April 16, 2004

Ignoring the Cost of Car Ownership

Category: Cars

Your Wallet: Being almost 30 and having never owned a car in my life, I know I'm a radical anomaly in the US, and perhaps an evil traitor by some people's measurements. But according to the American Automobile Association, I've saved almost $125,000 in my adult life by forgoing what most people are incapable of living without.

Granted, it's hardly their fault, as the vast, vast majority of the American urban landscape is impossible to navigate by any other means, and I do rent cars from time to time. Addtionally, a huge amount of my apparant savings has been eaten up by the higher rents of living in places like San Francisco and London, where cars are not required.

But the point of today's entry is this - few people really stop to think about how much money they are spending on their car. If they did, perhaps they would demand better transit in their neighborhoods, or walkability from their local planners. For now, however, people still seem to be wearing blinders.

[AAA Annual Cost of Car Ownership] - which ought to be fairly accurate, since they are a pro-car lobby.

Posted by Nick at April 16, 2004 07:45 PM | TrackBack


It amazes me how many people buy a new car ever few years, even before they're done paying off the old, and still perfectly good, car, or get leases. I guess they don't mind paying for a large, expensive, depreciating item year in and year out, particularly when it's something they see as a reflection of their identity or status or something.

Posted by: ladygoat on April 21, 2004 10:39 AM

"Being almost 30 and having never owned a car" doesn't sound so strange to me. I'm 42 and never learned to drive. It hardly ever even occurred to me -- though that may be one of the actual benefits of spending most of one's life in New York City...

Posted by: Richard on May 1, 2004 09:22 AM
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