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Strizzo Dork
7/2/08 1:03 p.m.
914Driver wrote: The Today Show did a story about down sizing; they claim for the expenses involved and the savings in gas, the break even point is six years out. My mother in law puts a tank of gas in her Taurus every two to three weeks. She's talking about a smaller car now. So if you pay $10,000 for a car the taxes would be $800. Lets say you gain 10mpg in an econo box. How long would it take to get just the tax money and the registration fees back? Dan

according to a quick and dirty calculation i just did, assuming $4.20/gal, if you averaged 16 mpg in your planet-killing SUV, it would cost you roughly 26 cents per mile to drive around. switching to a car that gets 23 mpg at the same gas price would cost you about 18 cents per mile to drive. a savings of 8 cents per mile.

using that value, if you drove 12,000 miles per year, that would add up to a savings of about $958 per year. to answer your question, it would take almost exactly 10 months to get the registration fees back($800), or you would have to drive 10,013 miles.

then to make back the $10,000 hit you took to get the more efficient car, you would have to drive just 125,170 miles, which at 12k per year would take just over a decade ( 10 years, 5 months, 5 days,2 hours, 26 minutes, and 56.3 seconds) and using 2380.95 fewer gallons in that time.

EDIT* of course then we haven't even mentioned the higher insurance rates on the newer car

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/2/08 1:09 p.m.

*** Assuming the financial backbone of the US does not implode causing you to live in your car which is of course too small for your family of three because you sold your SUV because of the cost of fuel

neon4891 HalfDork
7/2/08 1:35 p.m.

when I did the math to see how much longer I could drive my dad's truck, I was spending 400-500 a month on gas and buying a newer car would have been 150-200 a month in payments and under 200 a month in gas.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/2/08 4:31 p.m.

Driving habits are where it is at.

This past week I drove from Atlantic City to Reading Pa and back to see my dying Grandmother. I found it I leave the windows cracked a couple of inches, and tilt up the sunroof and pop out the rear windows.. I stay perfectly cool at 70mph.

At that 70mph, the on board computer on my Ti is reading an indicated 34.9 mpg.

At that same 70mph.. I am a moving speedbump to every SUV on the highway. People are killing themselves putting gas into those things.. yet they have not yet figured out that slowing down to only a little above the speed limit nets you a large increase in how far you can go on a gallon.

TransMaro New Reader
7/2/08 11:53 p.m.

It certainly does. I just got back from a road trip in my 1996 F-150 I6 5-speed with an 8-foot camper on the back.

I didn't do the calculations but since I ran the front tank dry (duals) and filled again I'd say my findings are pretty accurate:

~60mph = 400 miles (390 something) on a tank ~70mph = 300 ish on the same tank

These were highway miles except for pulling off to get fuel.

That extra 10 mph plus the aerodynamics of a tool shed sucks a significant amount of gas.


2.0dohc New Reader
7/3/08 2:14 a.m.
mad_machine wrote: Driving habits are where it is at.

I agree. with the wife driving her car(srt-4, light mods) she gets low to mid 20s, by driving it easier, but still hitting boost once or twice I got 33mpg.....

Wall-e GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/3/08 2:20 a.m.
racerdave600 wrote: Safety wise, everyone would be better off if they disappeared in large numbers.

If we all disappeared would we really be safer?

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/3/08 3:40 a.m.

thinking about this.. why do people hate minivans so much anyway? I have found that there is no more EFFICENT way to move a large amount of gear or people than with a minivan.

I rent Chrysler Town and Country's, they hold all my video gear AND three people with ease. I get good air, GPS, heated seats, a car like driving experience, AND 23+ mpg fully loaded down.

I would need an excursion or a Suburban to do the same if I wanted an SUV.. and then I would be forced to hump all my gear up and into it.

Strizzo Dork
7/3/08 8:33 a.m.

i think its the "soccer mom" stigma. my g/f had a mazda5 rental a couple weeks ago, that thing could carry more than most midsize SUVs, but she said she hated it, because it has sliding doors and looks like a minivan

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
7/3/08 8:39 a.m.

It's us. We did it. All of us car guys. We made fun of them for years, saying how lame and nerdy they were, which then trickled out to the non-car-guys, who amplified it to try to fit in with the car guys, and eventually made its way to the women who were buying them in the first place.

Everybody wants to be cool, even if they're not.

Unfortunately, the campaign to convince the world that only overcompensating geeks would want Corvettes doesn't seem to be driving demand down like one would hope.

neon4891 HalfDork
7/3/08 9:34 a.m.

I was actually looking at minivans recently when I was looking for a newer vehicle, I just didnt find a good enuf deal.

