When we purchase a car, we only think of the actual purchase price of the car, and maintenance when we are calculating the price of the car. But there are several other costs to the car that we forget about. There is parking, maintenance over the life of the car, interest paid on the loan that you take out on the car, insurance, and time taken off to repair/replace your car.
When you add up the total cost of purchasing a car over its lifetime, you will realize that the true cost of your car isn’t the cost of the car itself, but probably 1.5 to 2 times as much. It really puts things into perspective, when you actually have to pay $16000 for a $8000 car over its life. For me, like a lot of other people in Canada, living in suburban Canada removed any chance that I was going to be car-less. I had tried using the TTC over the wintertime, but the hour and a half commute killed any chance of any activity besides work during the work-week.
Once I moved downtown, things were very different. With the exorbitant cost of parking downtown, it is a cinch to sell your car, and be car-less. Toronto’s transit system might be berated by many, but it is better than a lot of countries out there. I can choose to be car-less downtown, without a lot of extraneous thoughts. For a lot of people that is not an option, but with the rising cost of gas, and car prices, it is something that we should be thinking about.
We should make an extra effort to ensure that we do not remain dependent on the ever-diminishing oil reserves at least in terms of our automobile usage.