Published on June 27th, 2008 | by Max Lindberg
How Many Hours Do You Have to Work to Fill Your Gas Tank?
You Might Be Very Surprised
A few days back I posted a You Tube presentation about two professors from Duke University who came up with a different, and in their minds, more accurate way to determine the efficiency of the engine in your vehicle.
It’s nice to know how many miles per gallon (MPG), or as the profs say, gallons per mile (GPM) your vehicle will get, but there’s more, much more to that equation.
First of all, you’re paying a premium for regular gasoline, $4 maybe in excess of $5 a gallon, and you decide to fill it up. Sticker shock will settle in quickly, but how about this, how many hours will you have to work in order to pay for that fuel?
CNN has posted a super simple calculator to help you determine how long you’ll have to work in order to fill the gas tank on your car. The link is below, along with another link that ties into the overall cost of owning a car, and a chart to see how your vehicle stacks up against the least expensive cars to own, and they aren’t hybrids.
How Much is Your Vehicle Costing You Each Day?
Face it, whether moving constantly or sitting in the garage for days on end, your vehicle is costing you money. Here are the considerations:
- Depreciation (your vehicle loses value every day)
- Taxes & Fees
The Edmunds Company has posted a great “True Cost to Own” (TCO) page that helps determine what your vehicle is costing you over a five-year period, based on being driven an average 15,000 miles a year. The calculator offers new or used options, for model years 2003 thru 2007. The link is below, and when you’ve figured the “True Cost to Own” for your vehicle, along with total cash price and the average cost per mile, compare your car with the ones below.
Just remember, all the figures you come up with are averages, and won’t necessarily be an accurate depiction of your costs.
What Are the Ten Cheapest Cars to Drive? They’re Not Hybrids!
The Edmunds company used their calculator to look at the latest 2008 model vehicles, to see which ones would be the cheapest to own over a five year period. Surprisingly, there isn’t a single hybrid in the bunch, as a matter of fact, hybrids didn’t do all that well.
A quick rundown of the least expensive in order:
- Chevrolet Aveo 5 Special Value 4dr Hatchback
- Hyundai Accent GS2dr Hatchback
- Honda Fit 4 dr Hatchback
- Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback
- Honda Civic DX 4dr Sedan
- Nissan Versa 1.8 S 4d Hatchback
- Mazda MAZDA3 i Sport 4dr Sedan
- Kia Rio 4 dr Sedan
- Scion xB 4 dr Wagon
- Toyota Corolla CE 4dr Sedan
The lease expensive to operate in the first year was the Chevrolet Aveo costing $0.427 a mile to operate.
The Toyota came in at $0.468 a mile for the first year, so you can see the margins are small.
Moving to the Hybrids
Same order, least expensive first:
- Honda Civic Hybrid 4dr Sedan gas/electric hybrid CVT
- Toyota Prius Standard 4dr Hatchback gas/electric hybrid CVT
- Nissa Altima Hybrid 4dr Sedan gas/electric hybrid CVT
- Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 4dr Sedan gas/electric hybrid 4A
- Ford Escape 4dr SUV gas/electric hybrid CVT
- Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4dr SUV gas/electric hybrid CVT
- Toyota Camry Hybrid 4dr Sedan gas/electric hybrid CVT
- Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV gas/electrc hybrid CVT
- Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD gas/electric hybrid CVT
- Lexus RX 400h 4dr SUV gas/electric hybrid CVT.
The Honda Civic Hybrid came in at $.0476 a mile while the last place Lexus RX 400h would cost an estimated $0.897 per mile.
Again, these are estimates based on a system of calculations by the Edmunds Company and explained on their website.
You’ll find the complete totals on the “Hybrid Vehicles Not Best Value According to Edmunds” link below.
So, How Many Hours Do You Have To Work To Own Your Vehicle?
The math should be easy from here, if you work an 8 hour day, 40 hours a week you work 1080 2080 hours a year. Average out the total amount of gas you buy for a year, divide by 1080 2080 and there you have it. Then add that number to the one you found through the Edmunds calculator and that should give you the total number of hours you need to work to support your car.
So there you have it, only you will know exactly how much your vehicle is costing you, and if not, I hope these guides will help you determine your own costs.
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