Over 70% of most people’s monthly income goes into housing, food and transportation. So if you’re looking for ways to put a little money away every month toward bigger life goals, this is a great place to start.
Specifically, how much does cost to own, operate, and maintain a car? And can that set of costs realistically be eliminated?
ADDING UP THE COSTS OF CAR OWNERSHIP
According to AAA, the yearly cost of owning a car in 2016 ranged from $6,579 for a small sedan to $10,255 for an SUV. This was based on a new car, so it included over $3,700 of depreciation, but it also factored in the lower maintenance of a new car, coming in at “only” $792/year of fluids, filters, belts, hoses, tires, and battery.
Just as importantly is the direction of expenses:
- DEPRECIATION. Up 2.9%
- FUEL. Down 25% due to fuel economy and low gas costs.
- INSURANCE. Up 9.6%.
- MAINTENANCE. Up 3.3%
- LICENSING. Up 3.3%
- FINANCE CHARGES. Up 2.1%
- TIRES. Up 1%
So that’s a minimum of $6,579/year in costs that trend up with oil costs and interest rates—both of which are expected to increase. Note that neither residential nor work parking are included.
ALTERNATIVES TO CAR OWNERSHIP
Metro: Metro passes in Chicago, LA and New York City range from $100-$117/month. All your expenses above go away.
Uber fares vary widely, especially during surge pricing, but an average cost is $24. And you don’t need driver’s insurance because
someone else is driving.
CAR SHARING & RENTALS
Services like ZipCar and Car2Go offer a car only when you need it, at costs ranging from $15/hour to $85/day. You can also get weekly rental rates. Either way, you’ll want back-up insurance.
A folded CHANGE bike even fits in this!
Bike commuting works if you live fairly close to your job or if you have a dedicated safe route. Otherwise, you’ll want to combine this with other methods, like bus & bike to get you close, or car & bike to save monthly parking costs. With a good bike, your post-purchase cost can be as simple as replacing consumables such as tires and brake pads.
CHANGE bikes work better with buses than most bikes because they fold up to half size, with a carrying bag. And they fold down to fit easily in a car trunk, in less than a minute, while keeping all the riding quality you expect of a full-size bike. See a CHANGE mountain bike frame fold in half in 10 seconds (below).
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER…
What if you didn’t want to choose among the options above, and instead chose all of them?
- A yearly metro pass at NYC costs = $1,404/year
- An Uber ride every weekend, all year = $1,248/year
- A full day Car2Go rental every month = $1,020
- Non-owner car insurance policy = $500/year
- 24 speed CHANGE folding commuter bike = $1,180 one-time
TOTAL: $5,352. That leaves you $1,227 in newly-found savings to move your life ahead, even against the cheapest car in the AAA analysis.
And the year after that, you won’t have to buy another bike because you got a great one this year. So you get a thousand dollars more in savings.
CHANGE bikes are available in hybrid commuter bike, hardtail mountain bike, and rugged hybrid—all with FREE shipping, 30-day money-back guarantee, and lifetime frame warranty from Flatbike, the US reseller for CHANGE bikes.
Which CHANGE bike is right for you?
Still not convinced? See how a CHANGE bike gives you more safe places to ride.