Car economics, have you worked it out?

Started by Greg, August 09, 2023, 10:43:44 AM

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What does each mile you drive in your car cost you?
Contentment is knowing that you're right. Happiness is knowing that someone else is wrong.


There can be a lot of variables also.  I had some friends back in the 1990's who had two "old wreaks", a late 60's VW bug and a Rambler Gremlin.  At any given point in time at least one of them was running ;D.  The husband had carpool and transit options for getting to work if needed.  These cars were mechanically basic (no computers) and were easy and relatively inexpensive to repair.

About once a month the family would travel to Portland (OR) or Spokane or Seattle (WA) from eastern Washington state.  As they didn't trust their "wreaks" for travel of 200 miles or more they would rent a car.  They were Western Rite Orthodox and part of the trip was to attend those services (only the eastern Divine Liturgy was available in our town) as well as do shopping, see attractions such as a museum, and eat one meal at a nice restaurant.  In one of the towns they had relatives to stay with, but otherwise they could find an inexpensive motel on the outskirts.  They did a family camping trip once a year, or which they rented a larger rig to carry their gear.

This family could easily have afforded a new or newer ride but offered this explanation: When one figures the cost of a new/newer vehicle and the near instant depreciation, sales tax (in WA), insurance (if you have collision coverage the premium is based on the car's value), license tabs (in WA these are based on the car's value) they were saving a lot of money, and as they rented frequently they received preferred rates.  The savings largely paid for their monthly weekend outings and they had the bonus of always having a newer comfortable car for the long road trips.


Our family has always had used cars but as a woman who has no mechanical ability whatsoever and who doesn't want to constantly worry about "what if I break down", I prefer a newer certified pre-owned Toyota Camry. My current car is a 2017 and I'll drive it until it gets to around 200,000mi or starts to rust.  It has around 63,000 mi. now.   

Hubby has a 2005 Toyota Tundra with 220,000mi.  No major repairs so far.  He probably would have turned it in by now but he was working from home full time for two years due to Covid and now they only require him to be in the office 1-2 days a week with a 35 min one-way commute so he's not putting much mileage on it now.

I can't believe that guy's yearly registration fee!  Over $300....I pay $37 annually. But maybe he lives somewhere with no state income tax?  I would hope so.


My son is disabled so the road tax on my 1999 Previa is free otherwise would be £280 about the same as the registration fee.  Then we have an annual safety inspection called an MOT which is another $70.

My Outlander is free because it is an electric plug in hybrid.

Insurance is $900 per year for both cars and myself and Mrs Greg covered fully comp but with a high excess (I would never claim for myself, I'd get some Bulgarians to repair it were I to crash, so really the insurance is third party)

My father used to by a new car and keep it till it fell into very poor condition.  Amortised over its life this is not a bad deal either.
Contentment is knowing that you're right. Happiness is knowing that someone else is wrong.


 To trade in now is soooo much more expensive than it was pre Covid.  To top up with a cash sum plus trade in would only get me a younger car by 2 years whereas it used to be, that for same top up and trade in I was able to get a 4 years younger car.
 I just got my timing belt, flywheel and clutch done on my current car so I expect to get another couple of years on my now 9 year old car and the next time will be a 5 seater. 
Insurance for me €450 plus car tax €280 plus diesel weekly €60, repairs this year were huge €1450 +€350 rear axel problem (can't name it) which is probably the most I've ever spent on repairs in 20 years.  Normally repairs come in around €300 per year.


The trick I have found is to print up 20 flyers and put them on cars you are interested in buying when you see them and write down reg and number in your diary.  Eventually someone calls you who just wants an easy sale and you lowball everything.  Offer 2000 for a car that would sell privately for 2500
Contentment is knowing that you're right. Happiness is knowing that someone else is wrong.


Here in the backwoods Frau H and I get by with a 2013 Chevy Tahoe. We both can either walk or ride a bike to work. Mass is 45 minutes to an hour. Low maintenance, gas, insurance. We rent a truck for long road trips.
Schaff Recht mir Gott und führe meine Sache gegen ein unheiliges Volk . . .   .                          
Lex Orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.
"Die Welt sucht nach Ehre, Ansehen, Reichtum, Vergnügen; die Heiligen aber suchen Demütigung, Verachtung, Armut, Abtötung und Buße." --Ausschnitt von der Geschichte des Lebens St. Bennos.


We are needing to get a newer, larger Car/SUV soon.

We have two cars, sedans, both Toyotas. One is 32 years old, the other is 20 years old.

The older is likely going to need some exhaust work done, but runs like a charm.

The newer, I need to find the time to take to the shop.

We do not want to pull the trigger until ideally December 2023 or later. Prices are still too high due to pandemic related price gauging.


We ended up getting a 4Runner.

It will last as at least 15 years, ideally 20-25.

Was able to throw a lot of money towards it as we won a small jackpot off of a scratcher.