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Jameson

Is a 2nd car for gas mileage worth it?

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Let's figure gas at $3.60 a gallon.

Current pick-up gets 17 miles per gallon.

Recently purchased car gets 27 mpg. It costs me $23.50 a month to insure the car as a second vehicle. $39.50 for tabs a year. Averages out to a total of $26.79 per month.

It costs 21 cents a mile to drive my truck. It costs 13 cents a mile to drive the car. I save 8 cents a mile driving the car. So, trying to make up for the extra $26.79, at $.08 a mile means it would take 335 miles a month driven on my second vehicle to make up for the $26.79.

Am I calculating this correctly? Did I forget to add in any figures? I figure the added maintenance cost for the second vehicle will reduce the maintenance costs for the first vehicle, so I did not include those costs in with the calculations.

Considering I drive about 1,000 miles a month, if I can do 1/3 of my driving in the car I would break even, while using less gas. Not bad.

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In your case with driving 1000 a month I would say it would pay off, as long as you have the room for the extra vehicle in your driveway. And the way it looks gas prices are only going up and not down anytime soon, so your numbers are only going to favor the extra car even more.

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The vehicle you chose for the second car will make all the difference. If you purchased a money pit it will eventually cost you more to maintain the vehicle that to just drive the first vehicle. Its a gamble especially with a used vehicle. Anything can happen at anytime. Exhaust, timing belt, fuel pump, radiator, waterpump, tires, front end parts, and brakes can fail at anytime and leave you with a fairly hefty repair bill. Choosing a known reliable vehicle can make all the difference!

In my case the first year is a wash to recoup the purchase price of the car. After that I am ahead $60-$80 dollars a month not to mention the 800+ miles of wear and tear I save on the truck a month.

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Not only would it benifit you in the long run. But in your case, you would use about 22 gallons less of gas a month. If you did this for a year, its about 264 gallons less of gas. Not a huge difference, but think of it if just 1000 more people out of all the people switched to a better milage car then you are talking 264,000 gallons of gas a year. And that is if only 1000 people thought this way. Just a thought!

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You don't come ahead, IMO. If you factor in the cost of the vehicle, you would have to find one for less than $2000 to break even.

Will it save on your truck????A little...but highway mileage is nothing for these new pickups. They can go hundreds of thousands of miles with little trouble.

The news did a story on it with Mopeds that would get 80-100 mpg. Driving that every day in the summer vs. a car, you would save about $1000 in fuel. The cost of the moped was $2000, and they didn't count in rain days.

If you had a truck that is paid off and could get a commuter car for cheap and have good luck, you may save a few bucks.

Or you could be thinking like 4wanderingeyes and think about how much gas and carbon you would save on the earth. \:\)

Either way you figure it, you pay up front and could save you a few dollars a month. Or you could continue paying just a few extra $20 bills a month and have nothing more to pay than you do now.

Am I missing anything?

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It's definitely not going to work out for every situation! I does for me, I am more than happy to have a couple of spare $20's in my pocket at the end of the month.

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Don't get me wrong airjer. If I could get away with driving a car, get one cheap, and had the knowledge like you do, to fix the problems with it........I would think the same.

It's the initial cost of the un-needed vehicle that throws a hook in it.

Then there is the point of, "why do I need this truck" for most people. If it's just to pull a boat.....is it worth it for the monthly payment??????

Think of it as an employer...would you want to pay one guy a little more because he can do everything well, or would you want to pay two wages to get the same amount of work done?

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 Originally Posted By: Roofer
...If you factor in the cost of the vehicle, you would have to find one for less than $2000 to break even...

heehee, $300 for the car. It needed brakes, but so will my truck sooner or later, and now that's later.

If you factor in the cost of the vehicle, aren't you assuming zero resale value? Heck, If I sell my car next year I think I'll come out ahead. On the moped example, it seems they were assuming the mopeds would have zero resale value in two years. That's hard to believe. I could see factoring in the deprecation of the 2nd vehicle, but then you would also have to factor in the depreciation saved on the first vehicle. Likely not an even trade-off, but a trade-off none the less.

Thanks for all the replies.

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You are right, I didn't figure in the resale, but it's money out of your pocket right now. I also didn't think of the depreciation on the truck, so that makes it a wash.

I think you have it all covered now. \:\)

I'm sure a good accountant could figure it out correctly.

