January 5, 2006

WHAT A WASTE:

The freedom of the road - it now costs you £5,000 a year: It's depreciation, not just the price of fuel, that makes the freedom of the road a costly option (Ben Webster, 1/05/06, Times of London)

THE average cost of motoring has risen to £5,000 a year for the eight million owners of cars that are less than three years old, according to the RAC.

The breakdown company’s most comprehensive survey of motoring costs, including depreciation, maintenance, road tax, insurance and the cost of borrowing, found that the average driver spends £14 a day to keep a car on the road.


And that's without being made to bear the full costs to society of their driving.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 5, 2006 8:18 AM
Comments


Freedom is a costly option, the unfree say.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 5, 2006 8:41 AM

Drivers and those who benefit from motor vehicle transport bear all the costs associated with motor vehicle transport.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 9:53 AM

And the burdens, which outweigh the benefits.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 10:02 AM

Were that really the case nobody would drive.

Posted by: joe shropshire at January 5, 2006 10:09 AM

To the contrary, since we're paying for your cars with our taxes we may as well drive too--just like we send our kids to public schools since we're going to be dunned for them regardless.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 10:21 AM

But I don't like the train. I like my car.

Posted by: Jay at January 5, 2006 10:32 AM

I see. So by "drivers," you mean some set other than the set of people who own cars and drive them.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 10:45 AM

Jay:

That's just government conditioning, easily reversible by making you carry the real costs.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 10:45 AM

Jay:
That's just government conditioning, easily reversible by attaching these electrodes to your scalp.

Posted by: Bryan at January 5, 2006 10:49 AM

David:

If you scroll up you'll see that's not who you referred to.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 11:00 AM

In the U.S., the average cost of motoring is roughly 4,600 a year, at today's exchange rate, for the owners of cars that are less than three years old, including depreciation, maintenance, insurance, and the cost of borrowing.

Note that this figure is higher than the overall average cost of motoring for the entire public, since we're only looking at new and nearly new cars.
With slightly older cars, maintenance costs go up a bit, but everything else falls, in some cases to zero.
With a five year old, well-maintained vehicle, the cost may well be around £3,000/yr, on average.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at January 5, 2006 11:06 AM

OJ: I know what I said. You then said, "since we're paying for your cars with our taxes we may as well drive too", which I took to mean that you weren't counting yourself as a "driver" despite, er, driving. You are also welcome to pay for my cars more directly, if you want.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 11:16 AM

You pay for my car. I pay for your Amtrak.

Posted by: sharon at January 5, 2006 12:35 PM

David:

"those who benefit from motor vehicle transport" is everyone, just as are those who bear the burden, which is greater.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 1:24 PM

sharon:

Exactly.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 1:26 PM

Ah, so what?

Galileo will solve that little unfair tax problem.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 5, 2006 3:42 PM

So you're argument depends upon GDP being higher without the internal combustion engine? Sure...

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 5:16 PM

Only Marxists measure the quality of life by mere material.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 5:20 PM

We don't measure the quality of life by mere material. We also measure it by the ability to avoid having face-to-face contact with you. Hence our insistence on the automobile.

Posted by: joe shropshire at January 5, 2006 5:29 PM

Don't worry, you'll be face down.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 5:36 PM

OJ: You're the one who wrote that the burden of driving is greater than the benefit. Did you mean the metaphysical burdern?

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 6:48 PM

If that is what you mean, then remember to weigh in the metaphysical benefits. I sure do:

One day's driving expenditures: 14
Never having to stuff a cranky New Hampshireman in the luggage rack before settling in to enjoy the morning commute : priceless

Posted by: joe shropshire at January 5, 2006 7:39 PM

David:

Of course. The greatest burdens are the atomization and social damage it causes, not just the environmental damage and dependence on unsavory foreign regimes.

There are all kinds of sophisticated economic analyses that show chattel slavery was economically beneficial or that abortion is, but they're besides the point.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 8:15 PM

Time on the Cross is a terrible book and, last time I looked, had been left behind by later research. Has nothing to do with cars, though.

We've always been a mobile people, but when a young couple set out west in the days of the horse, they would never see home again. I can jump in the car, drive a couple of hours, and see my family any time I want. Not to mention that the car created suburbia, and suburbia created the modern Republican Party.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 6, 2006 4:21 PM

Fogel got the Nobel Prize in '93.

America was a more conservative country before there was a GOP.

Posted by: oj at January 6, 2006 4:30 PM
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