So my not-terribly-old vehicle (2002, Civic with 86k miles) is costing me way too much. I just paid it off about six months ago and in the mean time I’ve spend $1700 in maintenance and I see even more dollar signs on the horizon.
It pisses me off that we purchase vehicles only so they can depreciate in value. Once it’s paid off the cost to keep it running soar. I purchased my civic because I thought I would run it into the ground around 150K miles in fifteen years or so but I just don’t know if it will make it, or if my bank account will make it.
So I’m listening to my dad saying I should consider selling it, buy new and pay the monthly payment, rather than pay to keep my old one running.
My first thought was that I have a lot of work ahead of me to make sure I get the best deal. I began to twitter about it and someone suggested I try to live without a car. Monetarily that sounds ideal. But is it really realistic in Columbus? I definitely live in the ideal neighborhood but work seems pretty far away. However Megabus runs between Cbus and Cincinnati… maybe I could do it. My thoughts keep going back and forth…
Some tips I could give you if you’re considering getting rid of your car:
1. Does your employer encourage it? There’s a program called Commuter Choice that your employer may participate in to get you discounted bus passes mailed to your house. Check your wageworks.com or your company’s HR.
2. If you’re like me and think COTA.com is unhelpful, well it’s time to look again. I haven’t done too much research but my initial searches have resulted in clear maps and route information using google maps. COTA has completely revamped their website so that it is much more accurate and easy to figure out how to get from point A to point B on COTA.
At this point I’m still considering it. I think what pisses me off most is that my car should still be running w/o so much of my money going down the drain. Why are we shelling out so much money for pieces of crap?! In my parent’s house we had at least one car in the driveway with over 100K miles on it. You don’t see that anymore. Is it because the cars don’t last? Essentially my car should have lasted. So my motivation for going car free would not be to save the environment. It would be in protest against car manufacturers.
Every time I think to get on the bus, I put it off until tomorrow. In the end I don’t know if I can do it. I used to take the bus when I first moved to Columbus (in fact I was completely convinced Columbus had great bus service until I realized I just moved to the right neighborhood!). The #5 route was convenient but being able to move faster than a snail’s pace is really nice.
Once you have the ability to move freely and swiftly, can you really give it up? My fear is that I’ll just throw the responsibility of driving onto someone else, namely my bf. Or my friends and family. Is that really going car free? I don’t think so.
In the meantime I’m going to test out the bus (tomorrow, of course), and wait to see what the mechanic says about my air bags. Then we’ll take it from there.