As for corvetes, i had seen a new C6 with custome plates "extender" at least that owner admits why he has it

Strizzo Dork
7/3/08 9:36 a.m.

so how do we get people to realize that its not all minivans that suck, just the ones that handle like a brick and couldn't get out of their own way? look at europe, they have scads of "people movers" and none of them have beam rear axles and handle like crap. i droe a renault scenic when i was in the UK last, and despite other niggles due to the fact that its a french car, it actually was responsive and communicative in the twisties

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/3/08 9:40 a.m.

BTW "X10DR" is going to be my next custom tag.

beaulieu New Reader
7/3/08 2:48 p.m.

I drive a full size chevy V8 van , paid $1200 for this one , probably worth $400 in scrap the day it dies ,

I hate $4.40 a gallon gas, BUT the van makes me $$$$ as a trailer tow vehicle etc,

So if I have to pay $25-$50 a month more than last year , so be it.....

last year regular gas was $3.25 a gallon here , so its about 1/3 more now....

I believe it will go down to $3.50 and we will all be "happy" that cheap fuel is back :(

fiat22turbo GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/3/08 5:31 p.m.

Gee, all the people who think that buying a "new" anything is the proper way to go are being told that buying a "new" something to replace an "older" something isn't exactly smart advice unless you are really in over your head financially.

Maybe the issue is that these mental midgets keep buying new cars and trading them in every few years. Perhaps it would make sense to buy what they can afford and what actually fits their needs (not wants)

An example would be that I could probably afford to buy a newer Mustang, Corvette, etc However, I don't need one. Nor do I need any SUV's as I don't go offroad and with chains/snow tires I can go skiing just fine. What I need is simple and reliable transportation to/from work everyday. Sounds like a nice little wagon would make sense. Hmm, however the S.O. already has a '01 Highlander and Pops has a minivan I can borrow if need be, so I really only need a small car that gets decent mileage. I really only carry the S.O. and myself and any given time, so the extra seats go to waste. Given the choices available now, the point me to a Miata, an S2000 or an MR2. Hmm so what have we learned folks? That's right the answer is always Miata!

Mazdax605 New Reader
7/3/08 6:54 p.m.

I have a frend at work that is in the market for a smaller car. The thing is he has a 2002 Chevy Avalanche(I hate these truck/SUV's/whatever you want to call'em) that isn't paied for yet,and he is on loan to another deparment in our company for the next 4 months. He is worried about the area he has to park his vehicle at work now in a small city,and the 100 mile round trip is killing him in gas even though he is paid a flat fee everyday for travel expenses. I think he is breaking even on the price of fuel compared to the daily gas money. He is thinking about paying up to $6000 through a loan on a small used car to make this commute,and I think he is crazy. I think if he is to buy a used small car that maybe $2-3k would be the most he should spend,and even then that buys a lot of gas,and insurance. If I were in his shoes I would try to sell/trade teh Avalanche,and get this small car to replace it,but he says he needs the truck. He never drives with anyone else in the truck,and never hauls anything more than his goalie equipment. I guess he really does need that truck. I don't get it. I wouldn't have my full-sized van if I didn't need to tow my camper.


mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/3/08 8:11 p.m.

IF. (a big if) I was in the market for a new car.. I would buy something small and fuel efficent. Maybe a Smart, mini, or the new 500 (when it comes out) but as it is, I would rather continue to fix up and drive my Bimmer and Saab.. they both get 30s on the highway and the Ti is getting hardcore for the street and the saab is the luxosport.. combined they still cost less than anything new or even relativly new

aussiesmg HalfDork
7/3/08 9:06 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: thinking about this.. why do people hate minivans so much anyway? I have found that there is no more EFFICENT way to move a large amount of gear or people than with a minivan. I rent Chrysler Town and Country's, they hold all my video gear AND three people with ease. I get good air, GPS, heated seats, a car like driving experience, AND 23+ mpg fully loaded down. I would need an excursion or a Suburban to do the same if I wanted an SUV.. and then I would be forced to hump all my gear up and into it.

My Town Cars, I have 4 now, carry 6 people with comfort (1 less than a minivan), are easier for elderly, injured or disabled to alight from, have a trunk that can carry 6 dead bodies with ease, get an average of 25 mpg over a weekly 2500 miles per car, good air, heated seats, a RWD car like driving experience. Oh and they are reliable one has 220K and another has 210K both are driven daily. Adding the fact that I don't have to drive a minivan....priceless.

Mazdax605 New Reader
7/4/08 4:56 p.m.

