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Old 05-12-2019, 12:22 PM   #21
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Have three sets of wheels. No idea of the annual costs, around ten years ago quit calculating MPG, nor will I spend time figuring out costs. Watching grass grow would be more productive. One is a 99, one a 2012 and 2016.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:28 PM   #22
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Doesn't make sense to measure things like insurance and taxes as a cost per mile. OP's service cost differences between the cars shows that this almost certainly isn't that closely related to cost per mile either.
I think it can be of value, especially for those who don't drive much.


The default thought for me is that the only cost is for gas. I know there's more, but it is only in the back of my mind. But the reality is that insurance and taxes take that car sitting there unused to a constant slow drip of expense.



Taking it to the extreme, $1000 insurance and taxes and you drive 100 miles, you really should sell and take Uber.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:49 PM   #23
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I was thinking perhaps this is useful, or some part of it when considering travel.

For example if I plan to drive 4,500 miles over a 13 day holiday, would it be better for me to rent a car or drive mine ?

This would save wear & tear on mine, but cost of gas would be a negligible difference. Insurance would not change.

My $30K car should last 110K miles so that is $.272 / mile
oil change every 5K is $.0138 /mile
My tires are good for 60K cost $400 is $0.0066 / mile

So a $4,500 trip on my car costs me: $1,227.15 + $62.1 + $30 = $1,319.25

If I can rent a vehicle for less then I'm saving some money.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:05 PM   #24
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I was thinking perhaps this is useful, or some part of it when considering travel.

For example if I plan to drive 4,500 miles over a 13 day holiday, would it be better for me to rent a car or drive mine ?

This would save wear & tear on mine, but cost of gas would be a negligible difference. Insurance would not change.
And that's my point. OP says it's 51.5 cents/mile, but it wouldn't cost another $2000+ for that driving because the insurance and tax component of that wouldn't change. For the specific car breakdown, the BMW is over $1/mile to drive, but it wouldn't be anywhere near that. The costs of driving your own car on such a trip are gas, depreciation (which is only partly based on miles, the rest on age) and maintenance. You're clearly putting more miles on tires and oil, but for a lightly used car you also replace those on age as well.

It just strikes me as trying to make a measurement because you can calculate it, not because it makes much sense.

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My $30K car should last 110K miles so that is $.272 / mile
oil change every 5K is $.0138 /mile
My tires are good for 60K cost $400 is $0.0066 / mile
Your $30K car still has some value after 110K miles, so that calculation is wrong, way too high. Again, it's based on age as well as miles. The other two are probably right.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:36 PM   #25
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I don't know exactly, but if you just look at price of the car divided by number of years owned, plus annual maintenance, plus insurance, it probably runs about 3K/yr. That doesn't include gas.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:37 PM   #26
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It just strikes me as trying to make a measurement because you can calculate it, not because it makes much sense.
Depends on what you want to calculate. It's short-term opportunity cost vs. long term. Both are appropriate depending on the decision you are trying to make.

If you want to know what it costs to drive your car today, only count the variable costs. If you want to know whether it makes sense to have a car at all, include the fixed costs and compare to alternatives (like taxis).

I use both ways: The second one made me give up my car in Amsterdam (vs. a taxi and rental budget), the first one I regularly use to decide vs. using public transport on any given day. I also used the total cost per mile to figure out the added cost of upgrading from a very small car to a small car given my expected miles driven.
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:55 PM   #27
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I spend too much on vehicles if you measure pure cost/mile, but I can, so it doesn't bother me. 2 daily driver, 3 occasional driver, 4 old classic vehicles and 1 motorhome. I am sure my cost/mile avg is much more than almost anyone else on the board. I don't care, old cars are my hobby, and I like having multiple vehicle options for whatever I want or need to do. I do not track cost/mile, or gas costs per vehicle, or really any of the misc costs. I do most all of my own maintenance and repairs on the vehicles. I know what insurance costs, I know what registration costs, and I know what I spend on gas each month. It's just not priority for me to get to any higher level of detail in my budget.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:28 PM   #28
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....

Your $30K car still has some value after 110K miles, so that calculation is wrong, way too high. Again, it's based on age as well as miles. The other two are probably right.
Of course you are correct, a quick check shows my van would sell for approx $5,000 after 10 years

So it's more like $0.227 per mile

The corrected 4,500 mile trip on my car costs wear and tear on the van of:
$1,021.50 + $62.1 + $30 = $1113.6
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:51 PM   #29
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2013 Honda Civic

Gas $0.10
Insurance 0.05
Service 0.08
Reg/Tax 0.01
Deprec 0.10
------------------
Total $0.34 per mile
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:51 AM   #30
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Of course you are correct, a quick check shows my van would sell for approx $5,000 after 10 years

So it's more like $0.227 per mile

The corrected 4,500 mile trip on my car costs wear and tear on the van of:
$1,021.50 + $62.1 + $30 = $1113.6
Nope. Still not even close.

