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December 29, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Three years ago tomorrow, I got a new car. Thus, today marks the end of three years of service. I got back an hour ago from a short outing with Joel, and I don’t anticipate going out again, so I can now calculate my annual — or monthly, or daily — usage over this time period. Yes, I know that this is of no interest to anyone else, but here goes.

The odometer reads 11,640. Dividing by 3, we find that I have averaged 3880 miles per year. And dividing that by 12, we find that I average 323 1/3 miles per month.

The thing is, I made a half-day round trip to Vancouver in the car’s first month, and since then two overnight round trips, all on university business at the University of British Columbia and each involving about 300 miles of driving. These trips distort the numbers. Subtracting 900 from the total, I find that I’ve done 10,740 miles of driving over three years, or 3580 per year, or 298 1/3 miles per month. That’s more like it.

Let’s just call it 300 miles of driving per month, or about 10 miles per day. Not much, huh? It helps that my drive to school is just over 2 miles. And it would be less if I didn’t have to drive all the way past campus to get to the appropriate entrance, then double back to get to the parking lot. At this rate, my car should last, well, I suppose pretty much forever. Its predecessor lasted two months short of 15 years, at which point it had about 76,000 miles on it. It could have kept going, but for the first time, it required an expensive set of repairs, and it had only one airbag, the standard driver’s airbag. I missed out on a front passenger airbag by one model year. Gail reminded me of its absence regularly. That car too might have lasted forever, but we decided to replace it. Maybe when my current car hits 15 years, there will be some standard and obvious safety feature that it will be missing.

Tomorrow we’ll celebrate the car’s third birthday. We have no special plans for it. Perhaps we’ll get a cake for ourselves.

Categories: Automobiles
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