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     According to 2011 statistics, there are over 253 million automobiles registered in the United States.  The figures include passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, and other vehicles. Just to put that into perspective, there are only over 314 million people in America. Automobiles on the road almost match our current population. That’s a staggering sum and disturbing thought.

     Most people do not sit to think about the real cost of a car, both monetarily and health wise. From gas money to greenhouse emissions polluting our air and worsening our health, a vehicle always costs a lot more than anyone takes time to think. Cars require gas, insurance, maintenance, taxes, etc., and these costs slowly drain us of money that could be useful in other areas of our life, such as buying a house or paying for college.

     Also, having a car and driving means spending periods of time sitting, especially for commuters. Some studies have shown that too much sitting is actually pretty unhealthy. Commuters take the worst of it because they are attacked with the stress of driving, from long traffic to road rage. Cars also have a social cost – driving is a solitary activity. When people drive, they are usually not socially interacting with anyone, many times running errands or completing other tasks. And if you take a look, many cars out there only have one person in them – the driver.

     Truth is, time is money. And all that time being spent waiting on traffic, or money spent on gas, could be used to do an activity you actually enjoy, relieve you from debt, to save, or even to invest. Do you honestly know how much you are spending on your car? If you haven’t thought about it, or haven’t figured out the whole sum yet, there’s a tool that will you understand the true cost of owning a car. The Edmunds Total Cost of Ownership calculator uses data to show the cost of owning a car for five years based on numerous factors. Check it out and leave your results bellow! 

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