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  1. #1
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    The true cost of driving a car

    I am amazed how much it costs to operate a car! I bought a used 1993 Volvo 240 wagon in 1995 for $17,000 (it cost $25,000 new). I drove it for 7 years and put 160,000 miles on it. Guess what was the total cost to operate this car? I was shocked. Over the seven years, I had a little notebook where I entered every expense except gas, which is easily calculable. I entered insurance, oil changes, repairs, parts, tires -- everything. It cost me approximately $50,000 to go 160,000 miles, which works out to 28 cents a mile, after deducting the current trade-in value, which is around $4,000. I underestand the average new car (according to the car rental companies) is 43 cents a mile, so I guess I got off cheap. The old Volvo is still going strong at 200,000 miles, but I use it less now a days and bike more. I have an old Trek I ride around town to go to the bank, post office, meetings, work, etc. In a year, I will put more than 500 miles on the Trek for this kind of non-recreational riding, operating in only a 5 block area. The fat cats in town, driving their Lincolns, think I'm a bit strange. I made a bet with my father-in-law, who drives a big Caddy, that I could beat him to the bank front door on my bike. It took me 3 minutes to ride up to the bank front door. Ten minutes later, he was still trying to find a parking space for his big hawg.

  2. #2
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    Originally posted by trmcgeehan
    I am amazed how much it costs to operate a car! I bought a used 1993 Volvo 240 wagon in 1995 for $17,000 (it cost $25,000 new). I drove it for 7 years and put 160,000 miles on it. Guess what was the total cost to operate this car? I was shocked. Over the seven years, I had a little notebook where I entered every expense except gas, which is easily calculable. I entered insurance, oil changes, repairs, parts, tires -- everything. It cost me approximately $50,000 to go 160,000 miles, which works out to 28 cents a mile, after deducting the current trade-in value, which is around $4,000. I underestand the average new car (according to the car rental companies) is 43 cents a mile, so I guess I got off cheap. The old Volvo is still going strong at 200,000 miles, but I use it less now a days and bike more. I have an old Trek I ride around town to go to the bank, post office, meetings, work, etc. In a year, I will put more than 500 miles on the Trek for this kind of non-recreational riding, operating in only a 5 block area. The fat cats in town, driving their Lincolns, think I'm a bit strange. I made a bet with my father-in-law, who drives a big Caddy, that I could beat him to the bank front door on my bike. It took me 3 minutes to ride up to the bank front door. Ten minutes later, he was still trying to find a parking space for his big hawg.
    I'll buy that. The info, not the car....
    Last edited by Paige; 10-14-02 at 06:44 AM.
    All right partner, keep on rollin' baby, you know what time it is....

  3. #3
    Senior Member fofa's Avatar
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    hey you make some good points, so to reduce the cost per mile you need to drive more right? The more you drive the less per mile cost, unless you got a lemon, then your repair cost go up!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Stor Mand's Avatar
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    That's about average or maybe a little above average driving miles for 7 years. My briother-in-law does that in a little over 2 years . As long as it is serving you well, keep driving it.

  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    The two cars in my three-driver family each get driven about 4K miles / 6.5K km per year. I am sure we pay more per mile than an average two-car family, but our total annual transportation outlay is relatively low. I buy my cars new, maintain them scrupuously, keep them about 20 years, avoid car loans and leases, and minimize short trips and cold starts.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  6. #6
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by trmcgeehan
    I made a bet with my father-in-law, who drives a big Caddy, that I could beat him to the bank front door on my bike. It took me 3 minutes to ride up to the bank front door. Ten minutes later, he was still trying to find a parking space for his big hawg.
    We recently got bike racks on our buses. I was truly excited! Now I had more power as a cyclist to boldly go where no cyclist had gone before.

    On my first test run, I pulled up to the bus stop only to see the bus pulling away. "No problem," I said to me (I speak to myself often,) "I'll make it a full commute."

    After a tall hill, I found the bus stopped to pick up more passengers. I decided to pass the bus. Then, I passed a long line of cars. I forgot about the bus.

    Six miles later, at Kensington Station, the same bus finally caught up with me. "Too late," I thought, "this is the end of the line for that bus. I guess I made a good choice by missing it."

    I suppose I can still use it as a "sag wagon" should I get weary of riding, but it will never be faster!

    (My apologies to MARTA. I'll always respect you, but my bike has my heart!)
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  7. #7
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by John E
    The two cars in my three-driver family each get driven about 4K miles / 6.5K km per year. I am sure we pay more per mile than an average two-car family, but our total annual transportation outlay is relatively low. I buy my cars new, maintain them scrupuously, keep them about 20 years, avoid car loans and leases, and minimize short trips and cold starts.
    Aw, c'mon, John!

    It's got nothing to do with, "...our total annual transportation outlay is relatively low."

    YOU JUST LOVE BIKING!

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  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    You mean people who drive actually have to pay for it?

    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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