Author Topic: Should I Get A More Fuel Efficient Car?  (Read 3046 times)

Kiwi Mustache

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Should I Get A More Fuel Efficient Car?
« on: April 29, 2015, 09:23:55 PM »
I currently have a 1997 Nissan Wingroad California.

Itís fuel efficiency is:
13.3 km/litre
31.4 miles/gallon
7.5 litres/100km
3.18 gallons/100 miles

It is a compact wagon but more like a hatchback. It is a 1.5 engine.

It runs pretty well, doesnít need costly repairs, I get it serviced once per year. I drive around 10,000-15,000km/6200-9300miles per year.

Iíve worked out based on current fuel prices that it is costing me $1504-2273 per year in petrol. If I was to buy a more fuel efficient hatchback type model, something like a Honda Fit/Jazz, I could save around $463-694 per year on fuel. If I got a very small hatchback something like a Toyota Vitz, I could save $606-909 per year on fuel.

My current car has 170km/106miles on the odometer and I plan to drive it until it starts costing me too much in repairs or simply blows up. My last car I drove to 350,000km/217,000 miles before this happened.

I bought the car in good condition three years ago for $4900. I can get these more fuel efficient cars with less mileage than my current car for around $5000 also. I could sell my current car for perhaps $4000.

I use the car to get to and from work (is cheaper than public transport) and try ride my bike to work 1-2 times per week when it is not raining. I have things on after work (sports, groups, etc) and in the weekends which I often drive to. I use it to put my bike in the back but could also do this if I fold down the seats with a small hatchback car.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 09:28:56 PM by Kiwi Mustache »

otter

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Re: Should I Get A More Fuel Efficient Car?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2015, 02:16:27 PM »
Using the figures you give, selling your Wingroad and buying something like a Jazz would leave you about $1000 behind at the outset, and at ~$600/year fuel savings it would take you on the order of 20 months to make up that initial cost; after that, you'd be money ahead. Certainly the case for buying another car to save money on fuel is much easier in this case than for a case of buying a new car that gets, say, 20% better fuel consumption, where it would take something like a decade to recoup the initial expense. If that order of savings is attractive to you, and your are 'meh' enough about the Wingroad (I'm guessing that it drives like the '90s Sunny it's probably based on, and I know I'd rather drive a Fit) then you can come out ahead replacing it. If you're happy enough with it, it's probably a 50-50 case.

RexualChocolate

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Re: Should I Get A More Fuel Efficient Car?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2015, 02:23:28 PM »
MPG is just nibbling at the margins. Finding a way to drive less than 25 miles a day, every day, will be a lot more savings. That's 4 hours a week in an automobile or 3.125% of your waking hours.

daverobev

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Re: Should I Get A More Fuel Efficient Car?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2015, 07:23:12 PM »
Probably not, though tires and maintenance might also be cheaper on the newer car.

Do you pay tax on used vehicles?

Try to improve your driving habits and inflate your tires a couple of psi, see if you can improve your fuel economy.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Should I Get A More Fuel Efficient Car?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2015, 02:13:33 AM »
So you're budgeting on a Jazz getting 5.3L/100km, and a Vitz (isn't it similar to an Echo/Yaris?) getting around 4.5L/100km (based on $2/L fuel)? I don't know how likely that is if you're getting 7.5l/100km with the Wingroad.

Could you get a bit better economy from the Nissan? It's hardly a Hummer as it is.

Also I was in NZ last year, it's interesting how many cars are common there that are very rare in Australia.

Scandium

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Re: Should I Get A More Fuel Efficient Car?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2015, 06:33:41 AM »
Are these UK gallons vs US gallons? I don't see how your numbers work out, since an older honda fit is reported at 33 MPG highway. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=31081
(The 2015 is 41 MPG)

From what I've seen, unless you buy a 2014 or newer hatchback or a hybrid you won't get much better than low-mid 30s. I don't see how you can cut your fuel use by 30%+ by going up a few mpgs.

ah ok. I changed settings. The 2011 honda fit uses 7.1 L/100 km (2015 is 5.7 L/100km). Only slightly better than you current one. This would save you 60 L per year. What's the cost per liter of fuel?

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Should I Get A More Fuel Efficient Car?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2015, 03:39:36 PM »
Are these UK gallons vs US gallons? I don't see how your numbers work out, since an older honda fit is reported at 33 MPG highway. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=31081
(The 2015 is 41 MPG)

I'd avoid comparing US fuel economy figures in this case.  The Fit (called Jazz in most of the AsiaPac region) came standard with a 1.2 liter engine as opposed to a 1.5 liter here in USA.  The gearing was different too, as America only got the shortest, sportiest gearing.

TN_Steve

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Re: Should I Get A More Fuel Efficient Car?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2015, 04:00:18 PM »
Are these UK gallons vs US gallons? I don't see how your numbers work out, since an older honda fit is reported at 33 MPG highway. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=31081
(The 2015 is 41 MPG)

I'd avoid comparing US fuel economy figures in this case.  The Fit (called Jazz in most of the AsiaPac region) came standard with a 1.2 liter engine as opposed to a 1.5 liter here in USA.  The gearing was different too, as America only got the shortest, sportiest gearing.

Plus, in the US, the government numbers are way off if one drives carefully.  I have a '13 base-model Fit with a manual.  My commuting MPG (~66% highway) is 41-43 mpg.  (Long trips on highway with Cruise control at 75-78 mph still gets 34-36 mpg).

Jeremy E.

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Re: Should I Get A More Fuel Efficient Car?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2015, 04:51:21 PM »
I would stick with your current car.