For me, the truck and fuel is a write off. Either way I have to pay it, but I get some back. Now that the truck is paid for, I just have to deal with the high diesel prices. cry.gif

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I have 2 suv's and a pickup. I make so much money that I don't care about the fuel prices. Tongue firmly planted in cheek, but I do have what I said except the money thing. 97 S10 blazer, 2005 trailblazer (wife's truck), and 94 F150. I thought about going with an eco-car, but determined that what we use all of our vehicles for, that it wouldn't be worth it for just a commuter. Did the math, did not compute.

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There are a lot of things to consider, in my mind some of the biggest are the number of miles you drive, the likelihood of major repairs on the extra car (as Airjer correctly points out a crapshoot), and the fuel useaeg of the vehicles (one source for a guesstimate there is http://www.fueleconomy.gov which lists prior model year ratings for most vehicles).

I had a second car while commuting to law school, that was a no-brainer as I put over 60,000 miles on doing that. Saved my trucks a ton of abuse and a lot of gas for me. I'm thinking of getting one now, only because the gas price is so absurd and because this fall we'll have a new driver in the house so we'll need another car anyway. I'm thinking buy now and drive it all summer myself before I let him have at it this fall...

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I look at it this way. If you buy a car for $1000, you will probably put another $500 into it before you throw it away. Like Airjer I can fix it myself so it makes the choice easier. A $1000 car is a throw away, drive it til it blows up or you find another one thats better and dump it for $500. The more miles you drive it the sooner you recoup your $$$$

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I did this same thing 3 years ago. My $500 car is still going! grin.gif I usually get over 30 mpg's with it and I've put $150 into repairs, and some cheap 13" tires.I also took out a deer with the car, but it is still going! I've saved putting around 75,000 miles on my Toyota pickup as I figure why drive a 4wd truck up and down the highway just to get from point A to B and also suck unnecessary fuel? I'am definately glad I made this decision. There are alot of full sized trucks going up and down the highway hauling nothing and sucking gas, but people still do it and I will never understand it? confused.gif

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Lets just make sure that those $500 dollar cars are safe/fit for the road. I have no problem with those cars as long as the suspension is good, brakes are in good shape, and a good set of tires! If its not safe its not worth it!!

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I've looked into a commuter car on a couple of occasions when a cheap car was available, but in both instances it wasn't worth it when I ran the numbers.

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I actually got a great deal on the car. It has 205,000 miles on it now. The A.C. even works on it, but since the deer hit the car has a small hole in the radiator and starts to overheat when the A.C. is used. It has good brakes and is in need of two tires again. I'm happy to have had great luck with this car!

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Just think of how much money I could have saved if I would have kept my first car, which was a 1987 Ford Escort, 5 speed...... NAAAA, I'm actually glad I upgraded since then. ;\)

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 Originally Posted By: airjer
Lets just make sure that those $500 dollar cars are safe/fit for the road. I have no problem with those cars as long as the suspension is good, brakes are in good shape, and a good set of tires! If its not safe its not worth it!!

My thoughts exactly! Even though it is a beater, make sure it is safe to be on the roads before driving them on the roads!

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 Originally Posted By: jltimm
but since the deer hit the car has a small hole in the radiator and starts to overheat when the A.C. is used.

Are you sure the cooling fan is working?

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That's something I should check, but I'm not exactly sure what to look for other than the fan coming on when it gets hot? What could be the cause of the fan not running?

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as already stated it depends on the miles you drive and what you can get the car for. one of my coworkers bought a Cavalier for $800 so he could leave his Tahoe parked. he drives from Rosemount to Roseville every day so we figured going from 12MPG to 25MPG with all the miles he drives he would save enough on gas to cover the cost of the car in about 7 months.

I live 3 miles from work, so in all reality it doesnt matter what kind of mileage my vehicles get.

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I noticed no one is including the price of the "beater car". If you spend say $3,000 on a good beater and it lasts 20,000 miles and blows the engine, you have 15 cents/mile JUST for the purchase price. I can drive my 1t deisel for 27 cents/mile right now with no "main" vehicle costs as being xtra. It all boils down to luck with the "beater" and if you can do repairs yourself.

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Quote:
It all boils down to luck with the "beater" and if you can do repairs yourself.

In all reality, it can boil down to luck with your main driver too. My brother found that out the hard way, yesterday without any warning he had a rod bearing go on his car with only 128,000 miles. So there are no guarantees........

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