Officiallly CarFree- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Officiallly CarFree

    Got and accepted an offer on my car today. So as of Friday I will be free of owning a car. A little nervous but feeling of great independence. Btw registration, insurance and gas I will save anout $225 a month.

  2. #2
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    Congrats - I have been car free since 1999, I had a car for 6 months of that was provided as part of a contract I haven't missed it at all. However I live in Singapore (since 1999), I am pretty sure that this place still has the most expensive cars in the world.

    Costs are roughly as follows:
    -Import duty 100%
    - Certificate of Entitlement - this is a piece of paper that allows you to own a car for 10 years and you have to bid (a fixed number they issued each month) this is currently around $50K to $55K but can go up to $70 to $80K
    You are looking at an absolute minimum of $70 to $100K for a new car that depreciates at roughly the same rate as Worldcom, Enron, lehman stock.

    Running costs
    - Road Tax depends on the engine size but starts off around $700 PA for a Prius
    - Fuel $9 per gallon
    - ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) (or Everyday Rob People as the Taxi drivers say) - They have gantries all over the place and all vehicles have an in car unit in which a bank card is inserted and it deducts cash each time you go under one. Costs vary by road and time of day but some folks can be paying up about $15 per day
    - Parking $1 per hour up to about $5 and virtually nowhere is free.

    Obviously very few people can afford to buy a car outright so add in financing interest on top of all this (people here have car 10 year car loans the size of housing loans!)

    I roughly worked it out that by cycling 26 Km round trip each day my minimum saving annualy is:
    $20K+ above owning a car or $12K+ if I were to take Taxis every day - that is quite some incentive not to have a car.

  3. #3
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    Congrats on taking the plunge, snailspace. Hope you enjoy your extra funds and slower pace.

  4. #4
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    For me it wasn't the money. Yeah the car was paid off, I guess if you factor in maintenance and depreciation the savings can be greater. I'm doing it for the environment as predictable as that sounds. Next hurdle will be riding in -30 or 40 Celcius weather with a windchill.

  5. #5
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    Congrats, snailspace! I wish I could do this, but it's just not practical where I live. I try to do car-lite as much as I can. Let us know how it's going after 6 months or so.

  6. #6
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    Congrats.

    Not sure how much winter riding you've done, but it's not that bad.

    My first year I swore "I'll ride until it hits 0C, then I'll take the train." But then it dropped below 0, and I kept riding. So I swore "-10C is my limit." But -10C came and went, and I kept riding. And so on. After five years the coldest it's I've been able to ride in is -32C (I stopped paying attention to windchill long ago). You do need good gear though.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by snailspace View Post
    I'm doing it for the environment as predictable as that sounds.
    Awesome! Enjoy the cleaner air then.

  8. #8
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    Very cool, I wish I could make the jump.

    Winter riding isn't that bad, get a good windproof outlayer and its amazing how warm you can be.

  9. #9
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    Congrats! I'm sure it will be great to save that money every month!

  10. #10
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    Rad!

    My A/C isn't working so I'm hoping to get there myself
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  11. #11
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    ^^ My A/C isn't working too well either. Dropped the car off for service and was preparing to ride home, and a customer coming in asked what was wrong with the bike. I said air conditioning. It works pretty well going downhill but is fades fast on the climbs!

  12. #12
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    Its been a week since I've sold my car, so far so good. Its nice getting fresh air and exercise every day. For those that are on the fence about being car free do it bit by bit, like others have said. I started with a commute once or twice a week, then 5 times a week, then added in grocery shopping.

  13. #13
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    With a wife and 2 little kids, I couldn't be totally car free. I am, however, trying to be more car light and would like some tips on how to do things like grocery shopping with a bike. Are you doing light shopping? What are you using to carry the bags? Racks? Baskets? Pics of your set up would be great! Pics of your setup just before you start your ride home loaded with groceries would be even better!

