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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dude, where's my car?

Sorry for the lame movie reference. For the record, I have never seen it. But for this post, it seemed appropriate... possibly.

About 18 months ago, we moved from Marietta, GA to somewhere much closer to my office and our daughter's school. Much closer, by a factor of about a million or so it seemed. My daily commute to work went from an average of 50 minutes to 8. Likewise for taking my daughter to school. When we first moved, I seriously considered getting rid of my car and buying a scooter. Shelly and I debated the issue for a month or so, but in the end we decided that while I do only use the car to get to work and back +-90% of the time, that other 10% would be mighty inconvenient. For instance, I have a group of men I meet with once a week for breakfast, and it's nice to be able to drive there in a car since it's about 15-20 minutes away. Also, what about when it rains, or is bitter cold (yes, it gets bitter cold in Atlanta, not to mention bitter hot).

So we put that decision on the shelf, meaning we never planned to visit it again. But now here we are, visiting that idea again. In fact, a few days ago we stopped by the local scooter store just to look around and hopefully find a good reason why this is an insane idea. On the contrary, we found several other good reasons why this makes sense. For instance, not only would we save on gas, as we expected, and be able to give away a good portion of the proceeds from selling my car, but we also would not have to pay for insurance (or at least not nearly as much) or ad valorem taxes. Small enough scooters don't require tags, title, insurance or anything other than a valid GA drivers license.

Does this make it the right thing to do? Who knows. We're still praying about it. This is deemed a Large Decision, which means we will wait at least a week before taking any action. In the mean time, I'll get my car appraised and envision myself walking into work with a mouth full of bugs. Besides, it's been raining for 3 days now and I'm not inclined to do anything about this until the sun comes back out.

Pros and Cons

Pro - Scooter would cost less than half of what I could make selling my car, so we could give away the difference.

Con - Not having a second car would seriously stink on days that it is raining.

Pro - Scooters use Much less fuel, so our monthly fuel cost would decrease

Pro - Scooters don't cost as much in insurance or anything on tags, title or license riders

Con - People in cars have been known to text (eat, apply makeup, read the paper, etc.) while driving, and this could be hazardous to someone vulnerable - like on a scooter.

I'm drawing a blank. Help me think of other pros and cons. Is having a second car a Luxury or a Necessity?

I went to Carmax yesterday to get my car appraised and they offered me close to what I expected, if not a little more. I have spent the week praying about this decision and am trying to imagine myself riding this scooter in the dead of winter while teenage boys drive by throwing empty cans at me. On the other hand, it is difficult not to imagine myself on a sunny Spring day with the gentle breeze blow--HARRRGG! *cough, cough* - I just swallowed a wasp.