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Old 05-28-2008, 01:42 PM   #1
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Cost per month NOT mile

i was thinking about how shallow Americans can be. we often talk about cost/mile on this site. well how can a non-hypermiler relate to that when he/she doesn't even know the MPG of his/her car or how much the last fillup per gallon of fuel was.

and since many people often buy a vehicle to match what monthly payment is "affordable", instead of total purchase price, why not put the cost of owning a vehicle in those terms. stay with me, 'cause after i did some figures it gets insane...

for the sake of disclaimer, the following figures are very general and can vary greatly:

let's take a used SUV with a monthly payment of $500. now, add to that 4 $100 fillups, again for a month. lastly, let's assume a $100 per month insurance rate. again, this is very crude, but it comes out to be $1000 per month cost of ownership WITHOUT even considering maintenance!

for this member, that is financial suicide to say the least. here are my personal figures: $0 car payment, $70-75 in gas, $35 insurance for a grand total of $105-110 per month(estimated). others could be paying potentially 10times(or more) what i am in monthly cost of ownership!

this may be obvious to some, i just haven't owned a new vehicle in quite some time. and i haven't owned a guzzler for even longer. so, i didn't realize what those owners are going thru. if this info was realized by "guzzler" owners perhaps THIS would be more significant than the price of fuel alone in influencing future purchases.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:57 PM   #2
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0/month car 50-60/fillup/week gas ?/insurance. 60 x 4 = $240 just in gas

not including the $250/month truck payment (driven <10miles in the past month)

and I try not to even think what my wife does as far as gas. honda element $400/month payment

insurance for all is $120/month


yea, when you think about it, it does hurt
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:31 PM   #3
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There are times I try not to think about it.

It would actually be cheaper for me to dump my BMW and drive the SUV full time.

BMW 475/mo payment 147/mo insurance
SUV 0/mo payment 53/mo insurance

So if I were to sell the BMW I would have an extra 569/mo to spend on gas for the SUV. Which at my current monthly driving habits means I would be saving money by dumping the BMW. And in fact gas would have to be 7.53/gal for me to break even in the SUV (the point at which I am spending the amount my BMW costs to own in gas for the SUV).

And if you treat the 569/mo as the amount that the BMW has to save me in gas, I would be saving money driving the SUV up until gas is $21.1/gal.

The flip side that I am not factoring in is that the car payment is going towards a residual value of the vehicle, where as the gas is being spent.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:10 PM   #4
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43 car insurance and about 60 in gas if gas is 4 a gallon, so i pretty much is right at 100 a month, no car payments
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:46 PM   #5
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Edmunds.com has a total cost of ownership calculator that's fun to play with. Probably won't take into account the recent plunge in residual value of big vehicles though and the buoying up of small car values.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:15 PM   #6
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Everyone I know who is my age or close (I'm 22), ALWAYS, and I mean... ALLLLWWWAAAYYSSS pesters me about driving a "busted old Saturn". I just tell them the exact scenario you've all mentioned above and they shut up pretty quick.

These conversations usually take place at a bar or restaurant, where I'm ordering higher quality food or drinks, say steak and rum, compared to the "pester-er" ordering a burger and a beer.

Gotta love it. It's all about quality of LIFE.... not necessarily quality of PORTRAYED life.

For those of us who aren't so materialistic that we need new cars and trucks, we reap many benefits.

my figures are:
Insurance $104/mon (I have a HORRIBLE driving record... pre finding this website) and about $80-90 in gas. So for me it's around $200/mon.

I recently talked my best friend into selling his '02 Sentra SE-R and getting out from under the car payments. He bought a Mazda 323 and is love no car payments, cheaper insurance, and 30mpg!
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:56 PM   #7
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For me, the lease, insurance, maintenance, and gas on my VW are paid for almost entirely by the gas savings over driving my truck. While I am paying more per month in predictable scheduled costs to have both vehicles than I would to just drive the truck, the aging truck requires repairs on a regular basis when I drive lots of miles, and in a few years I'd need a whole new expensive-to-buy gas-guzzling truck.

The car lease is effectively buying a few more years of life for the truck, preventing me from having to replace it, as well as giving me something to drive when the truck is in the shop.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:55 PM   #8
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That was my justification when I was about that age in buying an old 1940s vintage All-Grief-And-No-Merit gas range for $20 rather than spending several hundred for a new stove...I could eat steak rather than noodles, drink Guiness rather than Ralph's Plain Wrap.

Let's see...0 car payment, +/- $75 per month in upkeep on two cars (oil, tires, repairs, etc), about $400 in gas/month (about 100 gallons between two cars), 105/mo insurance (2 cars).

I have a 90 mile daily commute, and my wife likes to go to LA many weekends...

Thinking about moving closer to work...but even then would still probably have to drive 20-30 miles a day at least, and have to drive a lot farther to go shopping...don't know if there would be a net gain or if it would be a wash...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Project84 View Post
Everyone I know who is my age or close (I'm 22), ALWAYS, and I mean... ALLLLWWWAAAYYSSS pesters me about driving a "busted old Saturn". I just tell them the exact scenario you've all mentioned above and they shut up pretty quick.

These conversations usually take place at a bar or restaurant, where I'm ordering higher quality food or drinks, say steak and rum, compared to the "pester-er" ordering a burger and a beer.

Gotta love it. It's all about quality of LIFE.... not necessarily quality of PORTRAYED life.

For those of us who aren't so materialistic that we need new cars and trucks, we reap many benefits.

my figures are:
Insurance $104/mon (I have a HORRIBLE driving record... pre finding this website) and about $80-90 in gas. So for me it's around $200/mon.

I recently talked my best friend into selling his '02 Sentra SE-R and getting out from under the car payments. He bought a Mazda 323 and is love no car payments, cheaper insurance, and 30mpg!
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:31 AM   #9
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hopefully no one that drives a large vehicle took offense when i started this thread. it's just that i see(and talk) to a lot of people in my occupation. many don't see cost/mile, but rather sit down and look at their bills on a monthly basis.

this thread was just an observation and not meant in any way to criticize owners of trucks, SUVs, or any other large vehicles. at least two of those types of vehicles do serve a purpose in certain situations. those that are struggling financially however, shouldn't complain about these gas prices if they are commuting in one of them.

too bad the contrast in cost of ownership of vehicles is not reported in the news. hey, maybe i'll call around to some different media oulets to see if they're interested in "my story." what do you all think?
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtieguy View Post
those that are struggling financially however, shouldn't complain about these gas prices if they are commuting in one of them.
Those that are struggling financially generally feel stuck in whatever they have. If they have a dependable but inefficient vehicle, they're afraid to trade it for a more efficient vehicle of unknown dependablity; that doesn't seem to bother a lot of people on this forum, who often manage to get hundreds of thousands of miles out of a $500 car, but it's one of the top concerns for most people. Then there's also people who need a big vehicle sometimes, but still do most of their miles commuting.

Quote:
hey, maybe i'll call around to some different media oulets to see if they're interested in "my story." what do you all think?
I think that's a great idea. It could really help to make people think critically about their options and choices.
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