Car Ownership

Introductions - Urban Issues - Miscellaneous News, Topics, Interests
Suburban Outcast
Landmark Center
Posts: 237
Joined: June 10th, 2012, 8:33 pm

Re: Car Ownership

Postby Suburban Outcast » March 20th, 2014, 4:24 pm

2 cars for 3 people (for a working/lower-middle class household in the inner suburbs):
2004 Ford Taurus - Father reverse-commutes to Lino Lakes
2004 Ford F-150 - Brother commutes to work (same city as home), and to Metro State

We also have a 1998 Ford F-150, but we recently uninsured it because it's about to crap out after heavy use. That was my main vehicle to my high school, my first job (along with a 1997 Lumina that we sold off in 2010), and to Rosedale to commute to the U's West Bank during my semester-long stint there. I only use the car seldomly now since I have been completing my general ed classes online, and I am unemployed at the moment.

I use the Taurus the most as I hate driving trucks (my father seems to like them even though they are gas hogs, but he's an outdoorsman). I used it when I worked in the middle of the night last year so I was able to use their vehicles then since they always work during the daytime. I was carfree during my freshman/year stint at MNSU, and predominately walked or hitched rides with friends to places.

I have an interview for an summer internship next week that is based in DT St. Paul, so I might end up buying my grandmother's old car (2003 Camry) to commute since the bus near my house takes too long to get to downtown. I also have stomach/intestinal problems that have become more severe over the past couple years so I get anxious and nauseous when I ride buses (I get agoraphobic), so I tend to avoid them if I have the option to.

Mdcastle
Foshay Tower
Posts: 848
Joined: March 23rd, 2013, 8:28 am
Location: Bloomington, MN

Re: Car Ownership

Postby Mdcastle » April 26th, 2014, 7:55 pm

I have a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee- despite not commuting to work I put over 10,000 miles on it a year running errands, visiting the parents, road trips, etc. Sister lives with me and has a newish Toyota Corolla that she mainly drive to work, and is a relative pain to get out of the driveway in the winter.

User avatar
Anondson
IDS Center
Posts: 4234
Joined: July 21st, 2013, 8:57 pm
Location: Where West Minneapolis Once Was

Re: Car Ownership

Postby Anondson » April 26th, 2014, 8:33 pm

2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, which just replaced a 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport that nearly fell apart while driving after putting 250,000 miles on it. Donated to Newgate and only got a few hundred dollars. Heh. Having a 4WD vehicle got us to work and school in many snowy winter days.

2008 Hundai Sonata for my wife.

xandrex
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1363
Joined: January 30th, 2013, 11:14 am

Re: Permit Parking

Postby xandrex » November 20th, 2014, 4:22 pm

If you bought a car for 3000 and were lucky enough to keep it for 5 years, that'd be $600/year. If you only drove 1000 miles a year it's estimated it would cost you $1400 http://commutesolutions.org/external/calc.html.

So even if you were lucky enough to not have anything at all happen to your really cheap car and got dirt cheap insurance and never had an accident and drove under 3 miles per day, you'd still be spending $2000 a year minimum. A bus pass for a year costs $900, and you can travel as far as you want with no luck needed.

I mean I own a car, but I acknowledge that it costs me a considerable amount.
I was speaking a little loosely (read:exaggerating), but my car really isn't so much more expensive than my public transportation. Obviously if I only drove, my costs would go up. When I was only driving, my costs never exceeded $200 a month (yes, I was lucky that I didn't need major repairs). But if I only took transit and didn't have a car, my access would decrease. It's a trade off.

My car is paid off, but assuming I keep it for five years, that's a breakdown of sub-$70/month. My insurance is under $40/month. I probably use $50 worth of fuel in a given month (I live in Minneapolis near the core, but I do putz out to suburbs occasionally), and that's mostly because I choose to drive more often that I need to. Tabs are minimal (a few bucks a month spread out). I rarely pay for parking because I usually bus to places where it costs anything more than marginal amounts. My car is cheap, so I'm not going to do extensive work on it, but I keep it running decently.

Altogether, with a bus pass, I'm probably right back around that $200/month cost. That's $2400/year for all of my transportation needs. Round up to $3000 if you want to say there's a big repair or need to replace tires and a few things. That's pretty affordable, despite my pretty low salary. My point being: you don't exactly have to be rich to own a car. If people are actually paying triple the amount I am on average, that tells me that they are commuting a pretty decent distance, insist on a relatively expensive car payment (which also brings the double whammy of comprehensive insurance coverage requirements), or just really enjoy driving around.

The point being, I can afford a car, but not always the rate that's being charged at the meter. So I of course change my choices (take transit, bike, avoid the area, etc). No arguments against metering, transit, or anything else. Just pointing out car ownership =/= ability to pay dynamically-priced meters put all throughout the city.
I just spent $600 on new tires.
I'm curious what type of tires you purchased. I just got some a year or so ago and spent a fraction of that (and they were nice tires).