  14. #14
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    See a post of mine titled "My commuters opinions please" it'll be first pic. I have a bike with f/r racks which allows me to carry 4 panniers + a trunk bag and a pack back. This allows be to get most of the stuff I need for a week. Its only 3 miles to a big chain grocery store for me. My trick is I get bigger items like toilet paper online at walmart since they have free shipping. With this I plan a week in advance since it takes about a week for stuff to get delivered. I get odds and ends at a local corner store which is 0.5 miles away from me.

    My cycling route is fairly flat so even with 60-70lbs worth of groceries I don't notice it too much as long as it loaded fairly evenly.

  15. #15
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    Awesome set up, snailspace! While I really appreciate the reply and the pic references, I'd really like to see pics on how people actually load their bikes. I don't really know how to best secure things to the bike and learn by seeing. I've found a few vids on youtube that help some.

  16. #16
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    Officiallly CarFree-001.jpgOfficiallly CarFree-004.jpgOfficiallly CarFree-003.jpg
    Officiallly CarFree-005.jpgIf you have racks and panniers you don't need to secure things as they click onto the racks. My tips are to put the heavier items at the bottom of the panniers. Balance the weight on your front panniers or your steering will be funny.

    Pic1) Rear Axiom rack holding 2 panniers and trunk bag. You can forgo the trunk bag and bungee a milk crate, case of beer, toilet paper. Rear rack has about 12"x5" usable space. Rear Axiom rack has a weight limit of 150lbs supposedly. Weight balance isn't an issue.

    Pic2) Front rack with 2 panniers. I like to keep the weight at no more than 15-20lbs per pannier on the front. I like to keep wight balanced for steering purposes.

    pic3&4) How I carry booze. Pic 3 shows How I carry bottles of wine and such. Pic 4 show how I can get 2 6 packs stacked on top of each other.

  17. #17
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    Exactly the info I was looking for. Cannot thank you enough. Here's a pic of the beauty that I've tabbed my "commuter." I'll be adding a rack for the rear for sure.

    Officiallly CarFree-95-spec..jpg

    Also, great taste in beer. Newcastle is one of my favorites.

  18. #18
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    I have bungeed large packages of TP onto my rack before, negating the need to order them online.

    I am in the early stages of starting my own business. To start with, I'll be working from home (so very little need to drive at all). Hopefully as business grows, I'll be able to afford an office space. I'll totally be looking at places within a couple miles of the house so I can bike most of the time.

    Congrats on going car free. Not entirely practical for me to do that, but car light is. However, if it cost as much to own a car here as for SimpleJon, I'd be going with the money savings. That's insane. I've been driving my paid off car for a couple years now so it's a lot less expensive to own/drive these days.

  19. #19
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    with the way prices are going on everything here in the US, I think more people are gonna at least go car lite.... seems like everytime we go to the store the prices have gone up....more so on fresh fruit and veggies.....I am building my commuter for that reason,kind of a heavy bike but the price was right at $2 and parts from a free bike to fix a few things on it....was having some health issues that kept me from working, now looking at starting to work part time..... my fiance works part time as well .... so money is tight....we go through like $60 a week for gas.... she doesnt drive so I drive the 10 mile each way 4 times... so 40 miles a day... if we could live within walking distance of her work that would save us money
    97 specialized rockhopper.- urban beater
    2013 GT aggressor 3.0- urban assault vehicle

  20. #20
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    Maybe a move to a place where you can bike to work or use public transport might be better in the long run. With a car you are always going to have depreciation and insurance costs whether you drive it 0 miles or 1000miles a month. I save about $225 a month on insurance and gasoline, with depreciation and maintenance its even more, This was on a car that was paid for. Even a 5 mile bike ride to work or get groceries is easily doable for average people. I myself stopped using my car since early May to see if I could live without a car before selling it.

  21. #21
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    I'd try being car free if it wasn't for my kids. My wife and I both work here in the town we live and are roughly 5-6 miles away, so that in-town commute on the bike isn't bad at all.

    However, we live in North Dakota and winters here are brutal. By brutal, I mean -20 or -30 below zero can be the norm in January and February. Toss in the wind speeds here, wind chills can get down to -70 or -80 at times. Biking isn't really an option in those temps.

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