That less-than-attractive, somehow-still-working car in your driveway? It seems just ripe for a trade-in for a more efficient and green vehicle. Then again, it might be better for your wallet, and the planet, to let it ride out its remaining life.
Photo by anselm.
Kentin Waits at the Wise Bread blog sums up some of the fallacies of thinking you'll save money, and environmental impact, by trading in a working but weathered car for a brand-new hybrid. As Waits writes, there's a lot to be said for the advancements in safety, but depreciation, insurance rates and manufacturing costs should weigh into the equation:
By some estimates, more than 25% of a car's carbon dioxide emissions come from the manufacturing process (this can include design, testing, building, marketing and shipping). Since my used car has already gone through the manufacture and transport phase, it produces no new demand for automobiles and therefore, no additional environmental demand. Even though it only gets 22 miles per gallon on a good day, driving it responsibly arguably produces less pollution than purchasing new. If going green is truly driving (pun intended) your purchase, this consideration should give you pause.
Read up on the rest of the arguments for keeping a clunker, then tell us about your own favourite beater, and why you keep it around, in the comments. If nothing else, you'll make my 2000-ish Nissan Sentra feel upbeat and affirmed.
7 Ways My Clunker Is Smarter than a Hybrid [Wise Bread]