By: Tim Edgecomb
Once you’ve test driven a few cars it’s time to really take into account all of the costs that car ownership comes with. Unless you buy a fully electric car, the fuel economy of a car should be a serious consideration when searching for a car. www.fueleconomy.gov is an excellent source for finding out the MPG (Miles Per Gallon) of a car. In this post we’re going to dig a little deeper into those numbers and also show you one of the best features of hybrid cars.
For all the numbers in this post, I used the MPG from www.fueleconomy.gov, the federal government’s stated average miles driven per year (13,500) and split that mileage so that ⅔ are city miles and ⅓ is highway miles. I also used an average of the last ten years’ gas prices which are going to fluctuate in the future. Every driver is different! Someone who puts far less mileage on their car per year or someone who only does long distance highway driving is going to end up with very different results after 10 years have passed!
Let’s take the 2016 Toyota Camry that has MPG 25/34 (city/highway) and the 2016 Honda Civic that has an MPG of 30/40. One car getting 5 miles per gallon more does not appear to be much, but once you add it up over ten years it’s a significant difference. After ten years the owner of the Toyota Camry will have spent $2200 more than the Honda Civic owner. This shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor in buying a car, but certainly should be a consideration. For example, if you are on the fence about whether you need the space and all wheel drive capabilities of a large SUV, fuel economy could help with this decision.
Fuel economy should also feature heavily when considering whether to buy a hybrid, especially when looking at used cars rather than new. The 2018 Prius that’s on our line right now will cost $10,000 less over the course of 10 years compared to the 2016 Volvo S60 we also have. That’s enough money to pay for all of the preventative maintenance on the Prius over that same 10 years and still have money left over.
Fuel economy is certainly not the only item that should be taken into consideration when buying a car. In the next post we’ll talk about preventative maintenance and how much to expect to pay each year to keep your car on the road in an affordable manner. We’ll also discuss insurance rates and which cars cost less insurance wise. Happy new year everyone and drive safely!
$10,000 less over the course of 10 years