By John P. Anderson
In May my family moved to North Park and we promptly had our bicycles stolen from our garage, including the trailer we used to transport our young daughter. Bummer, big time. One plus side was the encouraging messages and help I received from many sources in San Diego, including the Free Press.
Another plus side was that we’ve chosen to live close to where we work and as a result have only one car for our family of four. AAA does an annual study to calculate the average national annual cost of vehicle ownership. For 2013 this study estimates that a medium sedan driven 15,000 miles costs $9,151 per year. Since this is a national average and California tends to have higher gas prices it’s probably a bit higher here.
Although it’s not fun to have a bicycle stolen it’s some comfort that having bicycles has made it possible for us to avoid the costs of owning a second vehicle. My bicycle cost about $650, which is a pretty nice bicycle, but I could buy 14 bicycles per year for the annual costs of one car. This got me thinking, what else could I buy for the annual cost of a car?
A lot of things, including:
- 80 two-adult annual passes to the San Diego Zoo
- 12 55 inch LED televisions
- 14 Giant bicycles
- 13,726 packs of bubblegum flavor Orbit chewing gum
- 1,830 San Diego craft beers (at $5 a piece)
- 36 round-trip flights from San Diego to Seattle (at $250 a piece)
I doubt that many people need or want 12 55 inch televisions, but it does give an indication of how much automobile ownership takes out of the average household budget.
What would you buy if you found an extra $9,000 in your bank account this year?