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Old 06-15-2009, 11:49 AM   #61
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I know our liabilty coverage premiums increased when we added a vehicle (same number of drivers). I asked why ("do you think I'll be driving two vehicles at once?) but didn't get a sensible reply.
Doesn't make too much sense unless there is a statistical increase in accidents for multiple vehicles?
On average, I wonder if multiple vehicles (even if you don't drive them both at once) correlates with more miles driven?
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:54 AM   #62
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I know our liabilty coverage premiums increased when we added a vehicle (same number of drivers). I asked why ("do you think I'll be driving two vehicles at once?) but didn't get a sensible reply.

Read Ziggy's response....

I will add to it that in Texas, they are insuring the CAR and not the driver... you tell them who the primary driver will be, but unless you pick a coverage that someone under the age of 25 can not drive the car (at least that is what mine used to say) then everybody who drives is covered... so all cars can be on the road at the same time...
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:33 PM   #63
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The immediate reason that comes to mind is: At least in most states I'm aware of, if you let someone who isn't a named insured borrow one of your vehicles, your liability coverage is primary if they cause an accident. So it is possible that all of your vehicles will be operated at once, and all covered by your liability policy.
That may be it. Generally, there is no vicarious liability for those driving your car unless they are running an errand for you, in which case vicarious liability may attach based on principles of agency. A minority of states have permissive use statues or "family car" statutes that can hold the owner vicariously liable for negligence of anyone driving with permission (permissive use) or any member of the household driving with permission (family car statute). Our state has the latter law, as long as the use is for the "use, pleasure or convenience of the household".

In any event, it sounds like it won't cost us more than a couple hundred bucks a year, since our current liability insurance isn't but $600 or so per year for 2 people.
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:17 PM   #64
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Hey, I don't want to muddy the waters, but this just crossed my mind. What happens to all the gas stations when the fuel economy improves to 35 mpg. Isn't it a given that they will be selling less gas? The only way to make up for the lost revenue is to raise the price/gal. Or a lot of them will go out of business because the return on investment won't be there. So well have these mega stations with 100 pumps. God, where will it all end?
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:43 PM   #65
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A quick check of what cars are in the latest definition of "clunkers", in regards to "Cash for Clunkers", can be seen at this link:

Is your car officially a clunker? Search the database
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:31 AM   #66
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I guess I should write my reps today to discourage passage of this bill. It is crazy.

$3500 - $4500 is a pretty big incentive. It will cause all sorts of behavior modifications, and they won't all be the intended ones. Here's an example:

What Congress 'wants':

Joe trades in his old low-mpg truck for a newer higher mpg truck. Congress acts like they made the world a better place.


What Congress may get:

Joe was also planning to buy a new reasonably high-mpg family car, to replace their old reasonably high-mpg family car (neither fit the "clunker" definition). Joe is a bright guy, so he:

1) "trades up" his old "clunker truck" for a new family car. Gets $3,500 or $4,500 of our money.

2) Buys an old truck similar to his old one, from someone who could not take advantage of the rebate (they can't afford a new vehicle). Or maybe one just outside the "clunker" category. IOW, there is really nothing to "tie" the clunker to the replacement.

In the end, nothing changed much mpg wise. Taxpayers are out $4,500. Used car market has less supply, so poor people are being hurt. That's the part that really stinks - I bet there are a group of poor who just need a car to get to work, or to the train station. Mpg isn't a big factor if you don't drive much, but the cost of the vehicle may be a deal breaker for them.

I guess it would increase demand for new cars (although in this case, Joe was going to buy that new family car anyhow), but if those new cars are replacing functioning old ones, is that really "good" for the country in the long run? We are just shuffling money from the people (taxpayers) to the people (people who bought low mpg cars), through the govt.

And of course, none of my family vehicles meet the proposed <18mpg combined rating. I am thinking about replacing some of these cars soon, it burns me to think that had I shopped for a lower MPG car years ago, I could be many thousands $ ahead. That's just great. As other's have said - rewards the 'bad' behavior. How about giving all us higher mpg car buyers some $ - wouldn't we use it to stimulate the economy?

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Old 06-17-2009, 09:36 AM   #67
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How about simply charging everyone who's car gets less than 18 mpg a couple hundred bucks a year? Use the proceeds to give a $1000 rebate to anyone who buys a car with gas mileage better than 28 mpg. Call it a "contribution to a green america" or something fancy.

Or maybe just charge a little extra tax on fuel to encourage everyone to conserve fuel in the manner most economical in their own personal situation.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:46 AM   #68
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How about just raising the gasoline tax? Maybe have some clause in the tax code to reduce that for businsess travel.

Can't beat a gas tax for a direct financial disincentive to drive a low-mpg vehicle.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:17 AM   #69
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Aiiee. My '93 BMW 525it work truck checks in at 19mpg combined. Missed it by that much!
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:21 AM   #70
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Yes, the fuel tax is the way to go, but politically it will never happen, right?

10 cents per gallon tax, and it goes up by 10 cents every month.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:24 AM   #71
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Can't beat a gas tax for a direct financial disincentive to drive a low-mpg vehicle.
Yeah, but this creates a conundrum for governments: the more people switch to efficient cars, the less they get in tax revenue. So the government has a conflict here: responsible consumer behavior costs them money.

I know Oregon floated a pilot program whereby you'd be taxed by the number of miles you drive instead of at the pump. This was in response to falling gas tax revenues because doggone it, people were being too responsible and buying fuel-efficient vehicles. Seems like good public policy: let's raise taxes on Prius drivers and cut them on Hummer drivers.

