Owning a car costs more

By Meghan Hurley
September 16, 2005

In recent years, car prices in America have been steadily rising, creating turmoil for drivers. This inevitable climb is causing Americans to ask the question, “Does the need for transportation outweigh these rising costs?”

A popular trend, especially now with the rise in gasoline prices, is for people to trade in their gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient automobiles. The irony of this is that the money saved with better gas mileage is almost equivalent to the extra money a consumer would pay for the new car. Unless a consumer is drastically changing their car, say from an SUV to a two-door Honda Civic, the savings will be minute.

When shopping for a new car, Maureen Cooper, a senior elementary/special education major, said, “The base prices of the cars seemed reasonable at first, but after adding in all the extras, the prices soared beyond expensive.”

There are many reasons for this gradual increase in the prices of new cars. Rising steel prices, new emission norms and increasing input costs are all causes of these new, higher prices.

According to rediff.com, the rise in steel prices is due to higher freight rates for the iron ore, coal and fluxes. These are the components of steel and with their prices increasing, the price of steel will rise right along with them.

Rediff.com also reports that there are new emission regulations for each car that have to be met. That means large investments from the car companies for these new technologies are being made. This also adds to the overall pricing of the car.

Also, according to rediff.com, there is a significant rise in other input costs. Rising inflation has led to the prices of many raw materials used in car manufacturing going up. Other rates that are rising as well are interest rates, employee salaries, advertising and distribution.

Marty Shea, a sophomore English/Communications major, took public transportation all through his high school years. When asked if he wanted to get a car now that he was in college, Shea said, “I am too broke to get a car.”

The car prices keep rising and with insurance, taxes and the ever-climbing gasoline prices, cars are becoming more of a financial burden than a convenience. In the future, Americans are going to have to look towards public transportation and other, less-expensive, means of transportation when traveling.

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Meghan Hurley

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