Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forFebruary 26th, 2011 | back to home

26 February 2011
Filed under:Call for help,Personal at3:29 pm

Having lived quite successfully without a car for more than 40 years in a variety of cities well supplied with public transport, a short but particularly transport–unfriendly commute is starting to make us think of getting one. But there are so many decisions to consider. Can someone point us to some resources which can help? Better still– if a friend reads this who can advise us could you get in touch?

The rough parameters are these:


  • should be unglamorous but practical and seat four (5 door)
  • would be used for a daily commute of 7.6mi (12.2km) each way in city traffic plus a limited amount of weekend use (long-distance highway use is unlikely)
  • should be as green as possible, though of course that gets us into a thicket of considerations– electric versus hybrid versus economical diesel and then a life-cycle analysis for the components etc
  • Purchase method:
    Ideally, we would like a method that did not commit us too much as we are not sure we will actually want to keep a car and/or might not like the one we get. Hence we might consider leasing instead of buying or getting a cheapo used car we can dispose of easily (though choosing a used car is such a minefield again we aren’t sure where to begin).

    Any suggestions? Now I know how technophobes feel when purchasing their first computer…