I like to crunch numbers. I don’t enjoy math, but I like to see how things work out in real life. Yeah, I don’t understand either.
I am looking for a cheap, economical car to buy. Right now it seems like these are few and far between, so I have been looking at a Buick that is pretty cheap, that gets mileage of 19/27 (city/hwy). This got me thinking….how much more am I actually paying for gas each month for a change in MPG?
Break out the spreadsheet. I made a spreadsheet that shows how much I will pay per month for a car that gets an avg MPG of 20, all the way up to 35MPG, at different gasoline prices. For instance, if I use the current price of $4 a gallon, I will pay $114.40 per month in gas (since I drive about 1000 miles a month) in a car that gets 35MPG. If I drive the same amount in a car that only gets 20MPG, I will spend $200 in gas (an extra $85.60 for you math challenged).
As gas prices go up (and they are sure to do so with our current Genius in Chief), I will pay an extra $28.6 per month for every dollar it goes up (at 35 mpg). At 20mpg, that is an extra $50 per month.
When Obama took office, gasoline cost about $1.87 per gallon. In our minivan (which averages 20mpg) we paid $93.50 a month to drive 1000 miles. Right now we are paying about $200 to drive the same distance.
The question I’m considering right now is this: which is better: to buy a more economical car for more money, or to buy a less economical car for less money? If I bought a 35MPG car at $5000, the gas for the three years I owned it would cost me $5148 (at an avg gas price of $5), so the total cost would be $10148 over 3 years. If I bought a 20MPG car at $3000, the gas over 3 years would cost me $9000, so my total cost would be $12000 over the same amount of time.
I’m thinking I shouldn’t buy the Buick. I need to find a car that averages over 30mpg. Anybody know where I can find one for less than $5000?