit. That may or may not be true for you or anybody else in particular, but at least for me, there is a net positive income from owning and driving a car.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jgadamski's Avatar
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    "I like to bike" So why haven't you actually gone carfree for the last ten years, if it is so easy?
    Without pointing fingers, I pretty much am car-less. My wife isn't ready to make that change. I probably will stay married, nonetheless. I don't suggest it is easy to go carless. My point is that it is contingent on a set of other factors... availability of transit, type of neighborhood,personal needs,etc. Rubbing my nose in the fact that my name is on the registration of a car and I occassionally use it seems .... ?
    That my wife drives is no indication of desire, but rather of reality. She is her 90 yo moms daily caregiver. And a full time worker. Transit does not work nearly as well for her as it does for me.. Her 30 minute car commute would be 2.5 hours on transit. Carless would mean something different for her than it does for me. The question was what the cost of operating a car was and how much I could put aside by not driving. Thats what I was addressing, not your expectations.
    Last edited by jgadamski; 11-03-14 at 04:09 PM. Reason: clarity

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    I'm not implying anything. In my particular case, there's no way I could have the job I have if I depended upon bicycle commuting or mass transit. That may or may not be true for you or anybody else in particular, but at least for me, there is a net positive income from owning and driving a car.
    WOW, That's exactly what I said in the last thread like this... It would cost me $, lots of $$ if I didn't have a vehicle...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    I'm not implying anything. In my particular case, there's no way I could have the job I have if I depended upon bicycle commuting or mass transit. That may or may not be true for you or anybody else in particular, but at least for me, there is a net positive income from owning and driving a car.
    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    WOW, That's exactly what I said in the last thread like this... It would cost me $, lots of $$ if I didn't have a vehicle...


    Yep ... us too.

  22. #22
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    I save quite a bit by riding a bicycle to the post office every day. If I drove I would be paying over 100 dollars more a month on gas.

    However, similar to some others here, I could not have my business without a vehicle, in my case a van used to carry materials and finished products around. There is absolutely no way I could do what I do and incidentally love for a living without it. Not because I have to show up to work looking nice or the like, but because it would cost more to pay for shipping freight to get items I need, and to ship my larger work back out than I pay for the vehicle per year, including the occasional break down and repair of my older, no payment, cheap insurance rig.

  23. #23
    Senior Member chrism32205's Avatar
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    Let's see.. since I'm not car free but enjoy reading this section of the forum..

    Annual Figures Shown Below for a 2010 Toyota Tacoma:

    Payments $3400 (Not paid for yet)
    Gas $ 765 (Drive about 3500 miles annually) at $3.50 /gallon at 16mpg
    Insurance $800
    Registration & Maintenance Costs $300
    Total: $ 5,265 or $438.75 per month.

  24. #24
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    I spent $800 in speeding tickets in the last 8 months, driving on weekends. The whole time I was commuting by bike Monday through Friday. How much would I have paid in additional fines, had I been driving to and from work also, instead of commuting in my bike?

    I can only guess!
    Last edited by TallTravel; 11-03-14 at 09:28 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    How much does your monthly pass cost?
    My monthly bus pass is $98.00 USD each month. I have to cross two states each day but during the weekends, I can use this to ride all the bus lines in my state for free! ;-)

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