My daughter and her husband are extremely frugal. They have “delayed gratification” down to a science. A walk through their Military Base apartment early on AND their now, newly purchased home in rural Iowa reflects their desire to live green and unattached to STUFF.
Their first major purchase upon returning to the U.S.A., was a car. They purchased a USED Prius. In recent weeks, they have had to jump-start it four times. Most cars have a trickle-drain of power from the car battery…the clock is just one example. It appears, they are SO green in their driving (or lack of driving) habits, that they do not drive the car enough to keep a charge on their battery. Her husband put snow tires on his BIKE and peddles the 6-blocks to work every day. My daughter purchased a “flat-bed” trailer for her bike for the 3-block trip home with groceries. So, for the most part, their car leaves the garage only on Sundays for a 6-block drive to church.
Awareness of my daughter’s car issues got me to thinking about the complicated role VALUES play in the purchase of a vehicle. On the one hand, hybrid cars save gas but, only if you drive it. In the case of my daughter who rarely drives their Prius, I wonder if they will own the car long enough to realize a financial savings. Will the gas savings surpass the additional cost of purchasing a more expensive hybrid car…regardless of the fact that it was used? Share your stories of how your personal values effect your shopping habits when considering a big-ticket item such as a car?