I say everyone should be driving the 1971 Dodge Challenger and learn how to shoot out the window while tooling along on dirt roads at 120+ MPH to get in shape for the coming Cannibal Anarchy and the long twilight wars with neonazi cannibal tribes that will overtake and control much of the US in a series of treaties with evangelical churches, neoconfederate cults and white power militants.
I think cars suck big time and I ride my bike literally triple the miles I drive a car in a year. In my area lots of super fat and lazy people drive huge SUVs to go and get Dunkin Donuts, Bud Light and scratch tickets. They act as if they own the roads and are on important missions in their pig wagons. Now and theyn we have arguments and I enjoy smashing their cars with my bike lock if they piss me off.
Last year I bought my wife a 2011 Prius which is nice. I have an Infiniti which is dumb, I hate it, birds like to shit on it. We buy Toyota Matrix cars for our employees and give them iPhones and gps track them to make sure they are not driving around wasting gas or buying donuts.
I think more folks should telecommute and get rid of their cars. And big trucks and SUVs should only be sold to people with construction licenses who can prove they have work and a real need for a purpose built vehicle like that.
Who Thinks Cars Are an Over-Priced Old Technology?
Absolutely. Cars are so 20th century. We don't need smart cars. We need smart highways.
The solution: computer driven personal maglift vehicles running on 3D highways.
What's a 3D highway? You build lanes in all three dimensions, including height. And the vehicles are all electric with the energy delivered by the highway.
1. No pollution.
2. No greenhouse effect.
3. No need for expensive, heavy batteries.
4. No need for wasting energy transporting fuel.
5. No dependency on foreign oil.
6. No accidents (computer controls).
7. Much, much faster travel. (100 mph inner city speeds)
8. No intersections.
9. No auto insurance needed.
10. Cheaper cost of energy since it's electric and given on demand.
11. No traffic jams since many more highway lanes can be built in 3D than in 2D.
12. No delays for construction since a lane does not have to close to build or maintain another lane.
13. No drunk drivers. Since the computer drives, you can be shitfaced and still get from place A to B quickly and safely.
14. No incompetent drivers, student drivers, old drivers, cell phone drivers, etc.
15. No road rage.
16. You get have sex during your commute to work. Or, if you prefer, get other work done.
The only disadvantage:
This would great so many jobs that it would end the depression and high unemployment plaguing the U.S. today. Yeah, that's the only cost I could think of.
We became a one car family 3 years ago. We paid cash for a new car 7 years ago from a heloc and then paid that off over a year or two and deducted the interest.
My husband uses an electric bike and loves it. We estimate a savings of about $7500 to $9500 from dumping the second car. Sometimes we swap out and I use the bike and a couple times a year we rent from enterprise.
If you live in the city you don't need a car. This is a simple topic.
You can always buy a moped with a 49cc that does 100mpg for only $2,000 which can be driven with a regular driver's license.
The insurance will only be at most $600 a year and the gas at $600 a year.
That's $1200 a year for insurance and gas. Just add in another $200-300 for maintenance to be safe but I doubt the maintenance would be that much. Maybe $100.
You can fit that 49cc moped in your apartment in Manhattan. It's lightweight, small and can easily be put inside.
So NO parking expenses (except if you are going around manhattan to work/shop and need to park. But you may even be able to take the scooter inside depending on the employer.)
So $2000 plus the tax for purchase price. Then $1300-$1500 the most for gas, insurance and maintenance for the scooter. Maybe even less than that,
Not bad at all. Considering if you buy a piece of shit car for $2000 and then pay $$200-400 a month for gas, $100 a month insurance (probably more), expensive parking cost and your maintenance costs are sky high because it has a shit load of problems.
But than again... You most likely do not need a car in the city. Most people don't at all and it's really expensive to keep a car in the city.
It's a headache to drive around as well and then find parking to wherever the hell you are going.
I guess a bike and public transportation would be best. Maybe a moped possibly if spending just a little more would not be a problem. Only problem is that mopeds are stolen a lot and parking may also be just as hard.
I wish public transportation was quicker and more convenient in Los Angeles, but cars are unfortunately very necessary. The only thing that stops me from riding a moped or motorcycle is knowing that I'll one day be run over and killed by a wannabe actress texting and rushing in her SUV to her audition for the role of bimbo #4.
I would disagree that modern cars are overpriced. If anything, if inflation were added to the picture, the price of the typical 4 door sedan has stayed about the same for the past 25 years or so. What's key to remember is that in that 30 years the enhancements in technologies in them that increase safety, fuel economy, reliability, and quality has drastically improved. When I was a kid in the early 80's you were lucky if a car made it to 100,000. Now its more or less expected they last at least 200,000. In fact, all of the cars we own all have over 200,000 miles and none have any issues to speak of. The reality is that you can quite easily keep a car for 15-20 years and many people do. You probably would not have been able to do that in the past as the cars would have rusted into the ground well before then.
