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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 11:22 AM
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Could riding the bus fund your retirement?

Driving costs you $8,776 a year

By Claes Bell
Saturday, April 9, 2011

With gas prices headed higher and discounts on new cars in short supply, it's no surprise a new AAA survey shows the cost of owning and operating cars is going up:

AAA released the results of its annual 'Your Driving Costs' study today revealing a 3.4 percent rise in the yearly costs to own and operate a sedan in the U.S. The average costs rose 1.9 cents per mile to 58.5 cents per mile, or $8,776 per year, based upon 15,000 miles of annual driving.

"Despite seeing reduced costs for maintenance and insurance this year, there is an overall increase in the costs to own and operate a vehicle in the U.S. this year," said John Nielsen, AAA National Director of Auto Repair, Buying and Consumer Programs. "The 2011 rise in costs is due to relatively large increases in fuel, tire and depreciation costs as well as more moderate increases in other areas."


This isn't the first time I've seen this annual study, but the price people, myself included, pay to drive never ceases to amaze me. Of course, they're getting a lot of significant things in return for their $8,776: convenient shopping, the ability to get to work on time, an easy way to go on vacation, among other things. I'm not immune to the charms of a beautiful new car, and new cars today are without a doubt the most luxurious and technologically advanced in history. But people should at least know the cost of buying into America's love of the automobile.

I mean, think of what you could buy for $8,776 per year. If you walked everywhere for one year, you could have a lavish vacation in Paris. If you rode a bike for 10 years, you could pay cash for a house in a lot of places. If you rode the bus for 30 years, our simple savings calculator says you'd be close to a fully funded retirement, with over a million bucks sitting in the bank! Maybe Harvey Pekar was on to something. ................(more)

The complete piece is at:

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-29-11 11:55 AM
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1. When I moved from Portland to Minneapolis
and had to start driving again, I suddenly felt financially strapped.

When I did my income tax, I realized why--I had spent $3000 on my car, which I didn't even have to pay for, since it was a hand-me-down from my mother.

And since I just paid a four-digit sum to keep my current car from falling apart, I feel the truth of your statement even more acutely.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-11 06:14 PM
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2. I've often wondered about the many low-income people who are forced to have cars
due to the lack of adequate transportation.

Years ago, when I would walk down to the New Haven train station, I'd go past a low-income housing project nearby. Yup, cars. And plenty of 'em. I think of these and others as "car-poor".
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