THE TRUE COST OF DRIVING
Most people have no idea what the true cost of providing transportation from point “A” to point “B” really is. “Here are some assembled statistics on vehicle operation costs to consider. Just remember to keep in mind that the math doesn’t lie (it is either right or wrong).
Let’s start with the cost of a new compact vehicle. Let’s look at a four door with automatic transmission, air conditioning and a modest accessory package for the low low price of $20,000.00. Financing the average new car at 6% (we all know that there is no such thing as free financing i.e. 0%) over four years including $1,000.00 PST and $1,000.00 GST will cost you $518.00/month over a 48 month term (no down payment). We all know that we must insure our new pride and joy for the cheap sum of approximately $1,250.00/year or $104.00/month. With the average kilometers driven per year totaling 24,000 KM or 96,000 KM over four years and an average maintenance cost of $100.00/month your costs now add up to total expense/month of $722.00.
The $722.00 doesn’t include the new set of tires you will have to buy at the end of four years or the fuel you have used (roughly $5,000.00 or $104.17/month). Therefore, roughly without fuel or a new set of tires your car will cost you $34,656.00 to operate over the next four years, and you wonder why money is tight! This will vary up or down based on your individual transportation requirements. If you have more than one vehicle, multiply the above accordingly. Remember: This is after tax money you have just spent.
When the time comes to perform maintenance and repairs you may need to spend approximately $2,400.00 to prolong the useful life of your vehicle. When you take this into consideration, by doing the maintenance and repairs you would get another 24 months or 48,000 KM of driving; the average cost would be around $100.00/month (assuming that your car is paid for). Compare this to a new car which would cost you $17,328.00 over 24 months, with an average cost of around $722.00/month you can SAVE ($17,328.00-$2,400.00 on repairs will net $14,928.00) Remember: you can’t borrow, beg, buy, lease or rent a vehicle for $100.00/month. So by keeping your old vehicle well maintained and safer longer you can realize your dreams of vacations, retirement or your child’s education with your left over cash.
To fully maximize your transportation dollar you need to get 300,000 to 400,000 KM out of your vehicle. This is possible because today’s vehicles are built better than ever before. By doing the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance you will help insure the same level of reliability you have come to know and expect. The manufacturer creates detailed maintenance schedules outlining specific operations to be performed on various components and systems; these services are done at different mileage intervals to ensure proper operation and prevent premature wear. Unfortunately, most manufacturers only provide maintenance guidelines for the first 160,000 KM or so. Once your vehicle passes the 160,000 KM mark, it is time to have it thoroughly evaluated to determine the correct maintenance course.
Clavet Service Station Ltd. has multiple Journeyperson Automotive Technicians, the latest computerized diagnostic equipment and a computerized automotive information system that provides detailed data for your vehicles by year make and model. This insures that the repairs and maintenance of your vehicle are in complete compliance with the manufacturer’s warranty. The bottom line is efficient, dependable and cost effective service for you! Working together we can add years to the life of your car, truck or van.
THE CINDERELLA ERA
The Cinderella Era is the several years that exist between the final purchase payment and the day Old Faithfull’s repair bills become too weighty. One thing is for certain, if you trade every few years to buy a new car, the Cinderella Era will never be yours to enjoy.
Meet Billy. Billy owned a very sensible sedan. He paid $20,000.00 for it, financed it over four years at six percent. Four years later, when Billy made his last payment ($518.00/month no money down), he danced a little dance, sang a little song and promptly went shopping for a new car.
Billy’s long term employee, and friend, Susan owned a car identical to Billy’s, which she bought for the same price with the same financing. Amazingly, after four years, the cars even had the identical mileage of 100,000km. However unlike Billy, on the day Susan made her last payment, she danced a little dance sang a little song and decided to keep her car for awhile. Susan had decided to make the magical Cinderella Era work to her benefit.
So what’s the moral of this story? First, start thinking of your car as an asset. When it’s free and clear, your car can make money by saving your money! Second, get past the idea that you must purchase a new vehicle every time you’ve completed a payment schedule. Finally start planning what you’re going to do with all the money you’ll save by keeping your car through the Cinderella Era.
Instead of having a $518.00 payment each month, Susan set aside approximately $200.00 for repairs and maintenance. Each month, Susan invested the remaining $200.00, and blew the remaining balance of $118.00 having fun (movies and music). Susan did this for approximately four years, at which time she had saved (without scrimping and starving) $9600.00 plus a small amount of interest totaling over $10,000.00. WOW.
