Thursday, November 15, 2007

When Not to Buy a New Car


Gadabout has been driving his Chevy Trail Blazer 600 miles per week lately due employment factors. He is averaging 19 MPG resulting in a fuel consumption rate of 31.6 Gallons per week. At $3.00 per gallon my fuel bill amounts to $94.74. The question I ask myself is, “should I buy a new car, and if I do, what car is it and should I keep the Chevy.”

The Trail Blazer has been a winner. It cost $24,400 new, has never coughed and does okay with overall performance. Besides all that there are models available that I can fit in, get better mileage and don’t have 80,000 miles on them. After consideration and analysis, I have determined that buying a vehicle to save fuel does not save me any money. It would be emotional to buy a new car at this time, so long as the 2003 Chevy keeps humming.

Here’s why:

- We’ll use the Pontiac Vibe as a baseline. A fully loaded Vibe can be had for $20K (Gadabout’s brother works for GM so he gets a discount).

- The Trail Blazer is worth about $7K with a trade in. So we are looking at an outlay of $13K for the new Vibe.

- The Vibe would most likely average 30 mpg, resulting in a monthly savings of $34.74 per month. That equals $1806 per year.

- After 1 year the Trail Blazer will be worth $6K and the Vibe about $16K. This means that I will still be ahead by $1,200 by keeping the Chevy.

- After 2 years it is the same story; the Chevy is worth $5K and the Vibe $12K (at best).

- The rubber and brakes have been replaced on the Chevy, so with any luck it will hold up nicely.

You see, the problem is that cars are designed and manufactured last a long time. Couple that with rapid depreciation rates after the initial buy and you end up with awkward choices. It is tough going green when the numbers don’t add up. The point is that beware of the myth that you’ll save money if you buy a smaller car. The wise run numbers – Gadabout runs the numbers.

The plan is to buy an economical vehicle once gas hits $4.00 per gallon, or when the Chevy hits 150,000 miles. And of course if it leaves me high and dry someday on a dark and rainy night I’ll toss it to the curb.

3 comments:

Rip said...

If you bought a car called Vibe, I would personally come over and end your life. No fighter guy rolls in a Vibe. Keep the Blazer and your self respect!

Alusna said...

Enough about girly cars...how about some politics? Here's an oldie but goodie from PJ O'rourke..can he turn a pharse,or what?

P.J. O’Rourke on the Clinton/Gore administration:

"Those wimps and ninnies, lava-lamp liberals and condo pinks, spoiled twerps, wiffinpoofs, ratchet-jawed purveyors of monkey doodle and baked wind, piddlers upon merit, beggars at the door of accomplishment, thieves of livelihood, envy-coddling tax lice applauding themselves for their magnanimity with the money of others, their nose in virtue's bum. They are the Lhasa Apsos of Poli Sci returning to the vomit of liberalism, little boar pigs looking to rut with that sow-who-eats-her-young, the welfare state, squamous muck dwellers bottom-feeding on the worries and disappointment of the electorate -- ditch carp of democracy.

When have we seen such an administration of pukes and feebs? The president and his spawn, incubi at the public teat, surpass Kennedy in their arrogance, Johnson in their lack of scruples, and Carter in their plain stupidity. They are dung beetles in legislation, legislators in the bed chambers, chambermaids on the battlefield, and field marshals in the war against everything reasonable and decent.

Suchlike have not passed through the large intestine which is the Executive Branch since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was wheeled up the disabled access ramp to the gates of Hell."

Gadabout Jack said...

Gadabout gets the message.