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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: JanetJackson on June 21, 2017, 08:33:19 AM

Title: Should I take the company car...?
Post by: JanetJackson on June 21, 2017, 08:33:19 AM
Hi everyone!
So... I am just a baby in the world of mustachianism.  I am relatively low income (about 30k), have no work benefits (no 401k, health insurance, etc), but I have gotten myself to a savings rate of about 35-40% and am working up from there, hurray!  My job is hourly and part time (about 25 hours per week at the main job so that I can go to school and max out my classes.

My dilemma is my vehicle.  I've always had used vehicles, but I've been on a slew of little repairs that are adding up more and more.  Work has offered me a vehicle, but I am not certain it's overall advantageous.  I'll admit I am college hacking right now, just came off an 8 day intensive class program, and my brain is kind of mush, but I've gone over the details and here's what I've got.  Any insight or suggestions?

My Current Vehicle:
1996 Toyota Rav4 Coupe (the really little one)
26mpg city/28mpg highway
purchased for 3500, paid ~$700 in repairs since then

Because it's sort of a rare and "fun" car, I could probably sell for the purchased price, MAYBE 4k.

Suddenly it's burning oil and I don't even want to deal with the situation (I will, but...).

I pay $500/year for insurance, $90/year for personal property tax, $45/year for registration

Work offering:
2011 or 2013 Ford Fusion (whichever they let me have)
2011 23/33 mpg
2013 25/37
*There's also a chance they'd ask me to drive the 2008 Ford 500, which gets 21/29

I would need to reimburse: .22 per personal mile, pay for my own gas, pay for my own oil changes.

Work would cover: Insurance, Repairs, Personal Property Tax, Registration fees


I drive 400 personal miles per month, about exactly half city driving and half highway driving.
I would use one of the other company cars for work related travel, rather than itemize my reimbursements back to them- we have about 12 extra smaller cars in our fleet.

I like having my own vehicle because I can take my dog to the hiking trails.  This is a high life value item for me, and I don't want to give it up.  I could probably put her in a work car, but it's against company policy.  They'd certainly let it slide because I am a valuable asset, but I'd have to get a full backseat dog cover hammock and pay a little extra for interior upkeep.

...So what does everyone think?  What should I do?  I just got the Rav4 a few months ago after selling my last used car for a profit over purchase price, so it feels strange to talk about selling it, but having immediately needed a CC, some exhaust work, and a few other small things- and now seeing that it's starting to burn oil, I feel exhausted with the upkeep- yet I don't want to lock myself into basically a lease with my company if it is not advantageous to me.  As a side note, most people end up purchasing their work vehicles from the company after driving them for a few years.  My predacessor purchased his for $1500 when he retired.  However, they buy Ford and Chevy vehicles for the company fleet...... :/
Title: Re: Should I take the company car...?
Post by: JanetJackson on June 21, 2017, 08:58:40 AM
Additional notes: I like the RAV4 for it's space because I can sometimes grab curbside treasures, I also like that I can slide underneath and do my own oil changes without ramps (My apartment had a "no ramps in the parking lot" policy- eye rolls).

These aren't justifications, just notes! :)
Title: Re: Should I take the company car...?
Post by: Fishindude on June 21, 2017, 09:55:50 AM
Typically when work furnishes you a car, they provide everything, fuel, etc. and it is used for commuting to and from work and for business only.  Note that there are typically strings attached with company vehicles such as; can't drive to a bar, can't take for vacations, etc.   The deal they are offering while generous, isn't so great considering you have to pay for mileage, fuel and oil changes.

I'd do the math and try to negotiate a raise or monthly vehicle allowance, then just replace your vehicle.

(Here are my guesses)
If that is a $25,000 car and they keep it 10 years = $2500
Allow for annual maintenance & upkeep - $400
Allow for plates & registration = $400
Allow for insurance = $1200

Total value of this vehicle per year = $4,500
Then you are giving them back $1,056 in mileage +maybe $100 in oil changes.
Your net benefit is about $3,344 annually from this arrangement, but you may still need a personal car anyway for personal use.

Title: Re: Should I take the company car...?
Post by: itchyfeet on June 21, 2017, 12:12:21 PM
Taking the company car is almost certainly the way to go.

Cars depreciate and need repairs. This works out to be expensive. The other expense that hasn't been mentioned is financing car ownership. Your car is only $4K, so not a huge cost, but investing the $4,000 might give you a return of $200-$300 a year

You are driving an older car which won't depreciate much, but it will decline in value a little each year and then you'll want to upgrade and you'll sink another $5k into a new car, even after selling your RAV4.

... you just need to convince them to let you take the dog in the car.
Title: Re: Should I take the company car...?
Post by: JLee on June 21, 2017, 12:24:35 PM
Are you required to pay for your own gas for company use as well? Who pays for tires and normal maintenance?
Title: Re: Should I take the company car...?
Post by: JanetJackson on June 21, 2017, 12:54:14 PM
Hey y'all- thanks for the input.
To clarify, I can use the company car for anything personal- for vacation, travel, groceries, whatever- as long as I reimburse them .22 per mile for personal use.
If I were to use the car for both personal AND company use, I'd only have to pay for personal use, and could pro-rate gasoline dependent on which miles were used for work.  But since that's a bit complicated, what I'd likely do is bring the car to work in the morning (driving to and from work is considered personal use), park it, and if I needed to use a vehicle for work, I'd use something else from the lot- that way if it needed gas I could use the company credit card to fill that car up and never mingle personal and work use with the other vehicle.  I hope that makes sense?

I do have to pay for gasoline, but not for regular maintenence: tire rotations, wiper blades, etc.  I may not even need to pay for oil changes, but that specific part is not stipulated in our agreement (I don't know who wrote it, but they left that out), so I assumed I'd be responsible just to make a more conservative estimate.  It's VERY likely they would pay for oil changes, not me.

As I said, I like the "spur of the moment" advantages of the RAV4 (being able to take it camping, grab furniture, etc), but I could also borrow one of the work trucks (we have all kinds of vehicles) and reimburse them for a camping trip or to use it to move or something.