The costs of running a car and the joys of cycling

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by johnnyb47, 10 Jun 2019.

  1. bigjim

    bigjim Guru

    Manchester. UK
    I don't want to go back to the unreliability of older cars. yes you can fix them yourself, but I don't want to mess about at the side of the road in the pouring rain adjusting points or spend Sunday mornings servicing them. Modern reliability is, IMO, a godsend but I think it got over complicated after the 90s. 90s car were the pinnacle for me, especially Japanese.
    dave r, MichaelW2 and johnnyb47 like this.
  2. MichaelW2

    MichaelW2 Veteran

    I remember when this would have been of interest to the Top Gear team and they would have dispatched Angel Rippon to investigate the scandal. Car designers are under no pressure to make cars easy to service because consumers don't care.

    My own solution to the cost of car ownership is a Car Club. I can take out the right size and shape vehicle when I need it.
    Cycleops and Andy in Germany like this.
  3. tyred

    tyred Legendary Member

    I think car design has gone in completely the wrong direction. Technology should have meant smaller, lighter cars with better space efficiency and fuel efficiency.

    Instead we've got bigger, heavier cars which take up more roadspace, have more performance than is ever needed in rear world driving which combined with heavier kerbweight means the potential huge increase in fuel economy isn't what it could be with a sensible engine and lighter weight. I wouldn't mind but they're not even much bigger on the inside.

    I was thinking about this walking home from work when I stopped to look at an example of the first generation front wheel drive Escort from the early '80s which happened to be parked in the street. It is not one of the cars which will ever win plaudits as a great piece of design and yet it looks surprisingly spacious back and front, easily big enough for 5 normal sized adults. From memory, they had a nice square, practically laid out boot and a feature of most cars of that era - deep windows creating a nice spacious airy feel inside. (Modern cars often feel claustrophobic to me.) A family car doesn't really need to be any bigger than this. Yet it seemed so small compared to the modern cars parked around it.

    I suppose the other problem is that people have got bigger - sadly, many of today's teenagers are so fat you'd struggle to fit two of them in the back seat of an original VW Beetle and yet that was part of Dr. Porsche's original design brief - a car big enough for for Mum and Dad and two teenagers. I don't suppose there were many obese teenagers in pre-war Germany so it probably wasn't considered.

    Are the car manufacturers responding to what their customers want or are they driving the need to sell bigger cars and unnecessary features?
    MichaelW2 and johnnyb47 like this.
  4. Johnno260

    Johnno260 Über Member

    East Sussex
    I think many of the issues with the size increase is crumple zones.
  5. Vantage

    Vantage The dogs chew toy

    Yep. Crumple zones. Airbags. Side impact protection beams. Sensors for reversing and parking. Cameras for the same. Sensors for engine management, abs, traction control, cruise control, auto braking and driving etc. It all has to go somewhere in order to make the vehicle safer for its driver and occupants.
    And then the owners go and drive like utter nobs knowing that they are protected. Boll**s to everyone else.
    I do dispair.
  6. ren531

    ren531 Senior Member

    Lancaster uk
    I drove HGVs for more than 30years, i find it hard to believe i used to drive about 70,000 or there abouts miles a year i was an owner driver for 9years, thankfully my CPC is due to expire and wont be driving HGVs again not driven them for a couple of years anyway, wagons have gone the same way as cars massively complex instead of simplicity, never drive cars either if i can help it, cycle commuting rocks :bicycle::dance:
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2019
    bigjim, johnnyb47 and raleighnut like this.
  7. Shades of.... the old 504, otherwise known as the workhorse of Africa
    bigjim likes this.
  8. Crankarm

    Crankarm Guru

    Nr Cambridge
    Well I for one do NOT miss older cars. Build quality was terrible, they were unreliable, not knowing if you were going to make it to your destination, especially British old bangers and they were filthy dirty and inefficient. You only have to be out on a sunday morning ride in summer to be reminded of how bad cars were when you are gassed by old duffers passing in "classic cars" spuing out no end of smoke and toxins polluting the air. I prefer to breath clean air. I don't want to feel ill as I ride my bike, coughing my guts up because some w****r still has their choke out from starting up their old banger. Fuel used to have lead in it otherwise petrol engines wouldn't run. Can you believe it!!! In cities it was deadly even worse than it is now. So while modern cars are a lot more complex having modern electronics and engine management systems this means engines are far more fuel efficient and have much lower dangerous emissions. This doesn't mean vehicle emissions aren't still a problem, they are. And there are issues of congestion, etc which have always been there. Cars are also far safer for occupants and other road users.
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2019
    Smokin Joe, PK99, dave r and 2 others like this.
  9. delb0y

    delb0y Guru

    Quedgeley, Glos
    Work is a 140 mile round trip, so a car is needed for that. Hobby number 1 is playing in a band - lots of guitars and amps and stuff - so a car is needed for that. Hobby number 2 is fishing... when I was without a car for a few years I managed to go fishing the way we used to as kids (tie rod to cross-bar, etc) but it ruled out the rivers more than a few miles away. So, really a car is needed for that.

    But, all that said, I can definitely see a time when, post retirement, I might rethink the hobbies, just to avoid a car. We'll probably keep one (the wife has one) but two would be a cost too far. I do have a motorbike, and I wouldn't be adverse to a trailer on the pushbike!

    It's certainly all worth thinking about. By then, there may be other shared service models out, anyway.
  10. cyberknight

    cyberknight As long as I breathe, I attack.

    Land of confusion
    Well last few days im glad i have the option to dive to work if i need, its been binning it down steadily since Sunday evening and the roads i use have floods etc . no such thing as bad weather when cycling ? ppft sometimes its pays to get somewhee without looking like a drowned rat .
    If i went for public transport it would take me 2 + hours and a connection + a 1 mile walk , taxi is a no go as i cant guarantee finish time . all to cover a 20 min drive/ 35 min ride .
  11. wheresthetorch

    wheresthetorch Dreaming of Celeste

    West Sussex
    I see what you did there! :okay:
  12. Every now and again someone asks how much our Bakfiets cost, and pulls a face when I tell them.

    Then I ask how much it cost to run their car last month...
    raleighnut likes this.
  13. Lee_M

    Lee_M Veteran

    You just have the wrong sort of car.

    Mine is brilliant, great fun and easy to fix 20190311_073030.jpg
    raleighnut, tyred and Paulus like this.
  14. oldfatfool

    oldfatfool Veteran

    Sorry, used to love the capri, 1.6 ls, 2.0 laser and 2.8i special but all of them were much more polluting individually than a dozen new cars put together. Leaded petrol sir, no problem. Slow, uneconomical and rusty. Still enjoy a new car, though new technology can be a pain, like acc that faceplants you into the windscreen at 60 mph if you happen to come upon a cyclist and don't switch it off in time.
  15. hoopdriver

    hoopdriver Veteran

    East Sussex
    It was ever thus. Many years ago, way back in 1936, E.B. White wrote a wonderful essay in The New Yorker titled Farewell to Model T - a sort of elegy to the simple days in his youth (he was born in 1899) when anyone could repair an automobile and you mail-ordered your spare parts through your Sear & Roebuck catalogue. And now we have bicycle shifting going electric - just try repairing that in your backyard on a sunny afternoon with the radio on and an open beer beside you...
    Vantage and raleighnut like this.
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