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The Isle of Man is a relatively small and unusual place in many ways. For example, the physical driving distances between locations is much shorter than many places. In the dozen years I’ve lived in the Isle of Man, I think I’ve only ever taken my car off-island once. Further, although crime is lower in some other parts of these Isles, crime in the Isle of Man is certainly lower than the big cities.

In a world where many products are built and traded on a global market, this offers some potential opportunity for local benefit. A degraded battery which limits the range of an electric car is probably a big problem if you live in rural Australia or USA, or even in the United Kingdom. There, a degraded battery which gives you a range of “only” 150 miles might be a problem, and the price of such second hand vehicles will likely reflect that: lower demand, and therefore lower prices.

But a range of “only” 150 miles is not a problem in the Isle of Man! That would be roughly enough to drive from Douglas, to Ramsey, to Douglas, to Ramsey, to Douglas, to Ramsey, and back to Douglas in one day. I’ve never driven back and forth from Douglas to Ramsey three times in a day! I can’t imagine ever needing to do so. Thus, I think there’s a great opportunity to benefit in the Isle of Man by buying cheaper second-hand electric cars with degraded batteries, because degraded range here is a much lesser problem than elsewhere.

In a somewhat similar vein, there are extensive reports in recent months of some models of cars being very easy to steal. That is likely to be a big problem where car theft is rampant. But in the Isle of Man, car theft seems to be relatively rare – and when your car is stolen, it might well be the Government that steals it.

The obvious solution, then, is to buy a car with a defect that would be a big problem in a “normal” location, but not a problem here:

Pirate Wires notices ‘a staggering wave of grand theft auto.’ It turns out that it is very very easy to steal a manual transmission Kia made between 2011 and 2021, or a Hyundai manufactured between 2015 and 2021. Post suggests that, contra journalists, the fault lies not in TikTok for spreading the word, and not with the auto manufacturers, but with the people stealing the cars.

I am going to go ahead and primarily blame the car manufacturers. This was spectacularly bad design. If you make it trivial to steal your brand of car without triggering the alarm, once word gets out a lot of people are going to steal your brand of car. I would like to live in a world where that is not true, and I’m not not blaming the people stealing the cars. I’m also on board with cops arresting people who steal cars to take on joy rides, and throwing whoever did that into jail long enough to make everyone think twice about such behavior.

Monthly Roundup #4: March 2023, ZVI MOWSHOWITZ