January 23, 2013

2012: Car ownership busts the $10,000 bar

For years the estimate of how much it costs for the average Canadian car has been hovering below the $10,000 mark.  According to a reliable source (the Canadian Automobile Association – not exactly biased against the car), it has bust through:



According to data from Canadian Automobile Association and Globe Drive research, the average annual cost to own and operate a vehicle is $10,452 a year. This figure is based on the cost of running a 2012 Toyota Camry, 18,000 km a year, with the cost of gas set to $1.23/litre, with regular maintenance and repair.

More here.


Which helps explain this:

THE CHANGING WORLD OF CAR SHARING: “Turning would-be car buyers into renters”

From Grist:

… corporate car-sharing services, though positive steps toward reducing emissions and dependence on car ownership, are only nominally about “sharing.” They’re really just a more streamlined version of car rental, with better apps and more options for pickup and drop-off.

The bigger impact Zipcar and its brethren have made is empowering true peer-to-peer car-sharing services, like RelayRides, Getaround, and SideCar, which allow car owners to rent out their vehicles when not in use. These operations don’t put any new vehicles on the road, and they funnel money back into the community by turning would-be car buyers into renters helping offset their neighbors’ car payments and insurance bills.

They also address what Alex Steffen calls “surplus capacity” – the amount of time a perfectly good object or appliance sits idle – among existing individually owned cars, saving resources down the road.

More here.

Posted in


If you love this region and have a view to its future please subscribe, donate, or become a Patron.

Share on


  1. Almost 900 a month and that doesn’t include the taxes you pay to keep a garage on your property. That you may or may not use to provide shelter for the car, or the parking costs you incur, the increasing likelihood of tolls. But it’s worth it so you can slowly commute to work privately, albeit on a congested highway, avoiding other people until you are forced to walk on same sidewalk with them, to get to your office. It’s a generational addiction and my kids have already seen sustaining our addiction or to use a more gentle phrase auto dependence as a pointless and expensive phobia.

  2. The problem with this is that after the initial upfront costs have been paid, there is little reason not to drive. Buying a vehicle is a 10 + year commitment to drive, insurance and registration are 1 full year commitments. Seeing the pictorial, it appears that these account to ~55% of the total driving costs. After these have been paid, the other 45% (fuel) is only enough to deter some from driving, but as a percentage of what one is spending on a car, it doesn’t make sense not to drive.

    This is what I think is one of the biggest problems that we must face if people are to switch to other modes, like for a month. It seems like it divides people vividly between those who drive, and those who don’t.

    Thankfully, there is car-co-ops instead of buying and pay per mile insurance is coming.

    1. This is why I love robotaxis: by extending carshare to the ‘burbs they help undermine personal ownership. And the flipside to your sunk cost case is that the carless walk more than they expected to.

  3. Regarding p2p carsharing, I emailed ICBC when the first San Fran service came out. No plans to permit that here, they said.

    After the uber debacle, I`d expect nothing less from our policymakers.


  4. I found this out a few decades ago. I had a fairly low income at the time but still didn’t question the “need” for a car. I got a used one for $150. It was fun but I had to buy stuff for it. It needed a new part. I was trying to find a used part and even that I couldn’t afford. I couldn’t afford to plate it so I was driving without a license and without registration for awhile.
    I was feeling down about not being able to afford the missing part and a friend said to me “Don’t you know? Cars are things that just always want money.” It all became clear to me then. It will always be this way even after I get this part. It will always want money that I do not have.

    I’m glad I now live in a city where I have other choices.

  5. Car shopping can be very time consuming. There are plenty of cars you
    can look at, as well as a handful of factors to consider.
    You need to make sure you are aware of what you need to make
    it a better experience. Consider the following helpful advice for making things easier on you.