And I thought Oregon was a fairly "green" state...
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:30 AM   #72
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Yeah, but this creates a conundrum for governments: the more people switch to efficient cars, the less they get in tax revenue. So the government has a conflict here: responsible consumer behavior costs them money.

I know Oregon floated a pilot program whereby you'd be taxed by the number of miles you drive instead of at the pump. This was in response to falling gas tax revenues because doggone it, people were being too responsible and buying fuel-efficient vehicles. Seems like good public policy: let's raise taxes on Prius drivers and cut them on Hummer drivers.

And I thought Oregon was a fairly "green" state...
Agree - we were all going to have GPS tracking chips in our cars and pay tax on total miles driven. Dumbest thing proposed by an Oregon politician I've seen in awhile. Bizzarro universe stuff - should have been reported by The Onion.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:34 AM   #73
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Yeah, but this creates a conundrum for governments: the more people switch to efficient cars, the less they get in tax revenue. So the government has a conflict here: responsible consumer behavior costs them money.
But it accomplishes their primary objective AND nets a revenue increase. Primary objective reduced consumption of gasoline and the associated CO2 released as a result of combustion, plus all the associated pollutants (CO, NOX, SOX, VOC, benzene, etc).

It also solves a secondary objective - the amorphous "reduced reliance on foreign oil" - whatever that means since we have a world market for oil.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:45 AM   #74
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Agree - we were all going to have GPS tracking chips in our cars and pay tax on total miles driven. Dumbest thing proposed by an Oregon politician I've seen in awhile. Bizzarro universe stuff - should have been reported by The Onion.

One of the problems that people seem to forget is that cars traveling on a road will 'wear' it out... (the trucks are MUCH worse)...

SO, if you only tax the gas (which pays for the roads) and I drive a gas hog, then I am paying more for that road then the guy in the Prius... yet the 'damage' to the road is the same if we have the same weight car and tires....

I am being very general here... just throwing it out as an observation...
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:47 AM   #75
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SO, if you only tax the gas (which pays for the roads) and I drive a gas hog, then I am paying more for that road then the guy in the Prius... yet the 'damage' to the road is the same if we have the same weight car and tires....
How many gas hogs have the same weight and tires as a small car getting 30-40 MPG? There are exceptions, but in general the gas hogs are putting more wear on the road per mile.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:32 AM   #76
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One of the problems that people seem to forget is that cars traveling on a road will 'wear' it out... (the trucks are MUCH worse)...

SO, if you only tax the gas (which pays for the roads) and I drive a gas hog, then I am paying more for that road then the guy in the Prius... yet the 'damage' to the road is the same if we have the same weight car and tires....
Lighter cars (which are typically more fuel efficient) cause proportionately less road damage per unit of fuel tax they pay in general. Road damage increases roughly exponentially to the fourth power as vehicle weight (per axle) increases. So a suburban with roughly double the axle weight of a passenger car actually does 16 times more damage to the road versus the passenger car, while only paying approximately twice the fuel tax (based on the suburban's mpgs about 2x the passenger car's).

In any event, pavement wear by passenger vehicles is almost rounding error when it comes to pavement design for high class roadway facilities since heavy trucks account for virtually all of the pavement wear due to loading.

My understanding of the clunker cash law is that they want to help the environment (get clunkers off the road and replace them with high mpg vehicles) and stimulate the economy (get people to buy more new cars).
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:31 PM   #77
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But it accomplishes their primary objective AND nets a revenue increase. Primary objective reduced consumption of gasoline and the associated CO2 released as a result of combustion, plus all the associated pollutants (CO, NOX, SOX, VOC, benzene, etc).

It also solves a secondary objective - the amorphous "reduced reliance on foreign oil" - whatever that means since we have a world market for oil.
FUEGO caught the gist of my post. If you don't look at a gas tax as a revenue stream, but merely as a driver (so to speak) of "better" behvaior (driving less or driving more efficient cars), then a gas tax works.

There are other problems associated with it. But, on the surface, it seems a much better solution than paying people to buy newer cars.
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:51 PM   #78
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So why isn't it being considered? I assume politicians just know that it's going to be very unpopular.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:04 PM   #79
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So why isn't it being considered? I assume politicians just know that it's going to be very unpopular.
I think that is the answer. It will be viewed as a punitive tax, and people are going to notice it every time they fill up the tank. And for the 50% of voters that make below the median wage, it is going to hurt the most.

Obviously they could take the regressive edge off of it by refunding a flat amount as a refundable tax credit (a la earned income credit) in a revenue neutral manner. But you still feel the pinch on the margins each time you fill up your tank. But the extra pain at the pump is the exact reason why it would be so effective.

In contrast, blowing a couple billion on this clunker law makes it look like they are really doing something good for the environment AND the economy while helping out millions of Americans. And racking up another few billion in debt in the process.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:49 PM   #80
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The Federal Government has only been in the car business a few weeks, and look what bureaurocratic meddling in the free market exciting marketing programs they have already introduced!

Yep, lets's reward folks for buying only smaller cars; free choice, safety, and functionality certainly have nothing to do with most folks buying decisions. And the states certainly don't need the higher gas tax revenues that gas-guzzlers generate to pay for any of their own budget problems...

IMO, this is just another "feel-good" program (that we can ill-afford) that will have many unintended consequences; many good illustrations outlined above.
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