My wifes Mini-van holds 8 get decent mileage,has gobs of storage behind the rear seat,or fold it,and have enormus amounts of storage. It runs down the highway,or any road for that matter quiet as a mouse,and as smooth as silk. I don't care that it is a minivan,and I actually like it a whole lot. The oil is easy to change,nothing has broken yet,and I don't see that changing for quite a long time,and the payments are intrest free with a 100k mile warranty. Not much to hate in my eyes,and if I didn't need to tow our camper I would be driving a Mazda5 with a 5-speed tranny,and no frills if that an be had anymore. Sliding doors make all the difference in my book,and I know my mother-in-law is kicking herself now three months later after trading in her 2001 Windstar on a V8 Mercury Moutaineer awd SUV. The van was paid for,got way better mileage,and she could get her grandkids out,and in way easier. I have no idea why she bought this new/used SUV with her situation. It is a pretty pearl white with NAV,leather,and all the gadgets but man what a waste of money I think.

Long live the Minivan!!!!!!

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/5/08 10:28 a.m.

just to add to my hatred of SUVs...

Last night, coming home from work. I got stuck behind 4 cars doing the speed limit on a backroad.. behind me was a Caddy Escalade. Being a relativly safe driver, I always leave a couple of car lengths between me and the car in front.

Coming up a hill, the Caddy decided that doing 50mph was too slow and decided to take advantage of the couple of car lengths between me and the car in front and proceeded to pass me on the double yellow.

As I saw him make the move, I hit the brakes as I know the road we are on is often heavily traveled. All those years of driving big commercial trucks paid off.. just as I did that, a car came over the hill towards us and the Caddy was forced to quickly pull back into the correct lane. If I had not hit the brakes, He would have taken the nose off of my Ti.

As it was, he almost lost control (I guess some sort of electronic nanny saved his arse) as the Escalade violently fishtailed twice before regaining composure.

And people wonder why they spend so much in gas. The road is only 2 miles long, I am sure that doing 55mph would have gotten him to the end so much faster. As it was, he almost wrecked his truck, almost destroyed my car, and possibly gotten both of us either hurt or dead..

Chris_V SuperDork
7/7/08 1:40 p.m.

Sorry, but I have an SUV (dirt cheap '95 Range Rover Classic LWB), and I love it. I tow a travel trailer, and a LIGHTER SUV would be wagged around by the tail when towing. The times when I've had to use it to commute in, it only uses 4 gallons of gasoline to commute a whole WEEK. Of course, towing and hills are a different story. This past weekend we took the family (including the two dogs) down from Baltimore to Culpepper, VA to a friend's house for the 4th celebration and his birthday party. I used nearly 20 gallons for the round trip. Still cheaper than staying at a hotel (which wouldn't take the dogs anyhow, so we'd have to have a dog sitter or kennel them, which costs a bunch of money).

I also occasionally use the Rangie to haul lumber, 4x8 sheets of plywood or sheetrock, and have used it to tow project cars back from out of state. I simply like it, though at 13 years and 130k miles, it's starting to show it's age, and I'm looking at replacing it with a newer one (newer SUVs are dirt cheap these days...), say a 2002 model (I used to have an '88 Range Rover, that I had bought for $800. Liked it so much I bought the '95)

I've had over a hundred cars in the last 30 years, of all types, from air cooled VWs and Porsches to full size Class A motorhomes. I've owned a CRX as a daily driver and currently drive a BMW 740iL as a daily. I buy what I like. If I only bought what I needed, I'd never have had race cars or fun cars. I certainly wouldn't have my current '63 Mercury Comet convertible project car. I don't begrudge other people buying what THEY want, as that would be hypocritical.

aircooled Dork
7/7/08 3:20 p.m.
Chris_V wrote: ...I buy what I like. If I only bought what I needed, I'd never have had race cars or fun cars....

Certainly, but now, many people will have to deal with reality and buy what they need. Will people still drive SUV's? Yes, but if they don't really have to, they have to be prepared to pay the price.

People with the money will still drive large cars if they want. They always have, they always will. The difference now is that if you want to "pretend" you are rich, you better make sure you are prepared for the hit.

Chris_V SuperDork
7/7/08 3:27 p.m.

That was always the case. Either in gas or insurance, or even in parking space cost if you lived in certain areas.

Even with my BMW and Range Rover, I spend vastly less on fuel in proportion to my income than I did back when I was making $7.50/hr and fuel was only 75 cents a gallon or less. And back when I was making $7.50/hr I built my V8 RX7.

I'd still rather do that than pay for cigarettes.

mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/7/08 6:51 p.m.

around here, a pack of cigs will buy you two gallons of gas. My mom complains about the price of gas, but will still not quit her two pack a day habit.

B02S4 Reader
7/7/08 10:38 p.m.

I'm glad there is ample fuel supply, & not an artificial price-controlled "shortage" ala 1979. $4+ gas sure leaves the boat ramps less crowded, & that's just one added benefit. I gladly pay it to fill my SUVs

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