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7710
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Permit Parking

Postby mattaudio » November 20th, 2014, 4:25 pm

225/60-17 Blizzak snow tires. Big ole 17 inchers for my family's Lightly Utilized Urban Commander Utility Vehicle.

User avatar
mister.shoes
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1293
Joined: November 26th, 2012, 10:22 am

Re: Permit Parking

Postby mister.shoes » November 20th, 2014, 10:56 pm

Those are really good snow tires. I had Blizzaks on my old car and miss them. The Dunlop snows I have now are not nearly as good.
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4727
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: Permit Parking

Postby David Greene » November 20th, 2014, 10:58 pm

Blizzaks are totally worth it. My set lasted seven years. I literally took them into Paul Williams multiple times and they said, "We'd love to sell you another set, but you don't need it."

xandrex
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1363
Joined: January 30th, 2013, 11:14 am

Re: Permit Parking

Postby xandrex » November 24th, 2014, 4:20 pm

225/60-17 Blizzak snow tires. Big ole 17 inchers for my family's Lightly Utilized Urban Commander Utility Vehicle.
That explains it. I've always had good winter tires, but they've never been more than maybe $300 for the set. I've been told Blizzak's are "stupid expensive", but pretty good quality. Just not worth it for my car. :mrgreen:

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7710
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Permit Parking

Postby mattaudio » November 25th, 2014, 7:47 am

They were $150+ cheaper than any of the alternatives I was cosidering, Nokkian and Michhelin. They were actually the cheapest 225/60-17 snow tires I found. You must have much smaller tires.

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6219
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: Permit Parking

Postby twincitizen » November 25th, 2014, 8:36 am

If you bought a car for 3000 and were lucky enough to keep it for 5 years, that'd be $600/year. If you only drove 1000 miles a year it's estimated it would cost you $1400 http://commutesolutions.org/external/calc.html.

So even if you were lucky enough to not have anything at all happen to your really cheap car and got dirt cheap insurance and never had an accident and drove under 3 miles per day, you'd still be spending $2000 a year minimum. A bus pass for a year costs $900, and you can travel as far as you want with no luck needed.

I mean I own a car, but I acknowledge that it costs me a considerable amount.
I was speaking a little loosely (read:exaggerating), but my car really isn't so much more expensive than my public transportation. Obviously if I only drove, my costs would go up. When I was only driving, my costs never exceeded $200 a month (yes, I was lucky that I didn't need major repairs). But if I only took transit and didn't have a car, my access would decrease. It's a trade off.

My car is paid off, but assuming I keep it for five years, that's a breakdown of sub-$70/month. My insurance is under $40/month. I probably use $50 worth of fuel in a given month (I live in Minneapolis near the core, but I do putz out to suburbs occasionally), and that's mostly because I choose to drive more often that I need to. Tabs are minimal (a few bucks a month spread out). I rarely pay for parking because I usually bus to places where it costs anything more than marginal amounts. My car is cheap, so I'm not going to do extensive work on it, but I keep it running decently.

Altogether, with a bus pass, I'm probably right back around that $200/month cost. That's $2400/year for all of my transportation needs. Round up to $3000 if you want to say there's a big repair or need to replace tires and a few things. That's pretty affordable, despite my pretty low salary. My point being: you don't exactly have to be rich to own a car. If people are actually paying triple the amount I am on average, that tells me that they are commuting a pretty decent distance, insist on a relatively expensive car payment (which also brings the double whammy of comprehensive insurance coverage requirements), or just really enjoy driving around.

The point being, I can afford a car, but not always the rate that's being charged at the meter. So I of course change my choices (take transit, bike, avoid the area, etc). No arguments against metering, transit, or anything else. Just pointing out car ownership =/= ability to pay dynamically-priced meters put all throughout the city.
I think your personal transportation costs and choices are very similar to mine. Car paid off, insurance relatively cheap ($80/month), less than $50/month spent on gas, and drive fewer than 5,000 miles/year, meaning expensive repairs are fewer and further between. Car ownership costs can be quite low, even after factoring in things like depreciation. So I agree with you that those estimates tossed around that say car ownership costs $9000/year are near maximums. They assume a new car, higher insurance, and average mileage (12-15k/year). While they make a good sound-byte, they likely aren't realistic for many frugal urban-dwellers who don't have long commutes. That said, if I didn't drive to work (i.e. if buses were faster, more reliable, and more comfortable), I would probably make the leap from car ownership to an unlimited transit pass. Nearly all of my evening/weekend trips are on foot, bicycle, or transit. If Minneapolis would just annex Richfield already, I could say quite honestly that I don't recall the last time I ventured outside of city limits. The maybe 5-6 times per year that I travel to my parents' place (2 hours west on I-94), I guess I'd just have to rent a car when I can't hitch a ride with relatives.

(Note: the recent bit of discussion was imported here from the "Permit Parking" thread)

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7710
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Car Ownership

Postby mattaudio » November 25th, 2014, 9:32 am

^Too bad you couldn't hop a train on the Great Northern's St. Vincent Extension from Minneapolis to Osakis.

Pip

Re: Car Ownership

Postby Pip » November 26th, 2014, 2:25 am

I'm sporting a 2014 Camaro RS. It gets me where I need to go... pretty fast. I live in Uptown and currently work in Minnetonka but my work is moving to Shakopee in February so we'll see how that goes. Hopefully gas prices stay low.

xandrex
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1363
Joined: January 30th, 2013, 11:14 am

Re: Permit Parking

Postby xandrex » November 26th, 2014, 9:31 am

I think your personal transportation costs and choices are very similar to mine. Car paid off, insurance relatively cheap ($80/month), less than $50/month spent on gas, and drive fewer than 5,000 miles/year, meaning expensive repairs are fewer and further between. Car ownership costs can be quite low, even after factoring in things like depreciation. So I agree with you that those estimates tossed around that say car ownership costs $9000/year are near maximums. They assume a new car, higher insurance, and average mileage (12-15k/year). While they make a good sound-byte, they likely aren't realistic for many frugal urban-dwellers who don't have long commutes. That said, if I didn't drive to work (i.e. if buses were faster, more reliable, and more comfortable), I would probably make the leap from car ownership to an unlimited transit pass. Nearly all of my evening/weekend trips are on foot, bicycle, or transit. If Minneapolis would just annex Richfield already, I could say quite honestly that I don't recall the last time I ventured outside of city limits. The maybe 5-6 times per year that I travel to my parents' place (2 hours west on I-94), I guess I'd just have to rent a car when I can't hitch a ride with relatives.
Yeah, sounds like we're about the same. My guess is that I put about 7,000 miles a year, but a big chunk of that is actually longer trips to visit family around the state (and the surprisingly large number of miles you rack up when visiting a town where everything requires driving).

I strongly considered dropping my car completely a little over a year ago when I had prospects for a job in the North Loop, with the idea of getting a nice, small studio and being able to bike/walk/transit around. Alas, that didn't pan out and the job I ended up getting couldn't support anything nice downtown, and living outside the downtown neighborhoods makes car ownership simpler/cheaper/more important. So here I am.

I realized a while ago--and I suspect this is true of many in the urban core--that 95 percent of my life takes place in a two mile bubble. Throw in the weekends I occasionally spend in Uptown/Lyn-Lake and you could say maybe a 3-4 mile bubble. With better transit, a car-free lifestyle really would be realistic and my only expense would be that pre-tax transit pass.

xandrex
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1363
Joined: January 30th, 2013, 11:14 am

Re: Car Ownership

Postby xandrex » December 8th, 2014, 10:34 am

Shoutout to Minneapolis actually increasing its number of car commuters since 1980. Holla.

We're really heading the right direction, folks.

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/12/ ... ve/383431/

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5761
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Car Ownership

Postby MNdible » December 8th, 2014, 10:46 am

Well, it's worth noting that the reference points are 1980, a time when there was still an awful lot of the suburbs yet to be built, and 2009-2013, when we still only had one functional rapid transit line. If you picked different dates, I'm guessing you'd get different results.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7710
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Car Ownership

Postby mattaudio » December 8th, 2014, 10:47 am

It shows that our approach for most of 1980-2009 was a failure, not that our current approach is a failure.

xandrex
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1363
Joined: January 30th, 2013, 11:14 am

Re: Car Ownership

Postby xandrex » December 8th, 2014, 11:02 am

^No doubt adjusting the date would change that. That's likely true of plenty of cities (we are not alone, especially in the western half of the country, of having new suburbs emerge since then). They don't list metro-specific numbers other than the 1980 baseline and the most current numbers, so we may be down slightly from 1990 or 2000, but it's perhaps a little disheartening that really rather massive investments haven't budged those numbers.

bubzki2
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 751
Joined: September 19th, 2012, 5:38 pm
Location: Snelling-Hamline

Re: Car Ownership

Postby bubzki2 » October 26th, 2015, 11:53 am

Not sure where exactly to put this:

CNN Money:

Good news: Americans are driving more than ever

http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/26/news/ec ... index.html

grant1simons2
IDS Center
Posts: 4249
Joined: February 8th, 2014, 11:33 pm
Location: Marcy-Holmes

Re: Car Ownership

Postby grant1simons2 » October 26th, 2015, 12:43 pm

CNN Money also called Eden Prairie the #1 "best place to live" at one point sooooo

Also that graph of miles driven, is hilariously bad. It shows miles for January, for every year, until we hit this year and it shows July and the massive spike. July has always historically been when people drive the most.

It is upsetting to see car sales are still on the rise, but then again, America is a large country. I'd rather see it in a state by state chart.

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1829
Joined: October 31st, 2014, 12:50 pm

Re: Car Ownership

Postby amiller92 » October 26th, 2015, 1:49 pm

CNN Money also called Eden Prairie the #1 "best place to live" at one point sooooo

Also that graph of miles driven, is hilariously bad. It shows miles for January, for every year, until we hit this year and it shows July and the massive spike.
The Januaries are labelled, but the chart itself seems to be plotting more frequently than annually. Of course, no where is the relevant time period during which these plotted miles are driven identified. And then there's the axis that doesn't start at zero.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest