In yesterday’s blog post, I went over how my Toyota Land Cruiser with over 300,000 miles on it had finally blown its engine. I then went on to compare the 5 year cost if I were to fix and keep it and compared that to the 5 year costs of buying a brand new top of the line Chevy Suburban, buying a two year old top of the line Chevy Suburban, or getting one that is 4 years old. I also compared this to the cost of getting the deal of the century, a rental from Alamo for a Chevy Suburban and keeping it for 5 years switching it out for a new one every few months. Luckily, when I got my free credit report all these options turned out to be good possibilities.
Oddly enough, the price winner hands down was the two year old Suburban which came out to $58,309 which strangely was almost identical to the cost of buying a 4 year old Suburban. The other possible alternative was simply renting a brand new Suburban from Alamo which ended up costing $67,765, but had the advantage of always having a brand new car, being able to switch it out whenever it needed maintenance, and gave infinite flexibility in case I was travelling, didn’t need a car, wanted to drive a different car for a while, or wanted to give up and buy a car. I still might very possibly go with the rental option.
You can read the details of yesterday’s post, True Cost of Ownership.
Bottom line any way you slice it we are talking a shitload of money to drive a decent car. All of these options come out to around $1,000 a month. The next step I took today was to see if there was another car maybe not quite as spacious and maybe without as much haul-assability but that costs a lot less money. So, I pulled reports again from Edmunds’ True Cost of Ownership calculator. There are some other cars that I can conceive of driving and even some a step down from that. The first car I brought up is the 2010 fully loaded, leathered, 4 wheel drive Suburban. That was the sweet spot from yesterday. You’ll see that it has a 5 year total cost of ownership of $58,309.
The next car I pulled was the 2010 Chevy Tahoe. This is a badass car. It seems very similar to the Suburban, but not as nice and ends up costing over 5 years $109.40 less per year.
Next I tried the Ford Expedition which is a smaller car. I have rented these before for long drives and they were totally cool just not quite as ‘living room’ roomy as the Suburban. The 5 year cost of ownership on the Expedition was $54,425 which is almost as much as the Suburban so for me totally not worth the money savings for the lack of room.
The next one I looked at is a car I would never drive because it is just too small to throw a party in, the Ford Explorer. I wanted to see though what it would cost to drive the 2010 version of the most popular car in America. The 5 year cost for the Explorer was $47,167 which saves you about 20% so considering the comfort difference over 5 years totally not worth it for me.
Then I looked at a Toyota 4Runner which is a totally badass car but also way too small for me. The cost on this is $48,750. Again, a 20% savings, but not worth it for the size difference.
Remember gas mileage has been included in these numbers.
The big surprise was the 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser. My Land Cruiser has cost me almost nothing to drive. I was totally shocked to see that it was $15,214 dollars more to drive a used Land Cruiser for 5 years versus a Suburban.
The only way I can make sense of the Land Cruiser price is that because they are such badass, reliable, unreal, off-road vehicles people are willing to pay a premium for the chance to buy one. I agree a Land Cruiser is much cooler than a Suburban just because of the handling reliability and body style.
I am going to call the garage tomorrow and figure out the range of costs and probabilities of what it will cost to get my car fixed. Where I am now is deciding between getting my old car fixed, buying a 2010 Suburban, or most likely for convenience and how busy I am in life just doing a long term car rental. Another huge advantage of a car rental is they don’t keep track of mileage. I am driving a shitload right now. I talked to my friend, Mark, and he just leased a BMW and has to be somewhat conscious of the mileage. That fact made me realize another huge advantage of renting over leasing.
I’ll keep you posted.