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.

People Without Cars

Old 03-13-15, 09:53 PM
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BicycleBicycle
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People Without Cars

I met someone today that does not have a car by choice.

I was wondering, for those of you people who can actually afford cars, and are getting older, or are old why do you not have a car?
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Old 03-14-15, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BicycleBicycle View Post
I met someone today that does not have a car by choice.

I was wondering, for those of you people who can actually afford cars, and are getting older, or are old why do you not have a car?
Why do I hate them? Let me count the ways: The wretched effect they have on the environment, the large numbers of people they kill and maim, the space they occupy in our towns and cities. They're ugly. They're noisy...
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Old 03-14-15, 02:33 AM
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In my country, the government have introduced many dis-incentives for car ownership. This has made buying a car extremely expensive.

Every car in Singapore is taxed by an import (Customs) duty, registration fee, an additional registration fee, and road tax. The import duty is 31% of the import value of the car, on top of that, a Registration Fee is charged for private cars and on top of that, an Additional Registration Fee (ARF) is charged. The (ARF) is a percentage of the Open Market Value (OMV - determined by Singapore customs "taking into account purchase price, freight, insurance and all other charges incidental to the sale and delivery of the car from country of manufacture to Singapore") of the vehicle. The ARF percentage has increased in the Budget 2013 to 100% on the first 20,000 dollar, 140% on the next 30,000 dollar OMV value and 180% on the OMV above 50,000 dollar.

They have introduced a vehicle quota system called Certificate of Entitlement (COE) that determines the number of new cars allowed to be registered. COE is for 10 year period before it needs to be renewed. This works out to be around $80,000 for 10 years.

Cost price + Import duty + Registration Fee + Additional Registration Fee + COE + Road Tax

A typical family sedan of 1600cc works out to more than $110,000.

Parking while affordable, but failure to display the parking cupons will result in a fine. Driving around the city will have to pass through Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries where $$$ is deducted from a pre-paid card inside the vehicle's card reader.

Yes I don't have a car but I have 7 bicycles and still looking for +1 or +2 more
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Old 03-14-15, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TiBikeGuy View Post
In my country, the government have introduced many dis-incentives for car ownership. This has made buying a car extremely expensive.

Every car in Singapore is taxed by an import (Customs) duty, registration fee, an additional registration fee, and road tax. The import duty is 31% of the import value of the car, on top of that, a Registration Fee is charged for private cars and on top of that, an Additional Registration Fee (ARF) is charged. The (ARF) is a percentage of the Open Market Value (OMV - determined by Singapore customs "taking into account purchase price, freight, insurance and all other charges incidental to the sale and delivery of the car from country of manufacture to Singapore") of the vehicle. The ARF percentage has increased in the Budget 2013 to 100% on the first 20,000 dollar, 140% on the next 30,000 dollar OMV value and 180% on the OMV above 50,000 dollar.

They have introduced a vehicle quota system called Certificate of Entitlement (COE) that determines the number of new cars allowed to be registered. COE is for 10 year period before it needs to be renewed. This works out to be around $80,000 for 10 years.

Cost price + Import duty + Registration Fee + Additional Registration Fee + COE + Road Tax

A typical family sedan of 1600cc works out to more than $110,000.

Parking while affordable, but failure to display the parking cupons will result in a fine. Driving around the city will have to pass through Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries where $$$ is deducted from a pre-paid card inside the vehicle's card reader.

Yes I don't have a car but I have 7 bicycles and still looking for +1 or +2 more
That's great! I wish similar measures could be introduced elsewhere.
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Old 03-14-15, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BicycleBicycle View Post
why do you not have a car?
Because I don't need to own a car. It's an expense that can be avoided.

When I am driving and see cyclists, I am jealous. When I am cycling and see motorists, I am not jealous.

Cars cause problems for the culture at large. It feels good to minimize my contribution. Bicycling just feels right. If I need a car, I rent one to use. This happens maybe once a year, most frequently if I have to give a talk far away.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 03-14-15, 04:30 AM
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In a dense, urban city like Boston with pretty good mass transit, the detriments of driving and parking can outweigh the benefits; and car driving takes away from cycling time, especially for commuting (though I admit I not infrequently succumb to driving my wife’s car, but usually under duressful situations).

