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#4663045 - 02/11/18 02:47 PM Financial cost of personal mobility
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15699
Loc: OH
I was just thinking that we've done a million miles and change of driving over the past thirty years.
I then thought about just how much this has cost us.
We've never had much in the way of repair cost with any of our vehicles, since I do most of the work myself and not much has actually broken in our daily drivers over that time, so this isn't much of a factor.
Given that for the first half of that period, we were driving far less expensive cars and were also paying far less in nominal dollars for fuel, I'm going to estimate that we've spent the better part of $180K on personal transportation.
There is an obvious convenience factor in having a car outside of a very dense urban area and like most people I can't see how either my wife or I would get to work without driving.
Still, ~$180K would have paid for lots of cab rides and weekend car rentals and even though this represents a fairly small fraction of our discretionary income over that time, it's still a sobering total.
Do the math yourself and even if you drive beaters, which do feature higher repair costs, I think you'll be surprised at just how much you spend on driving.

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#4663051 - 02/11/18 02:53 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
madRiver Offline


Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3538
Loc: New England
I to see a future in ride subscription service with driverless or driver cars.

It will be amazing if this happens as instead of parking lots and parking up close it will just be drop off area and real estate dedicated to walking between places. Parking lots far away.

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#4663053 - 02/11/18 02:55 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2968
Loc: USA
The freedom aspect is priceless to me. I don't think I could live a life where my transportation ability was determined by cabs, buses, train schedules, or the good graces of friends.

I think there was a time when communities were more tight knit and public transportation wasn't a risk, but nowadays we're all so polarized in our ways and opinions and pleasantries are just not a thing. So you can factor in the safety aspect of your own mobility.

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#4663057 - 02/11/18 02:59 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
SVTCobra Offline


Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 701
Loc: Battle Creek, MI
The freedom of being able to go when and where you want to is worth it, especially for those that don't live in urban areas. Having to wait for taxis, buses, trains, etc. gets old fast. Only spending $6k per year for gas, insurance, payments and maintenance for assuming 2 vehicles is cheap.
_________________________
If marriage was outlawed only outlaws would have in-laws.

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#4663074 - 02/11/18 03:07 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3042
Loc: NJ
I often wonder the same when I see posts on here from people worrying about what oil to use for their car they only drive <1000 miles a year. Could just Uber and not have to worry about car maintenance.

Many millennial don't care about car ownership. They use uber and enjoy the freedom of no car payments or insurance or repair/maintenance costs.
_________________________
Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
2015 Camry 59,000 miles

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#4663082 - 02/11/18 03:14 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
First off: Fuel is always the biggest expense, often greater then the depreciation of the vehicle.

I worked it out a while back; my 1993 Ford Ranger that I paid $6000 for and drove for 21 years cost only $285 a year (plus, I still have it. If I sold it, that $ amount goes down even further)

As far as maintenance and repairs..... almost nothing.
Maybe a dozen or so tires and a few batteries would be the biggest expenses.

The key to doing ALL OF THIS economically (personal mobility) is this:

1) Never buy new, always lightly used
2) Buy a vehicle that gets good mileage and doesn't cost much to maintain
3) Keep the vehicle forever
_________________________
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(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4663094 - 02/11/18 03:21 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 39864
Loc: 'Stralia
Horses for courses...my wife and I couldn't get to work without cars.

She can't car pool, and my hours don't mesh with car pooling either, being the resident "here's a disaster/deadline, and you're it" guy.

Wife had a friend on welfare whose car was literlly driving her into the ground. We did a budget for her on ditching the car, and walking (Lithgow is small enough to do that), or taxi, saving thousands a year...she wouldn't budge, as she "needed" a car, for largely indeterminant reasons...which I really do understand.

Cost of transport hit home first year out of University. Living in Canberra, working at Yass, a girlfriend in Sydney, and after that, one in Melbourne...I was doing my tax return and realised I'd earned more than ever before, but had made no progress on savings...then checked my logbook, and saw how much I'd pumped through that car...plus the fun times being had at the other end of the road for sure.

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#4663143 - 02/11/18 04:00 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 6219
Loc: MI
I would imagine that lots of people here at BITOG are lower than average for vehicle ownership costs because of the level of OCD shared by many here, frugality, maintenance awareness, diy repairs, etc.. And I bet that there are lots of people way over the average due to poor maintenance, financial problems, etc..

