I think we have found the solution to the getting rid of my car dilemma.
We were speaking with a neighbor this past weekend that drives a Vespa as his only vehicle. He is kind of like myself in that he works from home or locally and his wife still owns a perfectly good late model car. She commutes to work daily, while he is left with only his scooter. He was telling us all about it and how it costs him about $120 per year for insurance and about $4 a month in gasoline. And I would be using it even less because he has to drive to work on it, while I work only from home. That means I could still have complete mobility to meet friends for lunch or dinner, still pick up stuff at stores that are a little further away than I could walk to, and not feel like I was trapped at my house waiting for my wife to come home with the car.
These scooters usually range from $2,000 all the way up to $7,000 or so, and I found a cool one from Vespa that is about $2,900 new. So I am sure I could get one used for much less. While the guys on real motorcycles will probably not want me to join their gangs, I am confident that they will not laugh too hard at me.
I guess trading off a car that costs us over $700 a month for a scooter that would run us about $14 a month (we would pay cash for the scooter up front, no sense in financing such a small amount) would be a huge savings. Shoot, for that much extra money a month I could take an additional day off a week and only work 4 day weeks. Except I wouldn’t, as putting another $700 a month into our retirement or savings account would pay off BIG TIME in the future.
Now I guess the next step is for my wife and I to come to grips with the fact that we should sell our Mini. It only has 9,800 miles on it and we love it, but the fact is that it sits unused for 90% of the time. We have talked about keeping it and selling my wife’s car, but she loves her car and does not feel comfortable driving the Mini daily. Plus, we are planning on starting a family soon, and a Mini is not exactly a proper baby transporting system. Also, her car is paid off, meaning we would not have a car payment at all then. Total for transportation costs between the two of us per month would be about $160 for gasoline and insurance for both vehicles. Plus, it would be one less car polluting the environment! That is not bad at all. Thoughts? Experiences with scooters? Any comments are more than welcome!