You're getting into the total cost of ownership. Maintenance, repairs, and insurance factor into a vehicle's cost along with fuel and oil. A vehicle that gets worse fuel economy might be more economical than one that gets great fuel economy.
FYI - This is on the roadmap for Fuelly. Basically we want people to be able to track all the expenses of your vehicle from fuel, insurance, maintenance, depreciation, financing charges, etc. The end result is your actual cost/mile.
I have a 2009 Toyota Prius and a 2010 Honda Odyssey. My Prius is worth less then the Odyssey but the insurance is 30% more expensive. This is because the small accidents that occur most often are more costly to fix due to the more complex nature of the hybrid systems. Both cars have been retaining their value fairly well but the Odyssey is doing better because these "family wagons" are hard to find used, the typical family buys one and runs it to the ground in 10-15 years so they hold their value on the used market quite well.
These two factors mean that the fuel savings from the Prius do not offset the other expenses and it's not really ending up being a money saver over other vehicles. I like the car a lot and am glad I bought the Prius but the fuel savings alone don't make it more economical to drive for me.
One thing to note in my situation is that I work from home so we put lower mileage on our vehicles then most people. Someone who drives A LOT would see more benefits from the fuel savings on the Prius.
I think most people would be horrified if Fuelly calculates the cost of everything. I kept track with my last car of every cost, like you said, tax, fuel, repairs, insurance, depreciation and it set me back £25,000 in total, that's around $42,000! Seems a lot as I only did 58,000 from new over a 5 year period, but cars are my main interest/hobby so as scary as it seems, im not too fussed.
That's why I like to buy used. The depreciation is typically less and registration and insurance or almost squat. Over here registration is based on a vehicles cost when new. Figure my 02 sierra was probably around $15-20k when new. Compare to the same "new" truck, I make out better there. Insurance for it is almost nothing too. Iv owned for 3 years, paid 3k for it and have just liability. Which is around 600 a year (my plan also includes two motorhomes). The way I see it is if I get in an accident the truck is pretty much throw away obviously depending on the amount of repairs. Either the other persons insurance will cover the cost or I'll repair what needs repairing to keep it on the road.
2002 GMC Sierra 4.3 (W), 5spd, 4x4.
Mods: K&N drop-in, modded air box, modded throttle blade, X injectors, Flowmaster 50 series, BBK underdrive Pulleys (3pc), e-fans, personal HPT tune.
It's horses for courses as they say, in the UK it's often cheaper to buy and run a newer car, modern cars are more efficient which means lower fuel costs and lower pollution tax (your GMC would cost about $1600 a year just to tax) and a newer car is more likely to pass the annual MOT test, the government test to make sure your car is clean and safe for using on the roads. Insurance doesn't really differ much, a car that's worth more isn't more to insure, my insurance is £270 a year, which isn't bad as i'm 27 with 3 speeding points and 2 accidents last year!
Feels that way sometimes, but cars registered before 1973 are free too. It is a factor some people consider when buying a car, but not everyone cares, its just an extra expense.
Just to "correct" you on this - tax on older cars has nothing to do with registration date ... it is when the car was manufactured. Date used to be pre 1973 (for free tax) , but I think you will find it is pre 1974 now ... and the govt "plan" is to move it a year , every year ... don't hold your breath.
Well yea, but most cars are registered when they are made, unless they sit in a showroom or museum etc. Yes they should have done that years ago with the date moving forward every year, a bit of common sense would be most welcome.
I guess as with most debates, it comes down to fuel costs. A diesel car has far more pro's than cons in Europe, road tax is lower, insurance is lower, servicing/maintainance intervals are further spread apart (generaly 2 years instead of once a year now) and diesel is $10.33 a gallon as oppose to $9.87 for gas so it pays for itself here. I estimate my current car to save me £2000 a year which is $3300, not a huge amount, but over time it can add up.
Wow, $9.87 per gallon. If you get 62 mpg in your vehicle, that is only 6.28 miles per dollar (62mpg/9.87$pg=6.28mp$). That is just a smidge better than the 6 miles per dollar (21mpg/3.50$pg=6mp$) I get in the US.
I don't know what Europe was like 20 years ago, but 20 years ago in the US my then pickup (same make and predecessor model to my present one) got 19 mpg, and gas was only $1 per gallon. So I got 19 miles to the dollar.
That was 1994 dollars, of course. If I translate that into 2014 dollars (inflation is about 36% over those 20 years), then gasoline back then would be $1.36 in 2014 dollars. So my fuel economy would be 14 miles to the 2014 dollar (19mpg/1.36$pg=14mp$)
So, all in 2014 dollars, my fuel economy of 20 years ago of 14mp$ is more than double my fuel economy now of only 6mp$, in fact by a factor of 2.3.
So. although my new vehicle is much better (technologically) than its predecessor 20 year ago, my fuel economy (in miles per dollar) is much, much worse.
I am not better off than 20 years ago (regarding fuel economy.)
I chalk that failure in fuel economy (in miles per dollar of fuel) totally up to government policy -- a rabid and illogical hatred by environmentalist in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against drilling for oil.
I think in Europe, there isn't much, if any drilling for oil in your own backyards, even if it is naturally oozing out of the ground. Here in the US we are near drowning in proven oil reserves, yet drilling for it is impeded by our government at every turn. I don't have any doubt that left to the market place, we could have $1 per gallon gasoline again.
Yes, when you compare the cost, 1 hours minimum wage in the US will buy you 2 gallons roughly yes? In the UK, minimum wage buys just under a gallon, big difference. I don't know about 20 years ago, I was only 7 years old, but even 10 years ago when I first started driving, fuel was only 88p per litre. Not sure how that translates with inflation/exchange rate etc, but it's gone up by about 70 or 80% in the last decade. It was supposed to be going up again this Month I think, but the government changed their minds I think.