The link below shows the average cost of 25 years from 1990 to 2015 to be $193K dollars. We don't have the OP's other data to compare (no. of years, etc.). Lots of people drive a LOT more than 15,000 miles per year shown in the link.

https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita....able_03_17.html

Interesting stuff.

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#4663147 - 02/11/18 04:01 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
danez_yoda Offline


Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 464
Loc: texas
Uber is 1.55 / mile. By your own account you drove over 1million miles over 30 years. That wouls have cost you 1.5mil instead of 180k. Be happy.

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#4663166 - 02/11/18 04:11 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21196
Loc: Orlando, FL
I drive my personal car very little, about 5K miles a year. Company car is around 15K miles a year.

Even if all was out of pocket expenses, it wouldn't be that much per mile or year.

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#4663204 - 02/11/18 04:49 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5518
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
Cars were/and are a hobby. One that started in the 1960's for me. I'd spend money on a car even if I only drove it to town once a week. Same for boats, mororcycles and 4x4's.

Both cars (trucks) and boats have been paying sources of income (wrenching, driving, maintaining) at various points in life. And I always buy well used cars and trucks - usually over 100,000 miles when I'll consider one ... Commercial trucks have to be closer to 500,000 before they are of interest ...

So mobility has been a big part of my life. I can see it as less so for other folks. Maybe the future will be different ...
_________________________
Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

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#4663206 - 02/11/18 04:51 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15699
Loc: OH
Good transit options don't exist for most commuters, so car ownership is typically the only practical mode.
If we lived in NYC, we could likely go wherever we needed to using the electric sewer, but that is a unique option and most cities offer nothing close to it.
We also have highly disparate commuting patterns these days with entire suburbs and exurbs built around car ownership, so the hopes of those who would promote transit are wishful thinking at best.
We are currently married to the motorcar as a means of getting to work, shopping, entertainment and vacation destinations. Every plane ride begins with a drive to the airport.
Not complaining in that car ownership offers employment and leisure options not otherwise available.
It ain't cheap although it's obviously affordable.
People with a whole lot less income than probably anyone here use and rely upon cars, after all. It's also far cheaper to own and run one here than it is in Canada and let's not even mention the EU.
I'm not really complaining, I'm just a bit surprised at how the costs have added up over the years.
_________________________
17 Forester 12K MSS 0W-20
12 Accord LX 86K PP 5W-20
09 Forester 95K M1HM 10W-30
01 Focus ZX3 118K PP 5W-20
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
95 318i

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#4663209 - 02/11/18 04:57 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: Linctex]
CharlieBauer Offline


Registered: 03/29/16
Posts: 1177
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: Linctex
The key to doing ALL OF THIS economically (personal mobility) is this:

1) Never buy new, always lightly used
2) Buy a vehicle that gets good mileage and doesn't cost much to maintain
3) Keep the vehicle forever



Good advice. Add to that keep up with the preventative maintenance and either do it yourself or find someone who does it right.
_________________________
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so.

- mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain

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#4663212 - 02/11/18 05:00 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: fdcg27]
4WD Offline


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6377
Loc: Texas
Electric sewer? Thatís a classic wink
We donít even have taxi service ... and donít know about these other means Ďcause Iím not doing that ...
Vehicle ownership carries a hefty fee Iím willing to pay ...


Edited by 4WD (02/11/18 05:00 PM)

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#4663213 - 02/11/18 05:03 PM Re: Financial cost of personal mobility [Re: doitmyself]
CharlieBauer Offline


Registered: 03/29/16
Posts: 1177
Loc: CA
Originally Posted By: doitmyself
I would imagine that lots of people here at BITOG are lower than average for vehicle ownership costs because of the level of OCD shared by many here, frugality, maintenance awareness, diy repairs, etc.. And I bet that there are lots of people way over the average due to poor maintenance, financial problems, etc..

The link below shows the average cost of 25 years from 1990 to 2015 to be $193K dollars. We don't have the OP's other data to compare (no. of years, etc.). Lots of people drive a LOT more than 15,000 miles per year shown in the link.

https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita....able_03_17.html

Interesting stuff.


Very interesting.

For context, inflation over the 1975-2015 period was a total of 340%.

As you can see, it is the fixed costs that make up the most expensive portion of car ownership. They are 74%.

As everyone knows, the biggest way to control that and therefore the cost of car ownership is to not buy cars new and to keep them longer.
_________________________
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so.

- mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain

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