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SUV/Econocar Package Deal

Buy an SUV, get an economy car at no extra charge
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A lot of people who want an SUV for weekend use might otherwise be willing to drive a small economy car to work. The problem is that the overhead of buying and owning two cars is prohibitive. Even buying a very low-cost 2nd car involves paying double registration, insurance, repairs, etc.

The solution is a special 2-vehicle package: buy the SUV and get the economy car at no extra charge. Furthermore, the deal would include being able to register both as a unit and insure them both at no extra charge. I picture a very small 2-seater econo car for commuting to work. Maybe it could even fit into the back of the SUV for storage.

To keep insurance and registration costs down, the cars would be rigged in such a way that you could only drive one of them at a time, like maybe both cars are controlled by the same CPU that is detachable and can be moved from one to the other and plugged into the dashboard and it would keep cumulative mileage and other stats for both.

flarosa, Jan 26 2003

GM Autonomy http://www.edmunds..../48581/article.html
Concept car with replaceable bodies [krelnik, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       A couple of months ago, there was a television commercial that aired here in the US for either a Cadillac Escalade or Chevy Avalanche (Sorry, my recollection is imperfect.) In this ad, the huge SUV and a small red sports car were both looking for the last parking spot in a jammed parking lot. Solution: The SUV pulled in first, and the cute little sports car parked inside its convertible pickup bed.

This seems exactly like the symbiotic relationship [flarosa] describes in a good two car household.

I think a lot of us already use the two, or three, or more, car approach to our personal life styles, so the only real issue is how to ensure for the purposes of insurance and road taxes that a specified owner/driver is only occupying and utilizing one vehicle at any given time. As soon as someone can deliver the non-duplicatable key for multiple ignition locks, or the non-duplicatable but easily interchanged distributor, then the problem is solved.

I think you're onto something here, [flarosa].
jurist, Jan 26 2003
  

       I don't know about you all but I can only drive one car at a time.
bristolz, Jan 26 2003
  

       [bristolz] As I read flarosa's idea, that's exactly the point she's making. You only drive one car at a time, but you may own two or three to perform different functions at different times: A fancy sedan to take your spouse and friends to dinner or impress an important client; A practical mini-van to collect the week's groceries and ferry the kids and their teammates around to their after-school events or an economy car to commute to work; A pickup to handle the construction and gardening needs around your home, or to pull the horse trailer to the summer house. Since we're only using one car at a time, why not insure and register them in a way that reflects that useage pattern?
jurist, Jan 26 2003
  

       Sigh.
bristolz, Jan 26 2003
  

       Er, was that the sound of free-range sarcasm that just went whizzing past my ear? I think I need to get a new battery for this darn hearing aid before I become a menace.
jurist, Jan 26 2003
  

       In my defense, it's only conspicuous when one insists that the cars be new and shiny and, perhaps, insured excessively against damage or loss; It's merely practical if you only insist that the vehicles perform their function reliably, are not an outright embarassment, and are only insured for liability.
jurist, Jan 26 2003
  

       So, I can count on you to roll around with that nice Lexus sedan of yours next time I need to bring a load of manure over from the garden center? We'll make an afternoon of it! It'll be fun.(Yes, I know the ferry toll is going to be steep. But as Conspicuous Consumers we're not going to let that get in the way of a good time.)
jurist, Jan 26 2003
  

       Two cars, here. One large-ish hatch (SAAB) for family use, not very economical for the daily commute (27 miles each way). One old banger with a dirty great LPG tank in the boot (not much use for family). Neither car is less than ten years old, so the rationale is entirely practical. (Note: LPG is about half the cost of petrol in the UK).
egbert, Jan 26 2003
  

       And therein you've defined the original point. Different tasks require different tools, some of which are vehicles. It doesn't make sense for me to rent a pickup or hire a dump truck and crew several times a year over the course of several years when I can own either or both for a total outlay of only a couple of thousand dollars (US), and not be inconvenienced by having to work within the contractor's time schedule, his work ethics, his business practices, and his imagination. Especially if this is a task I have to do repetitively...every year, every season, every month, or even more frequently.

I'm not really trying to make a big deal out of this, but if you and your wife were to visit me at the ranch one day, for example, and we decided to go out to a nice dinner, I'd feel a good deal more comfortable taking you in one of the Mercedes or BMW's than in the hay truck, even though all are capable of traversing the distance to town and back. Does that make sense?
jurist, Jan 26 2003
  

       Surprisingly, that brings us back almost full circle to one of the original points [flarosa] made. Since space in the average household is at a premium and the cost of these things is very important to the average user, but the needs of the household are various, it would be a good thing if consumers could buy "a special 2-vehicle package"..."a very small 2-seater econo car for commuting to work" that might "even fit into the back of the SUV for storage."

I can live with that...And both UB and Mrs. UB are welcome at any of my dinner tables at any time. (Do leave the infants at home, though, OK?)
jurist, Jan 26 2003
  

       Whether a farmer was married, single, divorced or widowered, a Ford Pickup and Chrysler New Yorker would be a typical Rancher's quiver of vehicles where I hail from - Dustville.
Granted, urban sprawls aren't as conducive to space for even one extra vehicle per every x number of inhabitants, *but* insurance costs are exhorbitantly greater within the confines of large cities such as Concreteburg, where I now reside.
With Insurance being the necessary evil that it is, and social status (e.g. construction personnel in all it's guises - can't be sitting clients on a bag of nails/can of paint, unless, of course, they owe you money) not always on par with utility of vehicles, many urbanites *do need* to have two vehicles, but as bristolz - bride of a car collector indicates, one can drive but one vehicle at a time. Multiple vehicles can be currently covered under umbrella policies - which aren't really that at all, but rather, separate policies with separate, and outlandish monthly/annual fees.
There is great incentive for consumers, but little, save for potential savings in rental reimbursements vis-a-vis heretofore unmentioned stipulations of - until reparations are made - temporarily substituting second vehicle for daily use in event of loss/repair of damaged/totaled vehicle in this proposed idea, to rectify "losses" for Insurance companies.
thumbwax, Jan 26 2003
  

       Thumb, that was one hell of a sub clause.   

       My sub-text was agreement with the idea. I would love to be able to insure either/or, as I'm the only driver in our family, but insurance companies won't do it because it's just not worth their while to do BOGOFs.
egbert, Jan 26 2003
  

       General Motors has been talking up a concept car in the last year called "Autonomy" that has its electric drive system contained with in a sled-like frame, and which allows the upper body of the car to be swapped out. Although this doesn't quite fit the original idea of SUV + teeny tiny commuter car, it would fill the need several mentioned of a presentable sedan vehicle plus a work vehicle like a pickup truck. See link.
krelnik, Jan 26 2003
  

       Or you could just cut out the "middleman" and give everyone cars like in Inspector Gadget.   

       Go Go Gadget Soccer Mom!
rapid transit, May 18 2003
  
      
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