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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: jmink on July 09, 2015, 06:53:18 AM

Title: Should I buy a second car?
Post by: jmink on July 09, 2015, 06:53:18 AM
On the surface of it this sounds absurd.  I understand that.

Here's the situation.  I have a 2002 Toyota Tacoma, which gets 20 mpg.  I did a bunch of research before buying it and it was the best fit for my most constraining use case, which is Search and Rescue.  I have to be able to drive down any forest road in the state in any weather and have enough room for a large dog crate in the back.  It's a plus if it's comfy to sleep in, which this Tacoma is since it's got a cap and a sleeping platform inside.

But driving around a giant pickup truck makes me feel like a tool.  It's stupidly expensive per mile both in $s and in environmental impact.

Since I bought it September I've put 14k miles on it, which is ludicrous, since that's an average of 1.4k miles a month.  I'm moving into town this month, so I expect that number to drop some, but my brother and high school friends will still be three hours away so it's not going to drop to a normally Mustachain level.  There's also random 6 hour drives for search and rescue, but those are at least tax deductible.

The truck cost me $8,000 and had 174k miles on it at the time.  Assuming a life time of 250k miles and a scrap value of 3k that's a cost of $52 dollars per thousand miles in straight car value, plus (1,000miles/20miles per gallon * $3.50 per gallon) $175 dollar a thousand miles in gas for a total of $227 per thousand miles not including maintenance.

I could buy a more fuel efficient little thing that didn't need to handle too much dirt and drive that for all my visiting people/work travel/etc.  It seems crazy to think about, but since I'm currently spending $3,178 just on millage dependent car costs per year there might be some savings to be had there.

For context I'm 29 years old, currently saving 70% of my income, but am not yet FI.  The 3K a year is about 3% of my yearly income post tax.