Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

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dthanson42
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Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by dthanson42 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:09 pm

My daily driver is newer (paid for) truck averaging about 18 miles per gallon (city/highway). I was averaging about 10,000 miles per year with this truck so depreciation and fuel expenses were not that big of a concern for me.

Due to an unexpected but good job change, I am now anticipate driving about 30,000 miles a year between work other use.

I do not like the idea of putting 30,000 miles a year on a newer truck as both fuel and quicker depreciation on the truck make for a very expensive ride. I have been toying with the idea of spending around $5000-$8000 on a used vehicle with higher miles that gets great fuel economy (2010 fusion hybrid for example) to use as a daily driver for work, which would cut my fuel and depreciation expenses by quite a bit on the newer truck. I understand that a 2nd vehicle brings on added costs as well(slightly higher insurance, reg fees, maintenance, depreciation, etc.). However, when factoring in the quicker depreciation of putting 30,000 miles on 2 year old truck(estimated around $3,000 per year with putting on that many miles), buying a runner for cheap makes more sense to me so i can baby the truck.

I use the truck for hunting, fishing, etc. so i really don't want to sell it. It is also bought and paid for. What would you do?

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dm200
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by dm200 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:12 pm

dthanson42 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:09 pm
My daily driver is newer (paid for) truck averaging about 18 miles per gallon (city/highway). I was averaging about 10,000 miles per year with this truck so depreciation and fuel expenses were not that big of a concern for me.
Due to an unexpected but good job change, I am now anticipate driving about 30,000 miles a year between work other use.
I do not like the idea of putting 30,000 miles a year on a newer truck as both fuel and quicker depreciation on the truck make for a very expensive ride. I have been toying with the idea of spending around $5000-$8000 on a used vehicle with higher miles that gets great fuel economy (2010 fusion hybrid for example) to use as a daily driver for work, which would cut my fuel and depreciation expenses by quite a bit on the newer truck. I understand that a 2nd vehicle brings on added costs as well(slightly higher insurance, reg fees, maintenance, depreciation, etc.). However, when factoring in the quicker depreciation of putting 30,000 miles on 2 year old truck(estimated around $3,000 per year with putting on that many miles), buying a runner for cheap makes more sense to me so i can baby the truck.
I use the truck for hunting, fishing, etc. so i really don't want to sell it. It is also bought and paid for. What would you do?
Seems to me that with that very high annual mileage AND more recent model year improved fuel economy - you might consider spending more on a later model with lower miles - maybe even a new one.

clutchied
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by clutchied » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:28 pm

dthanson42 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:09 pm
My daily driver is newer (paid for) truck averaging about 18 miles per gallon (city/highway). I was averaging about 10,000 miles per year with this truck so depreciation and fuel expenses were not that big of a concern for me.

Due to an unexpected but good job change, I am now anticipate driving about 30,000 miles a year between work other use.

I do not like the idea of putting 30,000 miles a year on a newer truck as both fuel and quicker depreciation on the truck make for a very expensive ride. I have been toying with the idea of spending around $5000-$8000 on a used vehicle with higher miles that gets great fuel economy (2010 fusion hybrid for example) to use as a daily driver for work, which would cut my fuel and depreciation expenses by quite a bit on the newer truck. I understand that a 2nd vehicle brings on added costs as well(slightly higher insurance, reg fees, maintenance, depreciation, etc.). However, when factoring in the quicker depreciation of putting 30,000 miles on 2 year old truck(estimated around $3,000 per year with putting on that many miles), buying a runner for cheap makes more sense to me so i can baby the truck.

I use the truck for hunting, fishing, etc. so i really don't want to sell it. It is also bought and paid for. What would you do?
used BMW i3. They're dirt cheap to drive. If the mileage works for you it's a fantastic car. I can basically run @ about $0.50 / "gallon equivalent". It's more or less 125MPG.

I went from $150/mo gas to $35 electricity bill. My charging equipment tells me how much I use then I cost that back per kWh.

24MPG premium fuel BMW in OH. ~$3/gallon is the control.


We use the car as the mileage mule. Saving the van and AWD cars for their respective best uses (trips and winter).

mmmodem
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by mmmodem » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:35 pm

I had a paid off truck a few years back that averaged 20 mpg. I then got a job 50 miles away from home. That meant I would drive 25,000 miles a year. I quickly did the math and fuel costs alone exceeded the monthly payments for a new Civic and the gas to go in it. I sold the truck and got the Civic. I ignored calculating extra maintenance and insurance as I was getting rid of the truck.

