As gas prices continue to rise, it’s hard not to get irritated at people who tell us that Europeans pay more for gas than Americans do so we should be grateful. It’s difficult to be grateful when you are coping with unexpected bills for a taken-for-granted pleasure like using a car. Slate Magazine recently offered a new perspective on the cost of driving. Few of us realize that gas costs less now as a percentage of the cost of maintaining a car than it did in 1975. In that year gas was 33 percent of the cost of owning a car, now it is only 17 percent. Insurance, registration and maintenance costs have all gone up far more than gas prices have. Does it make us feel any better to know that even at four dollars a gallon gas is still a bargain? Perhaps not, but it’s a mantra we can repeat to ourselves as we pump our gas in the hope that it will ease the pain somewhat.
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