A quick check on difference of the selling price of a 2009 Honda Odyssey with 110,000 miles and 114,500 miles is $109, according to KBB. You didn't say which van but I'm guessing most models will be similar.

The corrected cost is closer to $109+$62+30=$201.

Like I said, depreciation cost is based on age as well as mileage. Much more, in fact. And depreciation doesn't go in a straight line, and certainly not for each mile. Think about it. That first mile you drove the car off the dealer lot didn't cost you 23 cents, it cost you thousands. And if you store your car in a garage for three years, it wouldn't hold the same value.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:29 AM   #31
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I am coming up with .26 cents a mile on my old car. I am guessing a new one would be much higher.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:40 AM   #32
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All of them together or each one separately? It doesn't really matter since I don't have a clue other than "it's a lot".

My daily driver is no doubt the most expensive to drive per mile, but the most fun. Heck, just the tires are two thousand a set and they only last ~6 months. Matter of fact, it's time for a new set this month.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:16 AM   #33
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I think that recording these expenses can be useful.

The big decision is when to replace the car. I can see that I've certainly saved money by keeping my car to the 14 year/160,000 mile point. Depreciation on my car might have averaged $4,000 / year for the first 3 years, and depreciation + repairs might be $2,100 / year for the 11 years since.

I've also used the per mile cost for thinking about whether I'd fly or drive. As others have mentioned, I only want to use the costs that vary by the mile. Gas, oil, and tires are easy to calculate. My car is old enough that I also have history for brakes and suspension. And, I can use the car pricing sites to get an idea of the mileage component in resale value.

But, for me, some of the utility is simply knowing the numbers. We track all our expenses, just knowing, even if we're unlikely to change decisions, is oddly useful.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:52 AM   #34
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Knowing the numbers is great, but you ought to use them in a way that makes sense. Just dividing all outlay by miles driven is not accurate, and can lead one to make faulty choices.

Using numbers to decide when to replace a car almost always favors keeping the old car unless you have very major repairs coming. Disregarding collectors/enthusiasts and those who just like having newer cars, most people replace their car when their old one becomes unreliable, is a safety hazard, requirements change, or they want the newest features. I'm willing to pay more to have a car that is a lot less likely to leave me stranded somewhere. There's a financial aspect to that decision, but there's a safety and convenience factor that outweighs that if finances aren't tight.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:12 PM   #35
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Nope. Still not even close.

A quick check on difference of the selling price of a 2009 Honda Odyssey with 110,000 miles and 114,500 miles is $109, according to KBB. You didn't say which van but I'm guessing most models will be similar.

The corrected cost is closer to $109+$62+30=$201.

Like I said, depreciation cost is based on age as well as mileage. Much more, in fact. And depreciation doesn't go in a straight line, and certainly not for each mile. Think about it. That first mile you drove the car off the dealer lot didn't cost you 23 cents, it cost you thousands. And if you store your car in a garage for three years, it wouldn't hold the same value.
Now I get it, even if I don't drive my van all year and rent cars instead, the van will still depreciate based on age.

Well this makes me feel better about the past few years of doing thousand mile trips with my van, as it's cheaper than renting a vehicle. Since I already have the sunk cost of the van.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:16 AM   #36
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Way to much work to compute for this retiree!
I think of our vehicles as a necessity so I don't worry about the upkeep costs. That said, we do keep ours as long as possible (not as long as some on this forum!)
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:54 AM   #37
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Our out of pocket dollar costs per mile are high for two pretty new cars and 15K miles total. But highly value their safety features and unlikely catastrophic failure. Donít know how to calculate those added values in into return on investment.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:51 AM   #38
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It is a pointless exercise for us. Our mileage has decreased significantly since retirement. Our costs are no doubt well above the average.
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Knowing the numbers is great, but you ought to use them in a way that makes sense. Just dividing all outlay by miles driven is not accurate, and can lead one to make faulty choices.
+1. We are rarely driving these days, so a per mile cost analysis would show it to be a very expensive proposition. Instead, I track TOTAL expenses (not depreciation, though) and last year we were at $2693 for insurance, fuel, maintenance and assorted registration fees. This was on two cars...a 2012 and 2018 model.

Financially, it would make sense for us to just go to one vehicle, but we haven't felt the need so we haven't.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:59 AM   #39
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Well this makes me feel better about the past few years of doing thousand mile trips with my van, as it's cheaper than renting a vehicle. Since I already have the sunk cost of the van.
+1

It's much cheaper to drive my SUV on long road trips than to rent a comparable vehicle. OTOH, if I just want to get somewhere and a) don't care much about enjoying the journey there, b) don't really need the convenience of having my own car to drive around locally once I get there, and c) don't need the flexibility of changing my arrival and departure times, then it often makes more sense to fly.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:49 PM   #40
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Well this makes me feel better about the past few years of doing thousand mile trips with my van, as it's cheaper than renting a vehicle. Since I already have the sunk cost of the van.
Aren't there easier ways to avoid having to rent a vehicle?
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