Some of the more recent econo-cars are just as nice and in many cases nicer than the top-of-the-line luxury cars from 15-20 years ago. Most people take for granted that not so long ago, things like AC, stereos, ABS brakes, power steering, automatic transmisisions, power winows and locks, and intermittent wipers were ALL options. Now ALL of those things come standard, and again- prices have remained about the same. Additionally, in the past if you owned a "4-banger" ( 4 cylinder) car you were doomed to driving a sluggish car that at best probably got 25-30MPG. Now there are 4 bangers that have more horsepower than a 60's muscle car and get upwards of 40+ MPG. Amazing.
Now- don't get me wrong. I drive a plethora of almost ancient daily beater econo cars to work. But are new cars overpriced? I don't think so. The only cars I personally think are overpriced are a lot of the luxury brands. I say this because ironically a great deal of those brands are not only as much as 3 and 4 times more than your typical car, but they are often either at the bottom of the reliability and quality lists or at very best mediocre. The price being paid for them isn't neccesarily being repaid in anything other than perhaps prestige and performance. Personally I'll take reliability anyday.
The 1998 Accord (first and only new car) I bought on the day before Thanksgiving 1997 was $23K. Today, I understand that same car is about $25K and that's with leather seating and climate control air conditioning and a high end sound system which my car did not have. Right there, you know prices have gone down.
We are talking about a metric ton or more of metal and plastic and a lot of refined processing to put it together. Often there are hundreds of chips/computers as well. Another easy way to see that cars are not overpriced is to look at the margins of car manufacturers. They are very low, and the producers need to get bailed out every now and then. I would agree that there has been an increase in nominal prices, you can thank the Fed for that (and they also understate the true amount of inflation in their index).
Cars have also gotten much more reliable over the past 20 years. Consumer Reports specifically points this out. 20 years ago you had to worry that your car would break down on the way out the dealership, today that just does not happen and the difference between different brands is not that great. We make a huge deal out of individual incidents (like the Toyota acceleration problem, which turned out to be mostly human error of pressing the wrong pedal) but statistics clearly show a strong improving trend.
As for MPG, engines have gotten much more efficient, although most consumers have chosen to offset this with bigger cars, and the producers have responded. But the choice is still yours to trade down to a "smaller" model with great MPG. For example a Corolla today is at least as big as a Camry of the 90s and gets much better MPG.
Since average salaries have stagnated, and vehicle prices have risen in some cases. So in specific comparisons you may be correct. However in GENERAL cars are far cheaper in terms of VALUE.
From the article where I found the chart:
"One example is a 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan convertible. The car cost $3,948 in 1949. It had a V8 engine that got 152 HP and 8 miles per gallon. There were no airbags, no seatbelts and few modern features.
Today in 2008 you can get a Mazda Miata for $20,635. The Miata has 166 HP and gets 22 MPG city/ 27 highway. It has front side airbags, anti-lock brakes, an AM/FM CD player and remote entry as standard features.
The Miata will likely last twice as long as the Cosmopolitan. In the 1950's to 1970's a car would not be expected to last over 100,000 miles. But todays cars should last for 150,000 to 200,000. The new cars are MUCH safer. If you look at fatality rates per miles driven, from 1966 to 1996 the fatality rate per 1 million miles driven dropped from 5.5 to 1.7."
If last year's model had optional features like iPod hookups and silly $25 LCDs that were priced at $1500 and this year's model includes those "features" for free, and if the price goes up by $1500 (forcing to pay for the options you don't necessarily want or need), then the BLS says there was no inflation.
Someone said this:
"When I was a kid in the early 80's you were lucky if a car made it to 100,000. Now its more or less expected they last at least 200,000."
You are speaking of American cars. They were absolute junk. Many of them would not last even 50,000 miles with out a new engine, paint job, etc.
Btw, lots of American manufactures really screwed up in the 80's: Fender and Gibson guitars, and Harley Davidson. They all got better in the 90's.
Having freedom to go when and where you want at any time is well worth $50.00 a week.
It's nothing new... It's an old technology.
Most people NEED that convenience because of jobs and how the world works. You buy something online today, how does it come?
Through Fedex, UPS or USPS truck...
The old days of walking to your local brick & mortar store right in your town is OVER... Cars are not a luxury anymore and they shouldn't be costing as much as they do.
People also don't seem to bike. I hardly seem to see that many people biking. I remember even in the 90s, I saw plenty of people biking even though cars had been available for such a long time even till then and the gas prices weren't as bad.
But nowadays with gas prices much too high...
These spoiled rotten whining and complaining FAT fucking Americans always love to bitch about the gas prices while they drive a huge fucking v8 SUV... I hardly ever see anyone ride a bike. Very rarely do I see someone besides a illegal mexican and hardly see those either.
In my area lots of super fat and lazy people drive huge SUVs to go and get Dunkin Donuts, Bud Light and scratch tickets. They act as if they own the roads and are on important missions in their pig wagons.
It sounds like you live near where I live. :-)
You shouldn't eat donuts. Bad for ya.
I don't drink beer very often, only if I'm out for lunch with people I work with and they're all having a beer with their burger. Even then, it's a good microbrew. We have plenty of that here.
Best thing about riding your bicycle 26 kilometers (16 miles) round trip to work every day like I do: you can consume all the junk food and beer you can handle, with no repercussions!