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Chacham's Journal: Chronicle: Car died 6

Journal by Chacham

After the car's last milestone, i was hoping to hit 150k, but alas, it was not to be. In September, even before the Day of Judgment, and ironically on the way back from the cemetery, it died. On 696, just a few miles from my apartment, it took up smoking. I'm probably at fault for not taking care of the engine, but oh well.

Getting a new car was an interesting thought. But do i actually need a car? Am i just assuming "i need a car"? Thinking it through, i realized the main reason for a car was to get to the office. Yet, i had a friend and co-worker driving me every day anyway. This worked out particularly well, as i don't really drive at night anymore and getting back from the office on those short winter days would have been difficult. As for the other needs of a car, what were they? Travel? Rent. Shopping? buy local, borrow, or go with a friend. I did not want to buy a car just to buy a car. And now, perhaps, it was time for an interesting experiment.

Since then, it has been working. No car, no insurance, and no gas really does save a few dollars. And renting "would you like to purchase insurance?", "no thanx, my credit card will handle it". After an explanation of its secondary nature, i respond that it is primary, as i have no car, and thus no insurance. It even came into play once, and i must say that Visa and Enterprise Rent-A-Car were wonderful. Once i had the basic forms filled, they worked with each other to get the whole thing taken care of. I was impressed and told the Visa guy to register my compliment.

Another benefit is speeding tickets. Their main cost is not the ticket itself, but the insurance rates which can add $100, once every six months, for three years. That's $600 per ticket. The $150 of the ticket itself (including all those ridiculous added "costs") is almost worth it for the amount of time it saves (over time). With no car, there's no car insurance, and the cost of a ticket is now at a manageable level.

Having no car has gotten me on my bike more, and even walking. It's truly a pleasure. It's something i'd like to keep up as well.

I'm not against having a car. I'm just trying to identify if i actually need one. When the times come, nay, *if* the time comes, i'll have to get another. But, there's always hope.

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Chronicle: Car died

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  • My fridge and pantry finally ran out of food. I was thinking about getting some more, but then I thought, do I really need food? I mean, one of the big pluses of not buying more food is, no more getting fat!

    Oh wait, I could just not over-indulge.

    • by Chacham (981)

      You're going to have to work just a little more on that one. :)

      • How's This? [zipcar.com]. Not sure what city you're in, but many now have similar co-ops. Combine this with a public transit pass, feet, and a bicycle, and you've got everything you need. Seems to me that fits BOTH your points!

        • by Chacham (981)

          Wow, that's pretty good. I live in Oak Park, which is about an hour from Ann Arbor, so i don't think it'll work for me. But i'm going to keep my eyes open on this one. It does address the points.

          • Might search for different car co-ops out there. I'm only familiar with zipcar because it covers my area and bought out flexcar a few years ago to form a natural monopoly.

            • by Chacham (981)

              Doesn't look like it. But it really sounds like a good idea. I would defintiely have to evaluate it if there ever is such a service in my area.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn

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