Saturday, August 06, 2022

Do I Really Need My Car?

Reading Elly Blue's book Bikenomics got me to thinking, how much am I spending per month to own my car?

I bought a new car two years ago, right before the pandemic shut things down. Since that time, I've driven a little over 4,800 miles, or 194 miles per month on average (I work from home and if the weather's nice and the trip is shorter than a couple miles, I'll ride my bike).

I've now done the math and with car payments, insurance, and the 13 times I've had to buy gasoline, my average monthly cost to own this car is $477.33.

If I break it down to what it costs me per mile, the total is $2.46 of which $0.12 is gasoline.

If I use the IRS standard business use mileage rates for 2022, which is 58.5 cents per mile, and subtract that $112.91 from my monthly total of $477.33, it is costing me $364.42 a month to have my car spend most of the time sitting in the garage.

If I use Uber's rate calculator, a trip to and back from one of my grandsons' soccer games would cost me $50 without tip. $16 round-trip to go to church. So, with other trips factored in for times when I need to go somewhere, and my wife's vehicle isn't available, I could maybe save $100 or so a month by using a ride service.

All of this is an oversimplification, of course. I like my car; I don't like using a ride service. I like being able to drop everything and do something for my wife, kids, or grandkids without having to book and wait for a ride. At some point the car payments will go away and for what I'd pay Uber to take me to a soccer game, I could pay the insurance. I'll have a low milage car with a really high resale value. 

I've talked myself into keeping the car.