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How much do you spend on your vehicle each year?

Sandy Bridge

How much do you spend on your vehicle each year?  

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All right, time for a new poll.  How much do you spend on your vehicle each year?  I imagine it's a top 5 expense category for most people, although possibly lower than computers for some forum members.


Depreciation.  Insurance.  Fuel.  Maintenance.  Repairs/deductibles.  Upgrades.  Registration.  Tickets.  There are a lot of things that can add up.


For me, it's in the low $4000s, not counting the residual value of the car if I sold it tomorrow, which would take it to the mid-upper $3000s.


The upfront cost/depreciation is the largest component, followed by insurance, gasoline, and maintenance & repairs, in that order.  Upfront cost is still about 45% of the overall, but that will fall as the car ages.  Insurance is about 20% of the total.  Gasoline about 17%; I have a pretty fuel-efficient car for not even being a hybrid.


It would be cheaper if I took public transit everywhere; that costs $744/year here for 12 unlimited monthly passes.  But it doesn't go everywhere I'd want to go (friends' houses being a big missing part, parks being another), and in a lot of parts of town doesn't run late or frequently.  Still, I could have a $60 weekly Lyft budget and still come out even.


I did take public transit quite a bit pre-pandemic, so my gasoline/maintenance share - and overall car costs - would be higher if I had been driving to work as much as the average person in the U.S.

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Not much; Roughly $2,000 on a good year to include insurance, gas, registration, oil changes and fuel. On a "repair year" where I might need new tires the cost would go up roughly $250-300. I might flush the coolant and brakes every other year, add $100 those years because I do it myself. I've never needed any major component fixed on my car (2004 Pontiac Vibe 1.8L 1ZZFE; 140K miles) its a seriously reliable platform. I have spare brake pads stocked up, roughly $40 a set. Rotors around $60-80. Everything about this car is no frills, cheap, extremely reliable. 

The motorcycle is even cheaper ($1200?), but needs specialty tires much more often. Still, only two at a time. The insurance is $24/m, very cheap. But it does use Premium gas; still only 3.4g at a time. I'm done with the upgrades at this point ($1500?), and initial purchase price of $3600 3 years ago. All in all a cheap vehicle to own, as long as you ride it safely. Not bad for 1255cc sport bike (2009 Suzuki Bandit 1250). I've been able to make my own fuel maps for it and tune the ECU which was fun, part of the upgrades/mods. I use a wideband O2 & AEM AFR gauge to monitor the running condition as I ride, and it's all tunable thru a laptop on the fly.


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Insurance, gas, oil, and other wear items generally are pretty cheap for me overall, can't be any more than $1500-$2000/yr on average altogether. Last year was a bit of a bump though due to new tires and new front brake rotors/pads. Dont know and don't care about depreciation since I drive cars into the ground rather than try to resell them later on.


I absolutely refuse to use public transit unless I absolutely have to. Would it be cheaper? Ticket price wise, maybe. But considering where I live and being someone who pays property taxes and other expenses related to being here, it would be far more expensive than driving since we'd have to first build out the network. Currently we have an area-wide bus network, but I won't take it since I'd much rather choose when and where I go and get there on-time than to fit my life into some transit schedule. For gig work like Uber/Lyft, I dont trust them enough to get into those cars, nevermind how expensive that sort of thing is.

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  • 3 weeks later...

luckily in my case petrol consumption is low (we average around 6.3 L / 100km), which also pulls down the tax and insurance considerably. however, petrol prices are insanely high here in europe right now thanks for the war in ukraine (ugh). so in total, including insurance, petrol, maintenance/checkups and tax id say roughly 3500-4000 USD a year.


normally im a big advocate for public transport, but in this region it leaves a lot to be desired, since population density is quite low and distances are far. also the reason why this is actually the first car ive ever owned, only bought this march. before that public transport, walking, bicycle everywhere all the way 🙂 

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yeah taking those major points you laid out it's around 2200 roughly add 100/yr if it's 4 yrs for 4 tires. Gas has spiked but it's all over here one day it's 4.10/gal another it goes up to around 4.40 and I've seen it in places in the last month around 5. Not a fan of public transit unless you live and work in a major metro and don't want to ride a bike, otherwise it takes a lot more time to get anywhere and of course dealing with some of the people that use it.


It always amazes me with the carpool lanes, if a huge dump truck etc has 2 people in the cab it's all good but if a compact car/van has one person no go, sheesh makes no sense, all the clogged lanes would be less clogged(and burning fuel going slowly/less higher speed fuel savings) if the one or two carpool lanes were regular lanes. It'd be better to just dedicate one lane to a standardized(lower cost) single passenger fully-enclosed motorbike with 2-3 wheels with a top speed of 60mph or something, commute-centric vehicle electric or 2 stroke only, that you buy and keep at home. I think the ptb have what's in minority report planned though, you're meat subject to strip and search at any time etc

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considering how helpful vehicles are getting from a to b its impressive all it costs is 6 bucks a day

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