A provocative ad in my Feb. 14, 2011 issue of Time magazine charges that every car you own extracts $7,095 per year from your local economy. The total includes gas, insurance, the purchase price, and finance charges. A measly $1,390 per year stays in your community, including the cost of your license, taxes, repair, tires, registration, and maintenance. The total yearly car spending – $8,485 – is based on a AAA stat. The ad is paid for by Intelligent Cities, a project from National Building Museum, was created by an act of Congress in 1980 and is devoted to studying the built environment and its impact on people’s lives.
Give up your wheels, start walking, and spend more money in your hometown, is the message. If 15,000 people in one community gave up their cars, that would be an extra 127 million dollars to spend. How many jobs would that create? How much stability, through investments and savings, would that foster? A lot more than there is now!
Would you consider giving up your car? Why or why not?
I have often thought about it but here is what’s holding me back:
- Riding my bike or walking in the cold of winter to get groceries – at best not fun, at worst dangerous
- Over relying on friends to hitch rides or carpool
- Getting stuck with taxi/ride share fees when I go to the airport
I paid outright for my used car, so my yearly expenses are much lower than the $7,095 average. Although you’d be surprised how costly is it to drive fast. My car is now 8 years old and has almost 94,000. I’m confident it will last at least another two years, if not longer. So for me and any one else with a paid off car, perhaps the question is really will you consider not buying another car when your current one dies?