Posted by Tim Stobbs on December 22, 2008
Ok, it has crossed my mine over the years on if I really need a car or not. After all having a car isn’t cheap and it would encourage me to use public transit and a bike more if I didn’t have a car. You see once you include depreciation, insurance, maintenance and gas your easily looking at $4000+ a year to keep a car on the road so there is a significate amount of savings required to keep a car in retirement (about $100,000).
Yet if I had any questions about me keeping a car that went out the window last week when I had some car problems. You see my battery died. So l got a boost and then drove around to charge the battery back up. No problem right? I tried the car the next morning. Nothing, it didn’t even try to turn over. So now I’m looking at having my car in the shop over Christmas. I’m pissed.
I also realize that I really do NEED a vechile for the next few days. Afterall using the bus or even a cab when you have two small kids in car seats sucks with -40C and lower windchills. So I break down and rent a car for a few days until I can get everything sorted out. Then during a discussion with a co-worker I realize that when charging a battery from dead empty you really need to be doing some highway driving to get a decent charge (especially at -30C temperatures). I only did some in city driving, so I’m actually having a faint hope that the problem isn’t the battery but rather the charge on the battery.
So after borrowing a trickle charger from a friend I charge the thing up and it starts great. Yet the real test was to come. I left the car alone for 24 hours and then started it again. IT LIVES! So now I don’t need to take my car into the shop over the holidays. Yes I’m very happy and realize I’m a total car addict and I’m ok with that.
Also it occurs to me that having a second car is rather a strange concept. I can easily rent a car for about $50/day plus gas. So overall I can rent a car for about 80 days before having a second car becomes cheaper. So far in seven years with my car I’ve had to do this once. I think I’m ahead overall.