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In the United States, the average one-way traffic distance is 15 miles, which means that the average office worker needs to drive 30 miles to and from work every day. How much can you save by taking the bus? Let’s figure it out. You’ll be surprised.
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First, we need to decide whether you will sell your car completely or just not drive while you are working. If you sell your car outright, you’ll save more money than if you didn’t drive.
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Let’s consider the total cost of owning a car, which is calculated by driving 1000 miles per month (meaning that you can drive up to 400 miles on your way to and from work each month, and the remaining 600 miles are used for other purposes).
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If your car burns 1 gallon of gasoline every 30 miles, you use 33 gallons of fuel per month. If you use 4 dollars per gallon of gasoline, you will spend 132 dollars per month on fuel. Vehicle insurance premiums vary from person to person, and may be as high as $100 per month, depending on your vehicle condition, your age and your driving record. The maintenance cost of new cars is low, while the maintenance cost of old cars is high. However, if it is more than 100 dollars a month, it will cost hundreds of dollars for tires or brakes.
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The biggest cost of owning a car is actually the depreciation of the car. After 10 years of driving, the value of the car will depreciate by about 80%. In short, cars depreciate by about 15% a year. The average price of new cars in 2012 was slightly higher than $30000. According to different models and vehicle conditions, a five year old car is only worth about 13000 dollars. The annual depreciation is about 2000 dollars, and the monthly depreciation is about 167 dollars. If your car loan interest is 5% and the balance is $10000, your monthly interest is about $40.
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If you own an ordinary car, it costs 0.54 dollars per mile, and the total monthly cost is 539 dollars. If your car is bigger, newer, more luxurious, uses more fuel, or your driving record is poor, the monthly car maintenance cost will be higher.
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The cost of using public transport in cities is easy to calculate. In my city, the monthly bus fare is about 78.5 dollars, less than 3.6 dollars a day, which means that if I give up driving and take the bus, I will save 460 dollars a month. I will have enough free money to hitchhike, take a taxi, and even rent a car occasionally under special circumstances, which is still more than enough.
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If you don’t sell your car and just leave it idle, although you can’t avoid car depreciation, interest or insurance costs, you can still significantly reduce the cost of fuel and maintenance. In the above example, the fuel cost and maintenance cost add up to an average of $0.23 per mile (if your car is older or larger than an ordinary model, your average cost is higher). For office workers who drive 30 miles a day, the cost of fuel and maintenance is about $7 per mile per day. Therefore, using public transport costs $3.6 per day, which can help you save almost half the cost, that is, $3.4 – and it is green. With parking fees, you’ll save faster.