Scooters: not just for old, balding men
In September 2006, I sold my beautiful car (1989 Mazda 323). Okay, fine. She was a piece of crap, but she was my piece of crap, and I loved her. But I needed to sell her. She was one of my biggest expenses, and I wasn’t driving her enough to justify paying $80/month for car insurance. I worked downtown, so most mornings, I got a ride into town with my Mom, who worked in the building next to me.
I bought my lovely car in 2003 for $1800, and sold her 3 1/2 years later for $1600. Not too shabby, eh?
So what was I going to use to get around the city? I purchased a scooter! Better fuel economy, and way cheaper insurance – I couldn’t go wrong! So I ended up buying a 2005 Yamaha Vino 50cc scooter for $2200, which only had 34km on it so it was practically brand new.
A month later, I got a new job in a different municipality – which translated into a 45km roundtrip commute every day. If I still had my car, I’d have to either 1) drive to work every day, or 2) buy a bus pass for $60/month. 4 months into my job, and I can’t say that I love riding my scooter in every day, but for the money I’m saving, it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Let’s do some math, shall we?
- Price difference between car and scooter: $600
- Price difference between annual insurance: $540 (from $80/mo to $35/mo)
- Price difference for gas if I had to drive my car to my new job: $180
- TOTAL SAVINGS: $120
So even though my scooter was more expensive than my car, it’s already paid for itself in just 4 months. A big bonus is that because my scooter is new, I haven’t had to do any repair work on it. With my car, I could count on spending at least $800 annually to fix something.
I do plan on buying a car again in about a year, but I’m definitely going to buy new, and drive it until it falls apart. My dream car is a Mini Cooper. The price tag is quite steep, and I may not be able to afford it if I end up having a mortgage to pay for, but I’d rather drive a car that I’m in love with for the next 20 years, rather than an ugly Yaris that I hate. However, that’s a long time away, so we’ll see!
Countdown to pay day: 3 days. Hoorah!
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.