For you the math is the same: 30,000 miles / 18 mpg x $3 a gallon gas / 12 Months = $417 in fuel costs per month. Except you can't ignore depreciation, maintenance, insurance, etc for a second vehicle. So if you can fit a 2010 Ford Fusion for that amount then a second vehicle would work.

Here's the most important part: I bought the Civic 1 year after starting my new job. It would have been unfortunate if I didn't like the new job and have to keep it because I have a new car payment. I made sure I liked the job enough to drive 2-3 hours commute everyday.

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dm200
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by dm200 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:55 pm

With long distance commutes, almost always it can be important to have a more reliable vehicle since a breakdown or extra time in the shop are a bigger impact.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:03 pm

Sell the truck and buy a Subaru Crosstrek. Great ground clearance with all wheel drive. Check on the trim levels....might be just on the limited that gets X mode with hill decent (like a Jeep). 30 mpg is easy to get combined (we get that with our 13 Crosstrek). So it'll get you through the trails and it'll get you on the road without much gas money.

2 cars rarely pay for themselves. My second choice would be to run the truck till it's unreliable, then sell it and buy whatever's like a Crosstrek then.
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Alexa9
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by Alexa9 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:03 pm

I would sell the truck if this is going to be a financial struggle. They hold their value well so you could get top dollar for it. But if you can easily afford it, then sure, keep it for hunting/fishing. You also sell it and get an older truck if it's a struggle.
Then I'd get a 2014-2016 Camry/Accord (or Civic/Corolla if you really want to save). Great commuter cars. Both are all new for 2018 so you can save on the previous generation. With that many miles per year, you really want a bulletproof car.

Easy Rhino
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by Easy Rhino » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:38 pm

I vote used hybrid or compact car, or just keep using your truck.

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dm200
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by dm200 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:15 pm

One benefit of keeping the truck is that you then have a vehicle if the other one is being serviced.

bloom2708
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:16 pm

Newer commuter + old truck.
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inbox788
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by inbox788 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:04 pm

I'd keep the truck and get an econobox for commuting. Electric or hybrid are probably your best bets. Compare to Prius or Prius Prime or Civic.

https://www.edmunds.com/toyota/prius-pr ... st-to-own/
How We Calculate True Cost to Own®
The True Cost to Own® calculations use the following set of assumptions:

Ownership expenses are estimated for a five-year period
You will drive 15,000 miles per year
You are financing the vehicle using traditional financing, not lease financing
You have an above-average credit rating for the purpose of determining your finance rate
You are making a 10% down payment on the vehicle at purchase
Your loan term is 60 months
Using proprietary formulas, we calculate the five-year costs for the seven cost categories that make up the TCO® (depreciation, insurance, financing, taxes & fees, fuel, maintenance and repairs). We also take into account any applicable federal tax credit.
https://www.edmunds.com/car-comparisons ... =401665772

Average Cost Per Mile $0.47 Prius Prime, $0.46 Prius, $0.43 Civic, F-150 $0.59 will vary depending on assumptions and actual driving. I'm guessing over 3-5 years, the extra cost of the 2nd car is mostly offset by the savings in gas and extra maintenance/repairs you have on the truck and less depreciation (from high mileage). It would be less expensive to get rid of the truck altogether, but you won't have a truck to drive/use and you want some of that. I'd assume you'd be looking at putting 20k/10k or 25k/5k on the commuter/truck. You might even look at something a little more comfortable like an Accord/Camry, which per mile cost is closer to the Prius/Civic than the truck. Or look here for further potential cost savings: https://www.edmunds.com/about/press/edm ... value.html

But depending on the type of driving and distances, it changes the calculus. A newer used car is also helpful with cost savings, though you'll be putting a lot of miles and see repairs and higher maintenance sooner, so there's a limit to the cost savings.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:14 pm

I would probably sell the truck and get a nice light SUV that is decent on gas. Or sell the truck, get a new commuter and used truck. I wouldn't want to go cheap on a car I'm going to be driving 30k miles a year while having a new truck sit in my driveway.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:37 am

When I read hunting/fishing, I visualize towing a boat and or hauling bait and catches and field dressed game. You don’t want that stuff on the interior of your daily commute vehicle. If it’s paid for and only occasionally used, it would make sense to dial back the pickup insurance to your state minimum. Depending on your need for tow capacity if you own a boat, a single axle utility trailer plus an economic car with 2000 lb tow capacity could be the best replacement for your pickup.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

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Cycle
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by Cycle » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:47 am

I have many co-workers who drive accords/civics and have $40k hunting accessories (trucks). I recently sold a well maintained Accord for $3k with 160k miles on it. So if you were set on getting another vehicle I'd get an 06 Accord in a private sale.

