General Question

walterallenhaxton's avatar

If it costs 7000$ more / car for fuel efficiency will you have to drive it a lot to get your moneys worth?

Asked by walterallenhaxton (888points) May 19th, 2009

I drive about 2500 miles a year and I don’t see how I would ever get any advantage from this.

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14 Answers

miasmom's avatar

How much better gas mileage does it get?

DarkScribe's avatar

Aside from the fact that there is usually some form of Government bonus and sometimes reduced registration costs, yes, it will need to be driven further of for longer. If all hybrid etc., type vehicles offered genuine savings, everyone would buy them. The difference with my annual mileage, between driving something like a Golf Diesel and a Hybrid is such that the hybrid would obviously be far more expensive as the Golf Diesel approaches the Hybrid mileage returns and costs a similar amount of money. The difference between my preferred vehicle, a BMW, and a hybrid appears on the surface to favour the hybrid, until actual “non-fuel” type running costs are factored in, then the BMW is better. The hybrid costs a huge amount of money to own over a four year lease period. They are not cheap to maintain – just to run.

miasmom's avatar

Here is a hypothetical:

Let’s say your current car gets 25mpg, you would need 100 gal for the year, gas is about $2/gal, so gas cost for you is $200 for the year.

Now let’s say you got a hybrid that did 50mpg. You would need 50 gal of gas a year and that would be about $100.

So, since you drive so little, you would only be saving a $100/year, which would mean you would need to have the car for 70 years just to break even.

In you case it probably isn’t worth it, it might be more advantageous to get rid of your car altogether and rent one when you need it.

cwilbur's avatar

You probably wouldn’t, but someone who drives closer to the American average of 12,000 miles a year probably would.

Exactly how much it benefits you depends on the cost of gas and the different mileage of the two vehicles.

basp's avatar

In my opinion, if the change has a substantial positive impact on the evironment, then it is worth it.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

dude buy a honda CRX 89 or something, You can buy those things for like 2000 in decent to good mechanical shape, and they get like 48 mpg city, and like 50 something highway. And its not a hybrid.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@LKidKyle1985 We are talking about light trucks to. Will it carry 3/4 ton of bricks too?

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@basp How could it do that? Wind and solar have substantial impacts on the environment as well as solar coal and natural gas. We are talking cars here not scooters made entirely of wood.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@miasmom I don’t mind the better mileage. I like that. 7000$ is the price of a good used car. You could get around fine with it and by limiting your trips pay the same for fuel. Why pay for the rest of the car at all?

basp's avatar

I’m not a mechanic, but my understanding is that some cars are more environmentally friendly than others.
Perhaps I am wrong about that, eh?

miasmom's avatar

@walterallenhaxton I agree, for you it isn’t worth the extra $7000.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@basp Those which do their job most efficiently. That is really hard to know. The materials that go into the car the labor that goes into the car also consumes resources. Lower paid labor less of them. Then there is the needed life of the vehicle by the customer. Will it last that long with few repairs. Fuel mileage is one of the factors as well as the adaptability to other uses that the customer might need it for. I also consider it important that the customer fits into it properly to be a need because if he doesn’t it could be discarded sooner. Ease of repair also reduces inputs.
As you can see an economic problem like this one has far too many variables for it to be decided by any person that the one who is closest to it. Just moving the decision away from there results in waste and increased burdens on the environment.
If a person really wanted to do something for the environment they would work to eliminate zoning and encourage that each building in a neighborhood made sense being there. I would love to have more and more useful stores in my neighborhood as well as more employers. Making things or shopping is in no way incompatible with people living in houses. Of course industry can effect the neighbors but that can be reduced to residential levels of nuisance. Nobody is going to try to cram a big factory into a small aria and absent emanate domain there would sure to be someone who would stop that.

basp's avatar

Well made points, walter and I agree. But, in regards to the topic at hand, how environmentally friendly a car is would be a factor for me.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@basp Of course. I think that many pickups are not good vehicles for workmen myself. You can do so much more with a step van and have all the tools you need with you. Few people see this. In my town it would probably be illegal to park one. That was a bad law that they passed recently.

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