Posted by Tim Stobbs on July 19, 2007
The Money Diva recently had a post on how much a car was costing her. It turned out to be a huge $8000 per year.
This got me thinking back to the number of times people have asked me why I don’t have a second car. I reply I don’t really need one and I’m barely using the first car. You see I get a ride to work most days and those few I don’t get a ride I take the bus. Why the bus? Well parking downtown will cost me at least $8/day plus gas and the bus with tickets only $3.40 round trip. Then my wife works at home so she doesn’t need the car. Overall I would estimate my car sits in the garage at least 3 days a week without moving. So you see I really don’t need a second car.
Yet MD’s post got me thinking how much is my car costing me. It was in the beginning a lease vehicle which we bought out. So overall lease payments and buy out cost me about $24,000. If I keep the car for ten years I estimate my average insurance cost will be about $1000/year and we spend about $1400/year on gas. I would then guess around another $200 on oil changes and let’s add another $400/year for other maintenance (ie: replacing a windshield, tires, etc).
Overall my operating costs and purchase would average about $5400/year if I keep the car for ten years. Ouch, that is a lot of money. Yet if I got rid of the car I would need to spend money on taxi rides and bus fares and road trips would be a problem to visit some of our family who don’t live near anything with bus service. So in the end you could likely save some money, yet what are you losing? I know some people who can easily exist without a car, while others just can’t manage it. It depends on where you live and what you use nearby.
Overall I’m going to keep the car, but I do now appreciate what it is costing me to keep the thing. So next time I drive somewhere I’m going to be a bit more grateful I have a car and stop taking it for granted.