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  #21  
Old 04.09.2011, 18:56
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

For a family of four, with three drivers, we have 3 cars (four if you count the Panda with the dead tranny in the back yard), six motorcycles (seven if you count the one currently unregistered as I'm rebuilding it), and a moped!

Oh, and I walk to work, as does my elder daughter (the other one takes the bus).

Tom
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Old 04.09.2011, 19:12
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

For me the equation is very simple:

Driving to the vet hospital: 30 minutes.
Public transport to the vet hospital: 2 hours, no transportation after midnight.

In an emergency 1.5 hours can be the difference between my mutt surviving and dying.

It doesn't matter how much cheaper public transportation might be; the cost of driving a car is worth every penny, if only for the once in a lifetime you need to make that run.

---

Car vs public transportation is about much more than cost. One can only decide what makes sense given one's individual needs. I just thank doG that here in Switzerland we have the choice of two good alternatives.
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  #23  
Old 04.09.2011, 19:31
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

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For me the equation is very simple:

Driving to the vet hospital: 30 minutes.
Public transport to the vet hospital: 2 hours, no transportation after midnight.

In an emergency 1.5 hours can be the difference between my mutt surviving and dying.

It doesn't matter how much cheaper public transportation might be; the cost of driving a car is worth every penny, if only for the once in a lifetime you need to make that run.

---

Car vs public transportation is about much more than cost. One can only decide what makes sense given one's individual needs. I just thank doG that here in Switzerland we have the choice of two good alternatives.
for that one time, you can simply call a taxi or ask the neighbour to borrow a car if it is an emergency.

for me it doesn't work out cheaper. the GA is something like 300 per month. car petrol is already more than that without having to figure in depreciation, parking and insurance costs etc.

other points:

- can sleep on the train
- can be drunk on the train
- takes less time (choose to live near to a major station) than by car
- one less thing to have to maintain/insure/think about

i think the main benefits of a car are:

- convenience (no timetable)
- can get to remote places
- can carry shopping and other stuff
- can carry passengers at little marginal cost (friends/family visits)

i doubt very much that a car would be cheaper than rail for a single person, and maybe not even for 2 people.
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Last edited by Phil_MCR; 04.09.2011 at 20:03.
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Old 04.09.2011, 19:36
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

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the GA is something like 300 per month. car insurance is already more than that
Huh?

That's more than what I pay for my car and 6 motorcycles COMBINED!

Tom
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Old 04.09.2011, 19:58
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

and train tickets will go up again 7% . read it somewhere today.

Also my car can cost me 10x more I will nnot take the train. I hate it with a passion and all the other people on it ....
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  #26  
Old 04.09.2011, 19:58
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

during my first few months here i found that i would be paying as much to the rental car/mobility car duo as if i made a lease for around 400 CHF/month, so I decided to buy a car. i use public transport for work, but the car is still paying for itself (i.e. shopping across border or family trips to mountains or nearby cities)
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Old 04.09.2011, 20:03
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

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Huh?

That's more than what I pay for my car and 6 motorcycles COMBINED!

Tom
whoops. it must have been petrol costs or something. i tried to work out the same for me a couple of months ago.
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  #28  
Old 04.09.2011, 20:17
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

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Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but it seems cheaper and way faster. Am I wrong?
Nope, there are of course situations where this will be the case and then I understand that demonstrating that, you will be able to claim tax relief on your car as transport. The rail system is good but it cannot be everywhere for everyone and thus some will always be better off using their cars.

Very interestingly as well you can see the carbon footprint and time and costs on the SBB website if you click on the details button under any planned trip. Very interesting reading.
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  #29  
Old 04.09.2011, 20:21
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

Here are here for only 11 month. We decided not to buy a car. It is an 8 minute walk from our apartment to my office. My wife bikes to the grocery store every other day or so. My son takes the bus to school (paid by the commune). We bought "cartes demi-tarif" for the bus/metro/train which we use for occasional shopping and for weekend trips. One month down, 10 months to go. So far so good. I don't miss having a car.

Oups, I forgot to answer the question "Where's the savings". Never mind the insurance, the maintenance, the petrol etc., if I buy a car I will have to sell it next July and there is a high risk that I will loose a lot of money in the "buy in a hurry, sell in a hurry" process.
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  #30  
Old 04.09.2011, 20:22
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

For the car you forgot

Insurance
Registration
Maintenance fees (service, tyres, etc)
Depreciation
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  #31  
Old 04.09.2011, 20:52
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

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I commute from Basel Land to Zurich Kloten daily, and all things being equal I would much rather take the train and just chill out. However its an extra 30 mins and so it makes sense to drive it in.

In terms of costs, the train would be much cheaper. Fuel, insurance, road tax, tyres, servicing and 40,000 km worth of depreciation a year versus CHF 3600 for an annual GA
You omitted the huge tax advantage with a of deduction 26,000chf as your costs to get to work. I like working in Geneva for the same reason!
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  #32  
Old 04.09.2011, 20:52
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

It seems really boils down to one's situation - for single it will most probably always cheaper to take the train. But for family it is really rare to see a family without a car. I know there are exceptions, but I still believe it is minority (or would family without car here please voice out?!