After four years, Billy had paid off yet another car, at which time he headed back to the dealership to head into debt and stress once again. He is unaware that his friend Susan has saved up $10,000.00... But Wait!
What about my trade in? It must be worth much more than Susan’s trade-in shouldn’t that figure into the puzzle? Yes, and it does!
Mileage after 4 years
Total car payment
Gas and Oil
Maint, Repair, Tires
Total Operation Cost
$104.16/month for 4 years
$4,000.00/48 months or
$83.33/month for 4 years
$9,600.00 or $200.00/month
for 48 months
$18,600.00 over 4 years
$4,500.00/48 months or
$93.75/month for 4 years
$5,000.00/48 months or
$104.16/month for 4 years
$4,800.00 or 100.00/month
for 48 months
$39,164.00 over 4 years
$14,564 extra expense
The true moral of this story is that a new car will cost $14,564.00 more to operate and you will never save the $10,000.00 on top of that!!!!. That’s a net saving to you of $24,664.00 of after tax dollars on a $20,000.00 vehicle. The choice is yours to make – but make sure you educate yourself on your options.
THE ROAD TO A LONG LASTING AUTOMOBILE
Automotive Technicians say the key to keeping vehicles running well today and down the road is routine maintenance. Yet many drivers tend to stall when it comes to keeping up with some everyday auto-basics. Results from Car Care Canada’s vehicle inspection events found 85% of vehicles needed some form of maintenance work. Some of the most common problems were:
- 20 percent of cars had low or dirty engine oil
- 18 percent had low tire pressure
- 16 percent had inadequate cooling protection
- 13 percent had dirty air filters.
- 10 percent had corroded battery terminals or loose cables
Regular maintenance is the key to preventing these situations from occurring. Manufacturers know that properly maintained vehicles will be more dependable, safer, last longer and increase your satisfaction with the product. Car makers and owners also have a responsibility to make sure emission controls receive regular service and are functioning properly. Regular maintenance helps accomplish these goals by keeping your engine running efficiently and eliminating potential problems that may leave you stranded.
Clavet Service - Auto Select has experienced Journeyperson Automotive Technicians, the latest computerized equipment and a computerized automotive information system that provides detailed data for your vehicles by year, make and model. This insures that your vehicle repairs and maintenance are in complete compliance with the manufacturer’s warranty. Other information includes lists of “high-Tech” specialty lubricants required for your particular vehicle and the latest service procedures; diagnostic information and factory issued Technical Service Bulletins. The bottom line is efficient, dependable and cost effective service for you.
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SPEND LESS GO FURTHER
" Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gasoline is wasted every day by motorists, because simple and inexpensive vehicle maintenance is neglected," says Car Care Canada’s Marc Brazeau. "Loose or missing gas caps, under-inflated tires, worn spark plugs and dirty air filters all contribute to poor fuel economy." Not only will maintaining your vehicle save you money, it will also help you to protect the environment by reducing emissions.
Here are some fuel saving tips you can apply immediately:
- Vehicle gas caps – In Canada, the provinces with emissions testing programs suggest that this is a common cause for failing an emissions test – yet it is simple and inexpensive to fix. According to US studies, about 17 percent of the vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are either damaged, loose or are missing altogether.
- Under inflated tires – When tires aren’t inflated properly it’s like driving with the parking brake engaged.
- Worn spark plugs – All gasoline vehicles have spark plugs, which fire as many as 3 million times every 1,500 km, resulting in a lot of heat and electrical and chemical erosion. A worn or contaminated spark plug causes misfiring, which wastes fuel. Spark plugs need to be replaced regularly as per manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Dirty air filters – An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust and bugs chokes off the air and creates a “rich” mixture – too much gas being burned for the amount of air, which wastes gas and causes the engine to lose power. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.
- Don’t be an aggressive driver – Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on city streets, which results in 2 to 15 cents per litre loss.
- Avoid excessive idling – Sitting at idle gets zero miles per litre. Letting the vehicle warm up for one to two minutes is sufficient.
- Observe the speed limit – Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 100km/h. Each km/h driven over 100 will result in an additional cost of 3 cents per litre. To maintain a constant speed on the highway, cruise control is recommended.
Fuel Saving Tips:
Other Fuel Saving Tips Include: