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Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-25-2007, 03:34 AM   #1
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Auto Costs Estimated

My deal with cars is never buy new, never buy at a dealership, never carry a loan, and always sell existing cars in the paper. This mantra has consistently allowed me to spend about 2-3k every 3-5 years on cars.

Ex) My last purchase was a 9k jeep paid cash. Drove for 5 years. Sold for 7k. Next bought a Discovery for 12k. It's been 3 years. Might sell for about 10k.

But, for budgeting purposes, including fixes, oil changes, and depreciation....what should I figure? Not including gas. Gas is easy to judge.

My gut says: $150/month

Am I high or low?

- Shabber
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-25-2007, 04:42 AM   #2
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

Look at Consumer Reports for used car maint costs.

http://www.edmunds.com/ will give you wholesale/retail value of used and new cars. It looks like edmunds has a true cost of ownership feature. Looks new. I did not see any info available.


Here is a car for you... plenty of room http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do.../photoId=37913
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-25-2007, 02:14 PM   #3
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

Shabber,

You must live in an area where the used auto market is very inefficient. Or you add some sweat equity to the car you buy. Buying for $9k, driving for five years and selling for $7K would be very difficult to do in my area. The only time I've been able to do something like you describe is when I've had an "insider" position on the purchase, like buying from a relative where I know the car and the relative just wants to get rid of it quickly. But bargains in the newspaper or on the internet are quickly snapped up by semi-pro's for resale.

I'd allow more for depreciation than you because your luck may not hold up.

Maintenance costs vary widely depending on what you own. My latest used car is a 2000 Civic I picked up 1.5 yrs ago. So far, no expense other than oil changes and a set of new wiper blades. If you buy used and it turns out the car had hidden suspension problems and you wind up replacing the front end a year or two after you buy it......hee, hee.....you're going to way above your $150 month estimate.
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-25-2007, 11:34 PM   #4
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

Well I budget $400 a month for repairs and a replacement fund. But I have four vehicles to keep running, a 2005 Ford Focus (bought new in 04 for <$10K), a 98 Cherokee for off road & younger son's use, a 97 Miata for wife and a 1985 VW camper for family trips and local hardware store hauling although high school age son loves this one except for no A/C. We could be good for a long time or one could die & need repair or replacement.
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-26-2007, 09:00 AM   #5
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shabber
My deal with cars is never buy new, never buy at a dealership, never carry a loan, and always sell existing cars in the paper. This mantra has consistently allowed me to spend about 2-3k every 3-5 years on cars.

Ex) My last purchase was a 9k jeep paid cash. Drove for 5 years. Sold for 7k. Next bought a Discovery for 12k. It's been 3 years. Might sell for about 10k.

But, for budgeting purposes, including fixes, oil changes, and depreciation....what should I figure? Not including gas. Gas is easy to judge.

My gut says: $150/month

Am I high or low?

- Shabber
With a Land Rover, you are WAY LOW............unless you were lucky to get a good one, those things are moeny pits.............

I think closer to $300 a month is an average, unless you own a Honda/Toyota or maybe Subaru............although I wonder about how often you have to change the AWD fluid, which I am sure is not cheap.............

The more I think about it, the Subarus should be $400 a month, given that they need premium fuel, lose mileage because of AWD, etc................
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-26-2007, 07:39 PM   #6
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

The IRS figures your business relaed mileage adjustment at $0.485. Since they are not known for giving money away, I'd say that is probably a decent guess. So if you drive 15000 per year, it costs you 15000*.485/12= ca $600 per month for a plain vanilla car.

Ha
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-26-2007, 07:47 PM   #7
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

The IRS number is for a car bought new and sold 5 years out as I recall. It also includes charges for insurance, gasoline, and all of the maintanence. While those items are real and must be paid it dilutes the issue at hand... and that is what does a particular car cost to own relative to it's peers. For that number I'd strip out the insurance and the gasoline cost to get a better figure on the actual cost to own the car. Otherwise one might come to the conclusion that all cars pretty much cost about the same to own.

