Jan 10, 2011

Operating Costs for a Vehicle in Canada

The CAA - Canadian Automobile Association, has prepared a .pdf document showing the costs associated with car ownership in Canada in 2010 - and, pardon the slang - it ain't cheap!  It is a short read and worth a few minutes of your time.

Illustration by Andy Singer
If you own a car and drive it 18,000kms per year in Canada you are on the hook for approximately $10,000 per year.

Every year.

Year over year.

All the dough, down the drain, never to be seen again.

I am not going to pass judgement on those who own a car as I know that cars are needed for many different reasons.  My only hope is that perhaps you can look at your own situation and think about how you may be using your own vehicle (if you have one) and how might be able to reduce your dependance on your vehicle.  By reducing your car usage you can save money, feel better physically, and positively affect your community.  You can show your friends and family that living carfree or carlight is easy and you can insulate yourself from rising gasoline prices.

Has anyone chosen to actively reduce their car usage and have practical advice for others?  Has anyone recently gone carfree - I'd love to hear about your experiences.


Laura said...

After moving to Vancouver, I decided to try car-free. Overall I've been relatively pleased with the results. Above and beyond the cash savings, I've had many other benefits.

Walking or cycling allows me to really experience my neighborhood and my neighbors. I talk to more people and I’m more aware of what's happening in my city.

The health benefits are numerous: I'm getting more exercise, more Vitamin D and I grocery shop more frequently (smaller loads) which results in eating fresh produce daily.

All these changes point to one big change, less STRESS. Less driving, more community involvement, more exercise and better eating = less stress = healthier life. Now THAT’S a payback.

saddle up said...

About 7 or 8 years ago, the transmission went on our car and we decided not to fix it as we felt it wasn't worth it for the minimal value of the car. We have been living car free ever since. We live in the core which helps a lot and feel we have been living without a car just fine since everything we need is right here in our neighborhood. As Laura mentioned, the cash benefits are huge. But also, walking and cycling allows me to get more exercise. As Laura mentioned, it's also a great way to meet people. Getting groceries is part of my "workout" routine. My new "wheels" are a grocery cart to lug groceries around which makes it easier than carrying bags. From time to time, when and if we do need a car, we rent one or take a cab. The cost of doing it this way is far less and we don't have the headache of having all the costs attached to owning a car. It's kind of funny but when we tell people we haven't owned a car in 8 years they are dumbfounded. For us, it works and if you can make it work too, I highly recommend it!

Ryan said...

If I can recommend a book it is "How to Live Well Without Owning a Car" by Chris Balish. Notice how the word owning is in the title. This book convinced me to go car-free, even in Calgary.