Sunday, August 26, 2012

Is it Possible for a car to pay for itself?

Ever think about having a nice car that really does pay for itself? No? If you didn’t think such a thing was possible, think again. Based in no small part on what you’re paying right now for a car, it is possible to purchase a brand new car today that can actually pay for itself in insurance, fuel savings and maintenance fees. All you really have to do is think carefully about scaling back on the kind of car you buy. After all, do you really need a full-size pickup truck just to go back and forth to work?

First, take a look at how much your car or truck costs you per month. Chances are good that if it’s relatively new, you’re paying more than $400 per month on your loan. Add to that an average of $300 per month for fuel costs, $80 for insurance, and another $20 for maintenance, and you could be paying as much as $800 per month or more just to drive back and forth to work every day.

For our money-saving example, let’s look at a brand-new Chevrolet Sonic. MSRP for a four-door example that isn’t badly equipped is $14,765. That works out to about $260 per month on a 60-month, 3.5% interest loan.

Continuing with the example, the Sonic gets fuel economy that approximately averages 35 MPG. If you’re driving a 30-mile round trip every day, the Sonic will score you at least 10 days of driving on a full tank of gas. To boot, that tank will set you back just $35 at today’s prices. Total monthly cost? $105.

Finally, insurance costs. Obviously, they’re going to fluctuate, but when the professionals print out that yearly list of most stolen vehicles of the year, they don’t even know what a Sonic is. To them, it’s a great place to grab a chili dog and a refreshing drink. The point is, compared to most vehicles today, it’s safe to say you’ll save at least 1/3 of your insurance costs every month.

So, the grand total cost of your brand-spanking new Chevrolet Sonic comes to about $365 per month, not including insurance and maintenance. Round it to an even $400, and you’ve got an extra $400 in your pocket every month.

Some say that the best way to attain financial freedom is by buying only half of what you can afford. While you might be able to plunk down that cash on a BMW, ask yourself, do you really need it? What for? Keeping up with the Joneses? Sure, if you just can’t live without it and you can afford to, why the heck not? Of course, if you’re of a mind to save a bit for a rainy day, then you may want to think carefully about that bruiser you’ve been driving around. It might just be the biggest waste of money in your budget! While it may not yet be possible for your car to actually get a job for itself and make its own payments, it does go a long way toward paying for itself when you can save half what you’re spending now, doesn’t it?

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