As someone else posted the edmunds.com "true-cost to own" numbers are about as good as it gets for a total car ownership cost comparison. While I have some issues with their values such as purchase price and maintenance costs, nonetheless the numbers are a great resource. Just for fun take a look at what it costs to own a car bought new (based on the Edmunds number) and that for a car bought 1 or 2 years old. The numbers that I saw indicate that you can save maybe 40 percent by buying a late model used car rather than the brand new model.
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-26-2007, 10:19 PM   #8
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

$150 not including gas might be doable but sounds low. Even an embarrassing beater costs about $200/mo to drive with gas. There are a lot of costs besides depreciation: insurance, gas, maintenance, consumables (e.g. tires, wipers, filters), repairs, registration, body work, insurance deductibles, traffic tickets, aftermarket accessories, parking costs and parking tickets... Older cars depreciate less but they do cost more to keep up, so you don't save as much as you might imagine by driving older cars.

The standard budget amount for someone who buys new cars but keeps them a while is $500/month. I am figuring on a little less, about $400/mo because I keep my cars longer than most, shop around for maintenance and repairs, and use less gas.

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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-27-2007, 08:25 PM   #9
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

AAA says it's about $8,400 per year.

Mine is lower:
Depreciation 1000
gas 1456
repair/maint 1200
insurance 800

Total estimate: $4456
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-28-2007, 04:14 PM   #10
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shabber
My deal with cars is never buy new, never buy at a dealership, never carry a loan, and always sell existing cars in the paper. This mantra has consistently allowed me to spend about 2-3k every 3-5 years on cars.

- Shabber
After totaling my Camry in January (122,000 miles and 7 years old), I found a 2 year old 2005 Camry, 16,000 miles on it, at a Land Rover dealer. They use Camrys as "loaners".
Bought it for a few thousand under NADA price. Was a good deal and best of all - it's a Toyota.
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-28-2007, 04:49 PM   #11
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanky
Mine is lower:
Depreciation 1000
gas 1456
repair/maint 1200
insurance 800

Total estimate: $4456
What car is it? How old?

Here's mine: 97 Maxima
Depreciation 500 (market value is ~$5,000)
gas 1,200 (25mpg, 12K/year)
repair/maint 600
insurance 800
Total 3,100

My 95 Maxima costs about 2,500. Less depreciation, less driven.

Edit to add: Forgot registration (50) and inspection (50). So add 100 to above cost.

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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-28-2007, 11:21 PM   #12
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

As far as budgeting repair costs, I don't think averages do you much good (unless you own a fleet of vehicles). It could help when deciding on a purchase, again - on average.

If your car suddenly needs an expensive repair (transmission, timing chain on an interference engines, etc), you need to come up with the money. The guy in the repair shop won't care what the average repair costs are for that vehicle.

IMO, what you need is an emergency fund (or at least fairly liquid holdings) with enough for the max repair or a replacement vehicle.

-ERD50
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-28-2007, 11:46 PM   #13
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
What car is it? How old?

Here's mine: 97 Maxima
Depreciation 500 (market value is ~$5,000)
gas 1,200 (25mpg, 12K/year)
repair/maint 600
insurance 800
Total 3,100

My 95 Maxima costs about 2,500. Less depreciation, less driven.

Edit to add: Forgot registration (50) and inspection (50). So add 100 to above cost.

it's a 2000 Corola. The actual depreciation may be less?
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-29-2007, 12:34 AM   #14
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

Yeah, I think a 2000 Corolla would depreciate less. Repair and maintenance would also be a lot less than 1200. You must driving a lot to be spending that much on gas. That car should get at least 30mpg.
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated
Old 03-29-2007, 01:48 PM   #15
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Re: Auto Costs Estimated

I think depreciation would be non-linear (more in the early years) and highly dependent on type of car, miles driven/year, how well you maintain, and so on.

To get an estimate over some period, take the new cost (or cost of the car when you bought it), then go to kbb.com and get wholesale book value for one that's the number of years old yours will be when you plan to sell it, subtract that from what you paid, and divide by the number of years you owned it. That will get you close.

Dave
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