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Car Ownership

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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Roy » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 06:36:42

Confession: I too love driving especially on the well maintained 2 lane curvy blacktop mountain roads around here.

I own two cars and pickup. 05 Jetta TDI wagon for the Mrs., 03 Nissan Altima 3.5SE for me/family, and an '82 Ford F-100 351ci V8 that I've mechanically restored and beefed up for hauling firewood, mulch, manure, compost, building materials etc. I only drive it when I need to haul something.

I ride a 250cc dual sport Honda m/c to work during the warmer months -- my commute is 7 miles each way. I could ride my bike but there are no showers at my office and during the summer, I would sweat quite a bit on a bike as it is very hilly here; so I won't be doing that unless there is no other way (ie I've exhausted my stored fuel riding the m/c in a gas shortage scenario similar to fall 2008 here).

In this area going without a car would put a serious dent in one's economic potential under the current paradigm and one's ability to secure groceries; as there is little/no public transportation.

We drive sparingly, minimize our fuel usage by picking the right vehicle for the job at hand, and employ hyper-mile techniques behind the wheel whenever possible.

Average MPG:
M/C: 60 mpg
Jetta: 43 mpg
Altima: 27 mpg
Truck: 12 mpg
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Cloud9 » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 06:43:26

I have a Jeep 05 Rubicon Unlimited. I just put an after market hard top on it. It will be the last Jeep I own. I sold my C J7 to get it. I tend to run them till the wheels fall off then I bolt new ones on and run them some more.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby SILENTTODD » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 10:28:25

Cloud9 wrote:I have a Jeep 05 Rubicon Unlimited. I just put an after market hard top on it. It will be the last Jeep I own. I sold my C J7 to get it. I tend to run them till the wheels fall off then I bolt new ones on and run them some more.

:lol:

Someone after my own heart! My last 2 cars had just over 200,000 miles I put on them before selling.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Unconventional Ideas » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 12:10:03

SeaGypsy wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce_your_Car!_(book)

I highly recommend this book. Mainly it uses micro and macro economic arguments against car ownership, steering away from a moralistic tone.

Divorce your Car! Ending the Love Affair with the Automobile (New Society Publishers, ISBN 0-86571-408-8), written by Katie Alvord and with a foreword by Stephanie Mills, proposes that automobiles have lost their value as a convenience and have become a hindrance, even an addiction. "Today's relationship with the automobile inflicts upon us pollution, noise, congestion, sprawl, big expenses, injury, and even death. Yet we continue to live with cars at a growing cost to ourselves and the environment." [1] There are several arguments for her thesis presented throughout the text as well as some suggestions for how to wean one's self from automobiles.[2]


Clearly, the best way to prepare for the realities of the immediate future is to wean ourselves off of cars now, today.

The future belongs to the fit, and to the people who do things with their hands and brains. Growing food, maintaining shelter, finding ways to re-use materials, etc. will all be vitally important.

Cars generally get in the way of maximizing our potential in the areas that will be of greatest value in the immediate future.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Roryrules » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 12:18:05

AgentR11 wrote:Have you considered that maybe you're using public transport where a bike would be better? Not a cheesy Walmart one, but a bike meant to be ridden hard for thousands of road miles... I know when I lived in the city, I tried to use the bus service, then got a bike; once I figured out what each was good for, it really was pretty easy to get around. (less than 15 miles r/t, take the bike; more than that, take the bus).


I live in a rather hilly city and the climate here isn't great, which makes cycling everywhere not exactly impossible, but not really practical either. Most of my journeys however are much longer so bikes are out of the question.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby GASMON » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 12:50:53

Just calculated, UK petrol at £1.34/litre works out at $11.48 per US gallon.
Yes, over half is tax, UK gov fuel duty plus VAT.

BP posts profits of $25 Billion, AFTER paying for last years Gulf mess.

We are being shafted, in all directions.

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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Pops » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 14:14:24

Wow, Gas that's crazy.

Americans are stranded out in the 'burbs and most can't do anything but drive*. What is the average commute over there?

*Of course there is some tiny bit of public transit and carpooling but huge cultural biases against these as is obvious from the thread.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby dinopello » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 15:11:44

Pops wrote:Wow, Gas that's crazy.


What we are doing here in the US is crazy.

The Maryland governor is trying to add a 6% tax on gas and is getting hammered.

“I know this is a very, very difficult ask,” O’Malley said in his state of the state speech last month. Perhaps with that in mind, O’Malley designed his plan to make it less likely that future governors will need to ask again.


"future governors" mean the soon to be next governor as it will be near impossible to win reelection.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 15:20:14

Unleaded is cruising around the $1.50 liter in the Oz capitals now. That's about $6 a US Gallon. Heading out bush go up another 10-20%.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Roryrules » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 15:26:36

Pops wrote:Americans are stranded out in the 'burbs and most can't do anything but drive*. What is the average commute over there?


Totally depends, but as the UK is much smaller than the US people rarely have to drive too far. Plus, a lot of people commute via public transport. Of course, it's a different story for those stuck in rural areas.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Mesuge » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 15:34:59

Yep, it will be quite interesting to watch all those various adaptation strategies for NA gas pricing north of $5 a US Gallon (2011 inflation levels). Certainly, some people will try to carpool, some might try alt. route with slower avg. speeds, but ~90% commuters will be pressed pretty hard what to do next.

Now, the prevailing mood among the EU mandarins is that in no way will be allowed for national .gov to decrease the % VAT, so for some time you can count on the Europeans peons subsidizing your driving (via lower consumption), as they always done. But at some crises point though this will break apart for sure, and we get $10-20 a US Gallon (with no or reduced VAT).
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Pops » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 15:43:32

dinopello wrote:
Pops wrote:Wow, Gas that's crazy.


What we are doing here in the US is crazy.

True, but then we're overtaxed already.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby GASMON » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 16:06:43

Roryrules wrote:
Pops wrote:Americans are stranded out in the 'burbs and most can't do anything but drive*. What is the average commute over there?


Totally depends, but as the UK is much smaller than the US people rarely have to drive too far. Plus, a lot of people commute via public transport. Of course, it's a different story for those stuck in rural areas.


Roryrules has a good point. A good rail & bus network exists in most urban areas of UK. I could get by possibly without a car, but the buses and trains are now privately run, expensive and increasingly overloaded. Yes, even in the UK, those in rural areas allready suffering due to high fuel prices & no alternative transport.

Another rising motoring cost is insurance - up 20% in one year. Young people are now effectivley uninsureable.

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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Queaks » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 17:06:34

I am guilty of buying a new car every three years. I like having a new one with all the toys.
I drive 35-40 miles one way workwise and like the comfort. I get 22 MPG and usually buy premium, fortunately its not a material cost compared to being late due to bad public transportation.

I admire those who go the public transportation route, but in the Detroit metro area that is not a reliable option (last time I tried, the bus just didn't come because the driver didn't show up that day, and arriving late cost me several hundred dollars in billable time..not worth the risk), plus the convenience of driving outweighs the cost here.

I plan to use the bike for short trips once I retire, but even then (looking for acreage to raise alpacas, and wife wants horses), a truck and car will be needed.

It's nice to talk about public transportation, but I only know one in my extended family that lived where it was possible and reliable. Of those who work for me most drive as far or farther.

One commutes from Flint at a bit over 70 miles one way. Can anyone but city dwellers really use public transportation? Certainly not here if you want to work.

But kudos to those that do
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Hoops_Mckann » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 17:15:32

I think for me anyway, as I get older (near future-oh maybe by 2015), I will consider where I am living as much as WHAT I am driving. For me, low crime, mild weather and somewhat a bike friendly layout will be some of the criteria on my next city choice (current city is Kansas City).

Was reading that the VW polo gets something like 70-80 mpg on a 1.2L diesel, thats incredible. Not available here :-x . Is it possible to import something like that? Is it a matter of legality or just that the local DMV won't title the car here in amerika?
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Pops » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 17:17:27

I'm just about positive we'll never buy a new car, maybe a used small car of some sort after we wear some more paint off the newer truck (148k?).
We could get buy without a full size, V8 and 4wd and we probably will at some point but we pretty well need a pickup even if we only drive it once a month.

One thing not mentioned is renting. We rented a little Toy something or other and put about 3k miles on it to go see the kids over the holiday. The rent was less than the savings on gas and no worries about mechanical problems at all.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby AgentR11 » Wed 15 Feb 2012, 17:51:51

Queaks wrote:Can anyone but city dwellers really use public transportation? Certainly not here if you want to work.
But kudos to those that do


That's really the rub, public transportation is generally not available nor reliable in the far suburbs, and because its not reliable with decent schedule density, it never can catch on, even when tried. Its easy enough to use inside the city core, but even there it takes some getting used to and getting the hang of the routes; not to mention learning to tolerate sharing the space with lesser mortals! (lol jk).
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby cephalotus » Thu 16 Feb 2012, 07:12:27

I own a good bike and a bike that I converted to an electric bike.

I also have a flatrate ticket for the public transport which costs 35€/month

My girlfriend owns a small but quite new VW Polo, which we use every few weeks. Car sharing would also be an option here, but because she already owns the car the car ownership isn't to expensive, too.

City is Dresden, Germany.
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby Loki » Fri 17 Feb 2012, 18:00:51

I've got a 14 year old compact 2WD truck and a 7 year old dual sport 250cc motorcycle. I live out in the country, no public transportation. But I live where I work, so no commute. I drive <4000 miles per year, split roughly 50/50 between the truck and motorcycle.

I could ride my bicycle to town if I had to, but I absolutely hate bicycling, and the main route to town is along a VERY busy highway that I wouldn't feel comfortable riding on. There's also a pretty steep hill in between.

I lived without a car for most of my 20s. I lived in the city (Portland OR) and walked, bicycled, or bussed most places. Can't say as I miss the bus at all, the smell of urine and being crammed in like cattle. I finally got a car so I could get the hell out of the city every once in a while and hike, kayak, etc., but I rarely drove it to work.

Hopefully I won't ever live in the city again, so I'll be keeping my vehicles, which is fine with me, they're quite handy. There's enough wiggle room in my driving habits for me to be able to deal with significantly higher gas prices.

GASMON wrote:Just calculated, UK petrol at £1.34/litre works out at $11.48 per US gallon.

Wow :shock:
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Re: Car Ownership

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Fri 17 Feb 2012, 18:12:52

GASMON wrote:Just calculated, UK petrol at £1.34/litre works out at $11.48 per US gallon.


Na.

1 GBP = $1.60ish @ current rates.

3.8ish liter to a US Gallon

3.8/ 1.6 = $6.08

6.08/ 1.34 = $8.15


Try coffee with your calculator next time Gaz.
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