The other reasons stated above, not so much.
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Old 03-14-15, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Because I don't need to own a car. It's an expense that can be avoided.
Pretty much my reasons.

At this point in life my goal is not to "meet women;" nor do I really care if kids think I am decidedly un-cool for not driving a car. I would rather put a few hundred in my brokerage accounts every month then maintain a car.
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Old 03-14-15, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by TiBikeGuy View Post
In my country, the government have introduced many dis-incentives for car ownership. This has made buying a car extremely expensive.

Every car in Singapore is taxed by an import (Customs) duty, registration fee, an additional registration fee, and road tax. The import duty is 31% of the import value of the car, on top of that, a Registration Fee is charged for private cars and on top of that, an Additional Registration Fee (ARF) is charged. The (ARF) is a percentage of the Open Market Value (OMV - determined by Singapore customs "taking into account purchase price, freight, insurance and all other charges incidental to the sale and delivery of the car from country of manufacture to Singapore") of the vehicle. The ARF percentage has increased in the Budget 2013 to 100% on the first 20,000 dollar, 140% on the next 30,000 dollar OMV value and 180% on the OMV above 50,000 dollar.

They have introduced a vehicle quota system called Certificate of Entitlement (COE) that determines the number of new cars allowed to be registered. COE is for 10 year period before it needs to be renewed. This works out to be around $80,000 for 10 years.

Cost price + Import duty + Registration Fee + Additional Registration Fee + COE + Road Tax

A typical family sedan of 1600cc works out to more than $110,000.

Parking while affordable, but failure to display the parking cupons will result in a fine. Driving around the city will have to pass through Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries where $$$ is deducted from a pre-paid card inside the vehicle's card reader.

Yes I don't have a car but I have 7 bicycles and still looking for +1 or +2 more
That might be fine for your country which is about the size of a postage stamp, (and yes I have been to Singapore) but the USA is third only to Russia in Square miles. Vehicles are a necessity if you want to have a LIFE or be able to to see the Grandeur of this very large country. Sorry if I have offended any of the "Urban Hermits" viewing this post. JMHO
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Old 03-14-15, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
In a dense, urban city like Boston with pretty good mass transit, the detriments of driving and parking can outweigh the benefits; and car driving takes away from cycling time, especially for commuting (though I admit I not infrequently succumb to driving my wife’s car, but usually under duressful situations)....

Originally Posted by yote223 View Post
That [excessive fees and taxes] might be fine for your country which is about the size of a postage stamp, (and yes I have been to Singapore) but the USA is third only to Russia in Square miles. Vehicles are a necessity if you want to have a LIFE or be able to to see the Grandeur of this very large country. Sorry if I have offended any of the "Urban Hermits" viewing this post. JMHO
If you’re referring to me as an “Urban Hermit,” no offense at all, and “don’t cry for me Argentina.” I’m from Michigan originally, and Midwesterners are well known for long driving trips, and indeed the auto industry is vital to the economy. One day (24 hour) drives to Florida, and three day drives to California are part of my life experiences. But for daily living, long car commutes are not for me, and fortunately I have an ideal 14 mile route for cycling, with a Commuter rail alternative.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-14-15 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 03-14-15, 06:02 AM
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The last couple winters have had long stretches of negative temperatures. Our winters can be as much 6 months long, miserable, sometimes impossible conditions for walking or biking. When the spring hits there are two things at the top of my list. Getting my bicycle & my vintage racing car out on our beautiful roads. Carless people are admirable. Those who have no interest in motor vehicles, their function & history, or have access to easy bicycle commuting, should try to take more interest in doing so. I plan to, when I can! But take my other hobby/obsession away from me & I'd be at your door looking to steal one of yours. Signed, environmentally conscious & totally in love with vintage motors sports.
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Old 03-14-15, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
The last couple winters have had long stretches of negative temperatures. Our winters can be as much 6 months long, miserable, sometimes impossible conditions for walking or biking. When the spring hits there are two things at the top of my list. Getting my bicycle & my vintage racing car out on our beautiful roads. Carless people are admirable. Those who have no interest in motor vehicles, their function & history, or have access to easy bicycle commuting, should try to take more interest in doing so. I plan to, when I can! But take my other hobby/obsession away from me & I'd be at your door looking to steal one of yours. Signed, environmentally conscious & totally in love with vintage motors sports.
Why so defensive? I don't know where you got the false impression that anybody wants to take anything away from you. I hope you will enjoy your hobby responsibly, but I don't have any problem with it. In fact, I will be happy when all cars are vintage cars.
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Old 03-14-15, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BicycleBicycle View Post
I met someone today that does not have a car by choice.

