Friday, March 11, 2011

Why invest in a car? Sharing makes more sense, if you can do it.

...I’m a huge fan of car sharing, mostly because it upends the typical model of car ownership. Typically, owning a car involves a lot of fixed costs – costs that you pay regardless of whether you drive the car a single mile or 20,000 miles a year. These include the cost of the car, insurance, taxes and registration fees, emissions inspections and the like. The variable cost of owning a car – fuel and maintenance – are comparatively of little consequence on a per trip basis.
The effect of this is that once you own a car you have a very strong incentive to use it for most trips. I vividly recall arguing with a friend who claimed that it was cheaper for him to drive across Burlington than it was for him to pay $1.25 to board a local bus. Countless times I’ve been told, ‘I really wanted to take the train, but it was just so much cheaper to drive.’ Of course, in both cases driving was the more expensive option, once the fixed costs of owning a car were taken into account. Carfreebtv
With carsharing, all of your costs are paid on a per trip basis. This creates an incentive to drive only when necessary or especially convenient and use alternatives for all other trips. I’d rather take the train or a bus for longer trips and would hate to be in a situation where I’d feel compelled to drive long distances because it was “cheaper.”...

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