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Old 02-11-2013, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,229 posts, read 12,680,107 times
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The numbers seem WAY off to me, but I (like some other posters) buy and use a car simply for transportation. It's not a status symbol (I drive a Hyundai!).

I usually buy my cars new with a good warranty and then keep them for at least 10 years. I bought my last one, a 2008 model, in early 2009 and paid the 5-year loan off in just under 3 years (the interest rate was <5% IIRC). Next month I will have had this car for 4 years and it just went over 7,000 miles. I HATE long commutes so always live close to my workplace, hence the tiny mileage.

I am sure there are SOME people for whom those numbers make sense, but I don't know too many people who buy cars as status symbols, spend $200 a month on gas (I probably average $10-$20 a month), etc.

 
Old 02-11-2013, 02:21 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,989 posts, read 41,998,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Next month I will have had this car for 4 years and it just went over 7,000 miles. I HATE long commutes so always live close to my workplace, hence the tiny mileage.
7,000 miles for 4 years? In addition to a really short commute, sounds like you don't use your car for much else. I'd probably bicycle commute most of the time if my commute was your distance.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Ypsilanti
389 posts, read 400,799 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
The numbers seem WAY off to me, but I (like some other posters) buy and use a car simply for transportation. It's not a status symbol (I drive a Hyundai!).

I usually buy my cars new with a good warranty and then keep them for at least 10 years. I bought my last one, a 2008 model, in early 2009 and paid the 5-year loan off in just under 3 years (the interest rate was <5% IIRC). Next month I will have had this car for 4 years and it just went over 7,000 miles. I HATE long commutes so always live close to my workplace, hence the tiny mileage.

I am sure there are SOME people for whom those numbers make sense, but I don't know too many people who buy cars as status symbols, spend $200 a month on gas (I probably average $10-$20 a month), etc.
You only spend ten to twenty dollars a month on gas? My parents probably spend north of $300 a month on their vehicles.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 02:23 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,989 posts, read 41,998,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
if its from the BLS household expenditures survey, I would imagine its per household.
If that's the case the thread title is completely misleading assuming his numbers are right.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
The numbers seem WAY off to me, but I (like some other posters) buy and use a car simply for transportation. It's not a status symbol (I drive a Hyundai!).

I usually buy my cars new with a good warranty and then keep them for at least 10 years. I bought my last one, a 2008 model, in early 2009 and paid the 5-year loan off in just under 3 years (the interest rate was <5% IIRC). Next month I will have had this car for 4 years and it just went over 7,000 miles. I HATE long commutes so always live close to my workplace, hence the tiny mileage.

I am sure there are SOME people for whom those numbers make sense, but I don't know too many people who buy cars as status symbols, spend $200 a month on gas (I probably average $10-$20 a month), etc.
You must be in that bottom 20% of car-spending.
There is nothing-at-all wrong with spending less. I think it is the smartest 20%
 
Old 02-11-2013, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UNC4Me View Post
How does that make economic sense? Every large metro in the US, where it's possible to live car free, has a very high cost of living. The difference in rent or a mortgage payment alone would likely wipe out any savings from living car free. And when taxes are added in, the net effect for many would be even more costly. In addition, there are many "soft" costs that some associate with a large metro that make living there even less appealing.

If people want to live in a large metro because they enjoy the city, then they should. If people do not, then they shouldn't. It's not up to me (or you) to determine how others should live based on their method of transportation.
I understand your point, but I think you may have confused cause and effect - or maybe it is a "chicken and egg situation, and I would just put them in the opposite order:

Being carfree ALLOWS people to spend more on their housing, and that's what forces prices up. People can choose where to live and many choose a denser area (for a whole host of reasons) and so prices in the urban attractions near good transport connections go up.

If you want to make money, then you should invest in an area with jobs, intelligent dense urban design, and improving transport links. I may start a new thread about this.

Suggestions (for such locations, where transport is improving) are very welcome.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 05:49 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
I understand your point, but I think you may have confused cause and effect - or maybe it is a "chicken and egg situation, and I would just put them in the opposite order:

Being carfree ALLOWS people to spend more on their housing, and that's what forces prices up. People can choose where to live and many choose a denser area (for a whole host of reasons) and so prices in the urban attractions near good transport connections go up.

If you want to make money, then you should invest in an area with jobs, intelligent dense urban design, and improving transport links. I may start a new thread about this.

Suggestions (for such locations, where transport is improving) are very welcome.
Oh, baloney! That's not what makes housing so expensive in "the city". Land values, historical pricing, etc. Most people who live in "the city" own cars. There have been many posts on here about this.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 873,662 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Oh, baloney! That's not what makes housing so expensive in "the city". Land values, historical pricing, etc. Most people who live in "the city" own cars. There have been many posts on here about this.
LOL.
What do you think DRIVES land values?
I have lived in some of the greatest cities in the world:
London, New York, Hong Kong, Boston, Chicago

And I think it is fair to say that ALL really great cities have:

+ A walkable core (at least), and
+ Good mass transit system

To be in the "great" classification, by international standards, you need both - and much more besides. But these are necessary conditions IMHO.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 06:50 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,649,686 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
LOL.
What do you think DRIVES land values?
Lots of things. Ability to live w/o a car is usually not a main driver of RE prices. Walkability can be, but that's not the same. Many low-income areas are serviced by public transit and a lot of the people living there do not have cars.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 07:01 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,842,524 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
I admit that I do not recall EXACTLY where that figure came from, but I believe that the figure was USD 8,000-9,000 per annum was the "average fully-loaded cost" of running a car for the average American, as reported on a recent Strong Towns.org podcast.
No, it isn't. The 2006 survey which came up with $8003 was based on the average cost per household of vehicle ownership and operation. However, the average number of cars per household in 2006 was about 1.9.

Furthermore, it's not the average cost for the average american. It's the average cost across ALL American households, a distribution which is somewhat skewed. The median third of Americans spend an average of $7310 on their car by the same survey.

More current data can be found here:
Chapter 8 Household Vehicles and Characteristics - Transportation Energy Data Book
Total spending on personal vehicles has dropped considerably since the peak in 2005.

Quote:
Many people do not fully-load the costs of car-owning. And even worse, some of the costs of car owning are passed on to others, through the way we finance our highways - They are subsidized by the Federal government, so non-driver are now paying for some of the costs of car owning. I wonder how much longer that cross-subsidy will continue?
There's all sorts of cross-subsidization going on, and the money is very difficult to follow, but one thing remains clearly true: Mass transit is more subsidized than highways.
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