Friday, September 17, 2010

Our Car Math Story

I was reading the Yarn Harlot's blog the other day and she was making the point that the New Year should really start when kids go back to school - it feels more natural.  Her reasoning was that the season changes - she lives in Canada, and the kids are back to a sane schedule.  See her funny musings here  (Scroll down to September 7 for New Year story)

The same thing happens at Chez Larsen, the kids start back to school and Craig starts getting organized again after the summer sillies.  He managed to find paperwork and costs associated with our car ownership. 

We used to own two cars: a 1996 Chevy 2500 that we bought used in about 2003 and a 1998 Ford Windstar that we bought used in 2000, after our third kid was born.

1.  Depreciating the cars until last month, this cost us roughly $1500 per year.
2.  Amica auto insurance for 2 adults and 2 teens = $1430 per year
3.  Annual registration fees = $206 per year
4.  Roughly estimating gas/tire/oil/repairs = $1500 per year

For talking purposes, this is about $6000 per year to own two old cars or $500 per month. 

We can rent a lot of good looking Zipcars during the month and not get anywhere near $500 per month worth of fees.  It's a bit of added time and coordinationto get the Zipcar but not as much hassle as car repairs, licensing, insurance quotes etc.

This is OUR story - it makes sense to us for where we are at in our lives.  It's not meant to be a battle cry or make anybody feel bad about owning a car.  We don't have long commutes or little kids or a strong reason to own a car. 

A good friend apologized the other day for mentioning car-heavy vacation plans, feeling guilty about transportation choices.  There's no reason to feel bad or apologise, Car Free in Ann Arbor is chronicalling our story because we're having fun doing something different and wanted to share the experience.

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