‘Can you breed a car?’
That’s one Amishman’s two cents on the cost of driving versus ‘buggying’. They do an interesting cost-benefit analysis in an article at Amish Heartland. Guess which form of transport comes out on top?
New Amish buggy prices can vary a good bit, starting in the mid-1000’s and with some models reaching $3500-4000. Cheaper, more basic, as well as used varieties are available as well. (update: in other settlements, prices can be significantly higher. A buggy in Lancaster County can easily run in th $7-8000 range, as of 2010)
Buggy production time varies. I’ve bumped into quite a few Amishmen that make them on the side in their garages. Usually they say it takes around a month to do one on their own.
Then there are the full-time shops that make buggies to order.
Just as with cars, you can get the more basic models, or ones with all the trimmings, including plush velvety interior and surprisingly fancy-looking exterior molding.
But to stay out of hot water, better check that your Ordnung allows it first.
Horses run from around $1000-1500 up to the few thousands, depending on the make and mileage.
And as the aforementioned Amishman makes clear, as opposed to a Chevy or Volkswagen, horses can make more horses. “When you can get those cars to reproduce, then we’ll think about getting one.”
Very interesting link on comparative costs. The world of the Amish is much smaller geographically, so their necessary transportation needs are much less. I know people who commute 100km to Toronto every day. Obviously, that is going to be inefficient with a horse and buggy.
I would hate a commute like that. Some of the Amish I know, for example those with relatives spread around the big settlements, make trips of up to around 15-18 or so miles, which is nearing the max that a horse can do w/out rest. It takes around 2 hours for those long ones. Farther than that and a lot of times they’ll just hire an ‘Amish taxi’.