8.One gallon of regular unleaded gasoline here costs no more than 2 dollars (3.35 Yuan per liter). Let's say my vehicle runs a maximum of 2,000 miles (3,200 km) each month and consumes one gallon of gas every 20 miles. That is to say, 100 gallons will be needed and fuel cost will be no more than 200 dollars each month, 2,400 dollars each year.
From the details mentioned above, we can see that the expenses of keeping my SRX will be about 3,896 dollars per year, 325 dollars per month, accounting for 7.8% of the average monthly income, and naturally occupying a lower percentage of my monthly income. In my article Real Shot: Americans Lining up for Free Food, you may feel puzzled when seeing the photos of many Americans with decent cars coming for free food. It may be understandable if you know the fees of having a car. The average monthly income of 6,000 Yuan in China is the equivalent of one fifth of that in Virginia, but the fees of keeping a car in both regions are the same.
Some would counter that, with low insurance fee and no parking fee, Virginia is not so representative. For example, the insurance expenses in the capital, Washington, are much higher and parking fee is also charged there. However, I will counter that by pointing out the fact that high living expenses are always accompanied with high incomes in America. Let's take Washington for example. The parking fee is 20 to 30 dollars for one day and the insurance expense two to three times as much as that in Virginia. But the average income in north Virginia near Washington is also much higher than the income of the whole state. For example, the average income in 2013 is 63,125 dollars, 658 dollars higher than that in Connecticut in 2014 (the state with the highest average income in the USA in 2014). In this case, a job that earns USD 100,000 in Washington can only provide you with 50,000 to 60,000 here, but the living standards are the same in both places. The digits alone indicate nothing. Only the ratio of income and expenses in the same place can show the whole picture of the USA.
In recent years, China's economy has sustained a rapid growth and people's living standard has also been remarkably improved. However, the ratio of income and expenses of cars indicates that the latter cannot match the title as the world's second largest economy. Only a country with rich people can be veritably strong.