I was wondering, for those of you people who can actually afford cars, and are getting older, or are old why do you not have a car?
In no particular order:
  • I have more fun without a car
  • Financial savings
  • I get more exercise.
  • Carfree is a more responsible environmental choice
  • I get to hang out with the cool people on this forum
  • I feel more in touch with the physical world and my community
  • I want to leave a livable planet to my son and grandson
  • Cars are stupid, bikes make sense
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Old 03-14-15, 07:50 AM
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A car is not something that I need at this stage of my life. I am not anti-car and if my life situation ever changes and there is a need for a vehicle then I would buy one. It baffles my mind when somebody thinks that you can't enjoy life unless you have a car.
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Old 03-14-15, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Why so defensive? I don't know where you got the false impression that anybody wants to take anything away from you. I hope you will enjoy your hobby responsibly, but I don't have any problem with it. In fact, I will be happy when all cars are vintage cars.
Didn't mean it to be in defense. As implied, I think we should all try a little harder to benefit ourselves & our earth. The conclusion always plays out that we should all be on bikes, all the time. I don't feel that is possible or reasonable for everyone. Balance, with responsibility, should be our goal. Not extremist views that always Pop up.
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Old 03-14-15, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
Didn't mean it to be in defense. As implied, I think we should all try a little harder to benefit ourselves & our earth. The conclusion always plays out that we should all be on bikes, all the time. I don't feel that is possible or reasonable for everyone. Balance, with responsibility, should be our goal. Not extremist views that always Pop up.
That said, I don't think it's a matter of opinion that petroleum powered cars will not be built much longer. They are doomed, for many factual reasons.
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Old 03-14-15, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
That said, I don't think it's a matter of opinion that petroleum powered cars will not be built much longer. They are doomed, for many factual reasons.
It may sound as if I am talking out both sides of my mouth but, I hope so. In a perfect world i'd like to see the phasing out of the petroleum based automobile & the availability to allow the hobbyist to enjoy what once was. It would be a shame destroy that part of our history, all together.
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Old 03-14-15, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
That said, I don't think it's a matter of opinion that petroleum powered cars will not be built much longer. They are doomed, for many factual reasons.
I have a feeling that gasoline/diesel powered vehicles are going to be around for a very long time. There aren't any alternative fuel sources out there which are affordable for most people.
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Old 03-14-15, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly View Post
It may sound as if I am talking out both sides of my mouth but, I hope so. In a perfect world i'd like to see the phasing out of the petroleum based automobile & the availability to allow the hobbyist to enjoy what once was. It would be a shame destroy that part of our history, all together.
Agreed. To get back on topic...

One reason that I'm carfree is that I believe it's the wave of the future. I'm a trendsetter and I'll be in a position to assist others when they feel it's the right time to become carfree themselves.
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Old 03-14-15, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Agreed. To get back on topic...

One reason that I'm carfree is that I believe it's the wave of the future. I'm a trendsetter and I'll be in a position to assist others when they feel it's the right time to become carfree themselves.
I rather doubt you'll be around if the world ever ends up going carfree.
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Old 03-14-15, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BicycleBicycle View Post
I met someone today that does not have a car by choice.

I was wondering, for those of you people who can actually afford cars, and are getting older, or are old why do you not have a car?

I did not have a car for about 6-ish years when I was in my 30s, while living in the second largest country in the world ... but I could have afforded one if I wanted.

I just didn't want the hassle of vehicle ownership ... and instead, I spent my money on travel.



