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Old 02-18-2012, 06:06 PM
bipolardave bipolardave is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 379
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashedd View Post
I start a new job tomorrow.. I will be driving 50 miles round trip about 60/40 highway/city. In a year we may move even farther away from work. So I'm thinking of what kind of commuter car I would want.

.....

whatcha think?
I'm curious as to why you think you need another car to commute? I understand our infatuation with MB diesels, but not always the economics of spending money to try to come out ahead. Indulge me and let me play devil's advocate by running numbers through my head.

You're getting about 20mpg right now, no? For that $2000 at $4/gallon diesel you're going to be able to go about 10,000 miles at a cost of $.20/mile exclusive of repairs, tires, insurance, etc.

Now, what happens if you take that same $2000 and buy a car in order to get 40 mpg. For the sake of argument, we're going to have to make the unrealistic assumption that it runs perfectly and won't need *any* work.

How far have you driven? 0 miles.

In order to travel those same 10,000 miles at 40 mpg and $4/gallon fuel, you're going to have to spend (10,000/40 x $4) = $1,000 on top of what you've paid for the car.

At this point, the cost of operating your current car is $.20/mile while the new one is running $.33/mile. Again...this assumes no insurance, repairs or maintenance.

But at this point, you're still a thousand dollars behind the cost of running the old car. You're going to need to drive another 5,000 miles or so to break even.

In a nutshell, if you're driving 50 miles round trip per day or ~ 12,500 per year, then you're going to have to keep it for at least that long before it starts paying for itself.

Actually, that's not so bad and within the realm of possibilty assuming that it's a perfectly running car and that you find what you're looking for in your price range.

Now, imagine if you were in the market for a Prius at $25k or, heaven forbid, a Volt at $40k and tried to make the math work compared to what you have now.

That break even point can almost be measured in decades. Yikes!
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