Author Topic: Should I keep my car or get a hybrid?  (Read 1544 times)

SarahMD428

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  • Age: 38
  • Location: Warwick, RI
Should I keep my car or get a hybrid?
« on: January 03, 2016, 04:53:19 PM »
I'm thinking about getting a car with better gas mileage, but am not sure if it's worth the cost.
Currently have: 2009 Mitsubishi Galant with 82k miles. It gets 25.6 mpg. I usually put 18k miles on a year, but have had a change in situation (my carpool disbanded and I now have to travel to my mom's three times a week) which means I'll now be putting on about 24k. The car has no problems though I am overdue for some scheduled maintenance. I own it outright.
I am looking to get a 2010+ Prius. The mpg should be about 47. This would cost $5-10k out of pocket (after selling mine). I would pay cash.
There is an emotional pull to get a newer car -  my Galant has zero features and it was the car I got after totalling my last one, which haunts me 3 years later.
What do you think?
(Sorry if a similar analysis has already been done  - I can't get the search function to work right now.)

lbmustache

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Re: Should I keep my car or get a hybrid?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2016, 08:00:35 PM »
All you have to do is calculate how long it will take you to save $5k-$10.

Fueleconomy.gov will give you the answer. I calculated the numbers using 24.5k miles a year, gas at $2.50 a gallon (may be lower where you are), and 55% in stop-go traffic.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=25274&id=26425&#tab1

Now, if you want  a car purely for newer features, etc. that's a different story. It's up to you if it is worth $10k.

Indexer

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Re: Should I keep my car or get a hybrid?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2016, 08:24:14 PM »
I've actually pondered the same thing because my car only gets around 26 in normal city driving, and I get about 32 on long trips if I hypermile. I'm keeping my car for now just because I don't drive enough(9k miles/yr) to justify spending money to get better mpg.

The math:

18,000 / 25.6 = 703.125 gallons. At $2.50 a gallon = $1757.81
18,000 / 47 = 382.97 gallons. At $2.50 a gallon = $957.44

Difference = $800.3725

If you are going to spend 5k more it would take 6.24 years to justify the purchase.

This is roughly the same conclusion I came to when I ran the numbers. My car doesn't have good mpg, but as long as it is still running it is still cheaper than getting a newer used car with better mpg. I'll drive it till it is on its last legs, and then get a car with better mpg.

SarahMD428

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  • Age: 38
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Re: Should I keep my car or get a hybrid?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2016, 10:11:24 PM »
All you have to do is calculate how long it will take you to save $5k-$10.

Fueleconomy.gov will give you the answer. I calculated the numbers using 24.5k miles a year, gas at $2.50 a gallon (may be lower where you are), and 55% in stop-go traffic.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=25274&id=26425&#tab1

Now, if you want  a car purely for newer features, etc. that's a different story. It's up to you if it is worth $10k.

Thanks lb! That website was super helpful and it was very thoughtful of you to put all of my info in too.
I've actually pondered the same thing because my car only gets around 26 in normal city driving, and I get about 32 on long trips if I hypermile. I'm keeping my car for now just because I don't drive enough(9k miles/yr) to justify spending money to get better mpg.

The math:

18,000 / 25.6 = 703.125 gallons. At $2.50 a gallon = $1757.81
18,000 / 47 = 382.97 gallons. At $2.50 a gallon = $957.44

Difference = $800.3725

If you are going to spend 5k more it would take 6.24 years to justify the purchase.

This is roughly the same conclusion I came to when I ran the numbers. My car doesn't have good mpg, but as long as it is still running it is still cheaper than getting a newer used car with better mpg. I'll drive it till it is on its last legs, and then get a car with better mpg.
And thanks for doing my math Indexer.  Yea, it looks like it will not be worth my money to switch my car. Gas is under $2/gallon in RI, making it take even longer to break even.
While there is always that pull to get something newer, it just doesn't work out financially. I think I might add an after market backup camera to my Galant.
Trying to keep my eye on the prize (FIRE)!