You might check out this thread for more motivations ...
http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car...car-light.html
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Old 03-14-15, 06:38 PM
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I tried back in 2007 to get a driver's license… at the time I had bugger all money on me and wasn't sure how I'd pay for lessons.

Queensland driving tests are a multiple choice exam on which you have to get a score of 90% that costs $20 to sit. I decided after the second failed test (both times missed out by one question), that what I really needed was a proof of age card, so got that instead.

I've left it at that. I could go back and sit the exam if I wanted to, and I might get the learner's permit, but a learner's permit is next to useless to me as I don't have the time to do the 100 hours of log-book driving needed.

It was at this time I re-discovered the bicycle, and I think I'm happier for it. I've revised the road rules a few times, and some on-road experience in that time has helped cement the knowledge better than what I could ever have learned on paper. Moreover, I did so, under controlled conditions, on a vehicle I knew how to control.

The only thing I'm missing from a "road rules" stand-point, is that little card that has my mug shot, address, signature, and basically says "this person is certified to operate a vehicle". I don't think this is worth the $20 acquisition cost and subsequent renewal costs as a renewal does not require re-testing, it simply says "this person passed when they were last tested" which for some people could have been decades ago (and the laws have changed several times in that time).

So my primary reason is the lack of a license.

What if I owned a car? Well I'd need somewhere to park it, and I'd need to find some other activity to replace the physical activity I'm no longer getting from cycling. That'd probably mean taking up gym membership: been there, done that, not for me thanks.

For now my needs do not dictate a vehicle, and judging from the downright hostile attitude some drivers around here display to someone trying to learn, I'm happy to keep it that way for the present.
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Old 03-14-15, 06:52 PM
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I would get rid of my car tomorrow but I have a 120 mile daily commute. I guess I would be in great shape if I could bike it everyday.
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Old 03-15-15, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BicycleBicycle View Post
I met someone today that does not have a car by choice.

I was wondering, for those of you people who can actually afford cars, and are getting older, or are old why do you not have a car?
I'm getting older (53) and haven't owned a car in years, even though I am far from destitute. I don't have a car partly because I think it's economically idiotic to own one in an urban environment. Not having a car allows me the freedom to do things that I otherwise would not be able to justify if I were trying to maintain a car habit. I also go without a car because I enjoy riding a bicycle everywhere I go, I have concerns about the environment, and I absolutely, viscerally hate the experience of driving a car in a large city. I still drive cars; I just don't own one, and only use them when there are no other options. My transportation choices are, in order of preference: 1.) bicycles/walking; 2.) public transportation; 3.) cars. I use cars about once every 2-3 months.
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Old 03-15-15, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
I would get rid of my car tomorrow but I have a 120 mile daily commute. I guess I would be in great shape if I could bike it everyday.
Ouch… I used to commute about half that distance. It was a combination of the bus and train.

Get up 4:00AM, get ready, walk to the bus stop in my home suburb, get the bus at ~5:10AM, get off the bus at Roma Street (Brisbane CBD) and walk to the train platform ~5:40AM, ride the train from there to Ipswich, change to a train to Rosewood, get out at Rosewood ~7:00AM, change to a bus, get off at Laidley ~7:30AM.

Wash rinse repeat in reverse for the commute home. Only I'd leave Laidley about 4:30PM and get home about 7:30PM. If you were to drive, it was a ~90km journey one-way. The route the buses/trains took made it closer to 100km (~62 miles).

Then I discovered I could ride to Milton station (one train stop out) faster on my fold-up bicycle than the bus and train together could get me there. Except then I found after doing that for a number of months that I couldn't take the bike on the bus (apparent rule change). That wasn't long before that job finished and I found myself working for a mob at West End, which is the other side of the river from Milton.

So from then on, I rode the bike 100%. My weekly travel expense went from about $60 a week to $0.

Sadly, not all of us are in that situation… I feel for those who aren't.
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Old 03-15-15, 12:57 PM
  #25  
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there is a potential drawback to not owning a car, living in an urban area. moving from urban to rural & not having a car. I have a few friends who did this. Of course, the cost of keeping a car in a place like NYC might not make sense, either. All depends on the situation.
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