We haven’t had real protests in this country since the Vietnam War days. Other countries are much quicker to take their political discontents to the streets. In Berlin, symbols of Fat Cat wealth—mostly Mercedes, BMWs and Audis—have been going up in flames.
This year alone, some 138 have been burnt, double last year’s number. In the 2009 recession, 221 cars were cooked. The stink of burning rubber is prominent, as the arsonists try to send a strong message “against capitalism, globalization and gentrification.” But authorities don’t have a clear answer as to their motives.
One wonders whether the riots in England are related. There, the mob’s targets seemed to be shops, buses and the police, though some cars were burnt. Germany’s economy, once Europe’s leader, has had virtually no growth this year, and unemployment, particularly among the youth, is rampant.
In the U.S., we have no tradition of protest, really, or burning cars. We just let them sit in the yard when they break and go unrepaired. A recent AAA survey found that
one-fourth of Americans are ‘neglecting car repairs and maintenance’ because of the sagging economy. Specifically, one in four drivers could not pay for a $2,000 repair. One in eight would be unable to cope with a $1,000 repair bill.
And, of course, the longer they wait on repairs, the more they are at risk of breakdowns and much higher costs later. For the $2,000 repair, the survey found that 38 percent would need to use savings account funds, 20 percent would pay with a credit card, and 11 percent “would have to borrow money from their friends, family, retirement or home equity loan to pay for the repair.”
Over half the drivers said they are keeping their old cars—despite the low interest rates and deals now prevailing for new ones—because they can’t take on another financial burden.
Well, you know our answer to that one: Get rid of that clunker before it breaks, and find yourself a decent, serviceable value on DealFinder.
Have you ever found yourself without enough funds to repair your car? What happened next?