One year ago I set out to reduce my gasoline consumption, so I bought a civic VX and drove my tundra as little as possible. I know some people compute savings by comparing actual consumption to EPA estimated rating for that car, but my approach is to compare savings from driving the VX versus the Tundra. Here’s how I did.
Total VX miles: 6,875.90
Fuel consumed: 172.67 gals
Tundra equivalent: 429.74 gals (at ave 16mpg)
TOTAL Gals saved: 257.07 gals
Fuel savings was computed for each tank of gas with an assumed 16 mpg for the tundra.
Dollar savings were computed for each tank based on the cost of fuel at the time and then compared to costs for driving the same distance with the tundra. (Gas has increased $1.00/gal from one year ago.)
Total dollar savings by driving the VX - $671.00
Now for the bonus. I get reimbursed for miles driven at work. I drove 3,526 miles at work over the past year at an average reimbursement rate of $0.52/mile. I’m assuming that 80% of those miles, 2,820.8, was driven in the VX. That equates to an additional profit/saving of $352.60 versus what it would have cost if driving the Tundra. (I figure it costs an average of 10 cents less per mile to drive the VX; $0.16/m for tundra vs $0.06/mile for VX at a gasoline rate of $2.50/gal.
There’s more potential for savings too. As it turns out, I only drove the VX about half my total miles driven all year.
This is in response to questions about factoring in capital costs, registration fees and maintenance costs in my calculations to determine if my VX purchase actually saved money. As far as I’m concerned, if I brake even each year, it’s well worth it because I’ve reduced my fuel consumption. Here’s how the dollars shake out.
Purchase Price: I paid $2,000 for the VX and put about $500 into it. Taxes and tags may have cost me $100, I don’t recall. The car still has monetary value (I could sell for about the same price), so I see absolutely no point in deducting the capital cost from annual savings. Depreciation is probably at rock bottom now. It can’t go much lower.
Maintenance costs cancel out between vehicles. I’m saving wear and tear on the Tundra when I drive the VX. I don’t have to change oil as often per year on the Tundra because I’m not putting miles on it, etc. Actually, it’s probably cheaper to maintain the VX than the Tundra, but not worth trying to calculate. I just call it even.
Insurance is by far the most expensive annual cost. My insurance increased by just under $300 annually. That includes the second car discount. I’m also not carrying collision insurance on the car because it’s just not worth it.
I live in a state where we pay personal property tax on our vehicles, but we also can deduct that on federal tax return, so that doesn’t get included in the calculation. Annual inspection costs $25 and every other year I have an emissions inspection at maybe $35.
So for those of you interested primarily in the dollar savings, that how I did in the first year. There’s plenty of potential for additional savings too. I drove the Tundra 6,446 miles last year while I owned the VX. I need the truck to pull my boat, but there’s still a potential to drive the VX 3,000 to 4,000 more miles than what I did this first year. That equates to 75 to 100 gallons or $225 to $300 at today’s prices. I think if I get the a/c fixed, I’d drive it more often in the summer.
Don’t forget the fun factor either. I really enjoy driving the VX and my back has never felt better. I love the seats. You can’t put a price on that!
I agree, are you saving money, but shouldn't the goal be to save fuel? This is perhaps a more broad point; sure money is a motivator, and if it costs more to save fuel, does that make sense? Some would say yes. I'd say if you break even it absolutely worth it, for many reasons.
And besides, having a second vehicle costs more, but it's a great thing to have. If one needs inspection/registration and you can't afford it that week, drive the other. If one is broken down, etc.
Glad to hear you could put more miles on it too. Keep up the good work!
Yup, I didn't mean to rain on anyone's parade, I was just curious. I like to know how it all works out.
For me it's mainly about money and about the hobby, though I understand how others can be motivated by other factors. So, that in mind, I like to know how it really works out for someone so I'll have more data deciding if something will work out for me.
Having an extra vehicle definitely has its advantages for being able to park one and drive the other. I do repairs that I don't know how to do or am not equipped to do quickly, taking my time because I can still get to work every day. I'd have to pay someone else to do the work in a hurry if I depended on one vehicle.
yea i think no matter what the cost its nice having a second vehicle, especially when your working on one then realize your totally out of grease or forgot a gasket at the store or something. not having to wait for someone to come home with a car or waitin for the bus or whatever you can just get in and go