My recommendation though is to stick with one vehicle to keep life simple, which I guess would be your truck. Based on you hobby choices, you can afford to forget about the additional commutting costs.

Valuethinker
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:35 am

dthanson42 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:09 pm
My daily driver is newer (paid for) truck averaging about 18 miles per gallon (city/highway). I was averaging about 10,000 miles per year with this truck so depreciation and fuel expenses were not that big of a concern for me.

Due to an unexpected but good job change, I am now anticipate driving about 30,000 miles a year between work other use.

I do not like the idea of putting 30,000 miles a year on a newer truck as both fuel and quicker depreciation on the truck make for a very expensive ride. I have been toying with the idea of spending around $5000-$8000 on a used vehicle with higher miles that gets great fuel economy (2010 fusion hybrid for example) to use as a daily driver for work, which would cut my fuel and depreciation expenses by quite a bit on the newer truck. I understand that a 2nd vehicle brings on added costs as well(slightly higher insurance, reg fees, maintenance, depreciation, etc.). However, when factoring in the quicker depreciation of putting 30,000 miles on 2 year old truck(estimated around $3,000 per year with putting on that many miles), buying a runner for cheap makes more sense to me so i can baby the truck.

I use the truck for hunting, fishing, etc. so i really don't want to sell it. It is also bought and paid for. What would you do?
30k miles p.a. I would find a car I really liked driving, then try to find a used car of that model I could afford. Maybe a used BMW-- high depreciation vehicles (because fixing them gets really expensive) so there will be cheap ones (relative to new) or even Mercedes?

That much driving can get old fast. Find something comfortable to drive.

A car should get you 30 mpg, that's significantly better than your truck. And you like your truck, and you can keep it going for years to come if you only drive it at the weekend.

$5-8k may be too cheap. You might have to go double that to find something that's reasonable and still reliable.

At 60 mph that's 500 hours of your life. That's more than 5% of all the hours in the year (8760). It better be a comfortable 500 hours.

Beach
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by Beach » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:28 pm

You can get a relatively low mileage, no frills Honda Civic in this range. While I spent a little bit more than $8K on my "transportation mobile", I also put in aftermarket leather and heat seaters which made it feel much nicer. Do a nationwide search, there are deals out there. I bought a plane ticket and drove my vehicle home because my local market was overpriced.

MI_bogle
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by MI_bogle » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:36 pm

dthanson42 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:09 pm
My daily driver is newer (paid for) truck averaging about 18 miles per gallon (city/highway). I was averaging about 10,000 miles per year with this truck so depreciation and fuel expenses were not that big of a concern for me.

Due to an unexpected but good job change, I am now anticipate driving about 30,000 miles a year between work other use.

I do not like the idea of putting 30,000 miles a year on a newer truck as both fuel and quicker depreciation on the truck make for a very expensive ride. I have been toying with the idea of spending around $5000-$8000 on a used vehicle with higher miles that gets great fuel economy (2010 fusion hybrid for example) to use as a daily driver for work, which would cut my fuel and depreciation expenses by quite a bit on the newer truck. I understand that a 2nd vehicle brings on added costs as well(slightly higher insurance, reg fees, maintenance, depreciation, etc.). However, when factoring in the quicker depreciation of putting 30,000 miles on 2 year old truck(estimated around $3,000 per year with putting on that many miles), buying a runner for cheap makes more sense to me so i can baby the truck.

I use the truck for hunting, fishing, etc. so i really don't want to sell it. It is also bought and paid for. What would you do?
I do the inverse of what you're trying to do. I bought a new Prius (55 mpg) for my 35K a year daily driver, and I have an old truck with 200K miles on it for my hunting/fishing/yardwork/whatever. It only gets about 4-5K per year put on it.

IMO it makes much more sense to have a new, reliable vehicle that you are putting a bunch of miles on, rather than having an expensive new truck sit in the driveway and rarely be used. And, at least to my tastes, I'd rather drive a beater truck for hunting/fishing/etc anyways

dthanson42
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Re: Cheap, fuel efficient 2nd car commuting?

Post by dthanson42 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:06 pm

Thank you all for your responses. I appreciate the insight. I have thought about selling the truck and looking at an older used one as it won't be driven as much. My plan is to try this commute for a month or so and then decide what to do.

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