Grounded: April 2008 Archives

My Geo Metro, and why I'm keeping it

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(This has nothing to do with flying, other then it helps me save money to spend on flying...)

So, I have a 1996 Geo Metro. 3 cylinder engine, standard transmission, no AC, no cruise, not even a radio (it was stolen almost 2 years ago, and I can not be bothered to replace it). Lately, it has been showing its age and the mileage is starting to suffer. I used to get 5.5l / 100km on the highway (over 50mpg for those on the old fashion system). Now with me living in the city, and the engine getting tired, its averaging closer to 7.8l / 100km. So is it still worth keeping? Well, since it is paid for, and I would probably get less then $500 for it, I'm thinking might as well.

My other vehicle is a mini-van that gets about 13.7l / 100km, and since about once every week or so we really need the capacity, plus we have a tent trailer, we plan on keeping the van.

So, should we keep insuring the Metro? or dump it and just use the van. The Metro uses less fuel per kilometer, so it would seem to me, that at some point, if I choose the Metro over the van often enough, it will pay for itself (or at least the insurance).

The formula as I figure is this:

# of kilometers required to pay for insurance = cost of insurance / ( price of fuel * difference in mileage)

Or more specifically:

y = i / ((0.01)x(a-b))

y = km to drive
x = price of gas
a = mileage of Metro
b = mileage of van
i = cost of insurance (or other costs you want to 'cover')

Well, to save $800, with gas price currently at $1.21, I need to drive 11,206 km this year.
Last year I drove 9,000km on the Metro, and gas was cheaper, so I definitely didn't pay for the insurance, but came pretty close. Essentially I drove a second car for only a few hundred dollars / year. Cheaper then renting!

I created a public Google Spreadsheet if you want to try this out yourself.

Have fun! And keep the old econo boxes running!