On another note, I am wondering whether to drive a car is somehow a symbol that you have gradually integrated well in the local Swiss society. In this area of mine, I always see most of the passengers of public transport are foreigners (and of course those young people still in school regardless of nationality - let's put that aside)....For a typical swiss family, you will drive a car at some point of your life. Or is this observation just mainly on outskirts (i.e. out of cities)?

What do you think?
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  #33  
Old 04.09.2011, 21:03
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

Owing a car here costed around 500 CHf per month, if you include parking, unfortunate repairs, gasoline, fees, payments, etc.

500 x 12 = 6000

I have an anual train ticket for 1800 CHF

Adding to it, I don't have to worry about traffic jams direction Zürich. I can also read a nice book during the 1 hour trip, or sleep some extra 30 min. I can relax and do nothing, which is not possible while driving. The trip to work with the car is 40 min. Plus an eternity to find a parking place. I prefer to lose 20 min and not having to worry about it.

It also gives peace of mind. You don't need to worry about the car getting stolen/ damaged/ a fat bill of repairs because of a lamp blowing up.

I miss it when I need to go shopping or in the night. But the sparing is a 2 way ticket for 2 adults to visit the family for X-Mas, with a bag full of presents.

It's all about choices.
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  #34  
Old 04.09.2011, 21:45
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

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You omitted the huge tax advantage with a of deduction 26,000chf as your costs to get to work. I like working in Geneva for the same reason!
maybe save even more tax by living in zurich instead of basel
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  #35  
Old 04.09.2011, 22:19
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

I live up in the hills above Thun, so the bus leaves every 30 minutes and travels down a windy, steep road where it goes less than half the posted speed limit. 20 minutes later I'm at Thun Bahnhof, but the S1 doesn't leave for 15 minutes, so I wait. The train ride takes 30 minutes, so add it up and what is a quick 25 minute drive (I don't have to go through Thun and I exit before Bern) is a hour plus journey. It would make sense for people in the limits of larger cities like Zurich, Geneva etc I guess.
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  #36  
Old 04.09.2011, 22:20
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

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I live up in the hills above Thun, so the bus leaves every 30 minutes and travels down a windy, steep road where it goes less than half the posted speed limit. 20 minutes later I'm at Thun Bahnhof, but the S1 doesn't leave for 15 minutes, so I wait. The train ride takes 30 minutes, so add it up and what is a quick 25 minute drive (I don't have to go through Thun and I exit before Bern) is a hour plus journey. It would make sense for people in the limits of larger cities like Zurich, Geneva etc I guess.
you could move house or get a bike/scooter for the downhill leg.
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Old 04.09.2011, 22:21
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

Again I want to preface that I am comparing based on the fact I bought a used car and I have basic insurance. It cost me 600 CHF for the year.
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  #38  
Old 04.09.2011, 22:24
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

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Again I want to preface that I am comparing based on the fact I bought a used car and I have basic insurance. It cost me 600 CHF for the year.
i think there is a small zone where this can make sense. for example, for long distances, it will be cheaper by train.

for short distances it is easier to walk or go by bicycle.

i guess where you are just that bit further than you would want to go by bike, then it could work out financially. although i guess that an older car can give you unexpected repair costs etc.
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  #39  
Old 04.09.2011, 22:26
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

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Again I want to preface that I am comparing based on the fact I bought a used car and I have basic insurance. It cost me 600 CHF for the year.
The problem with that is when the car gets a problem *knock on wood* repairs are usually quite expensive here. You can take a look at the myriad posts here about people paying 960 CHF to change a lamp... That's what will make the anual price much higher

I live in, as I like to say, the ass of the world, in the outskirts of Zürich. I also need to wait about 15 min in between trains. But, hell, just not having to go through the same situation as I had 2 years ago, of losing control of the car because the street was completly iced, I'd take the train gladly... I found living in the "mountains" (mine are still quite small though) is a pain when you drive in winter...

But I was born in a place that kept snow away from me till I turned 23
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  #40  
Old 04.09.2011, 22:29
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Re: Car vs SBB: Where's the savings?

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I live up in the hills above Thun, so the bus leaves every 30 minutes and travels down a windy, steep road where it goes less than half the posted speed limit. 20 minutes later I'm at Thun Bahnhof, but the S1 doesn't leave for 15 minutes, so I wait. The train ride takes 30 minutes, so add it up and what is a quick 25 minute drive (I don't have to go through Thun and I exit before Bern) is a hour plus journey. It would make sense for people in the limits of larger cities like Zurich, Geneva etc I guess.
Nope, not just on the limits, from where I am, I can commute all the way from Basel to Zurich very close to an hour limit. No way I could do that by car.

Really it is not just either/or. It is a complex equation about more than just cost. What about environmental factors, tax, risk, stress, etc.?
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