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Cost of ownership - my 2011 4 banger

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Old 02-20-2011, 04:14 AM   #1
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Cost of ownership - my 2011 4 banger

I am an absolute nerd when it comes to cost of ownership per mile. I am a tech who spends his day driving to cell towers and working on CDMA/LTE equipment. I carry a good bit of tools around and there's some off-roading involved. I average about 30k mi/yr for business and 10-15k for personal use. I get reimbursed at the IRS rate of $.51/mi

My last car was a 2002 Mini cooper (I had payments, had to drive it!) that I drove from 71k to 170k. Total cost in was $36,000 with $26k in mileage reimbursement - so the car cost me around $.10/mi to own.

When that finally gave out, i bought a 94 explorer as a beater truck. My total net money in is $1377 for 5k miles and I still own it. I should be able to sell it for $2k and turn a profit.

Cost of ownership involves payment, interest, gas, accessories, repairs - Even sponges or trips to the car wash - I mean every time i spent a penny on those vehicles, I tracked it. I will do my best to bump this thread once a month when I make my insurance and car note payment as well as get my mileage reimbursement back. I hope that around the 120k mile mark, the car will reach a $.0/mi cost of ownership.

Pics coming soon!
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:03 PM   #2
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Sounds intersting.

For me, moving from a V6 to I4 has given me a 3-4mpg gain. I generally factor fuel, purchase price, major maintenance/repairs, accesories and residual. However I associate minor routine maintenance washing and cleaning cost as fixed cost that are the same regardless of the vehicle.

So far my cheapest vehicles have been my Jeep Wrangler and a 96 Isuzu Trooper. The Wrangler I still own and the Trooper I purchased for 6k spent another 1.6k, drove it 6 years sold it for 5k. The Wrangler has about $7K invested and a residual of 5-6K and I've driven it 8 years.

I know years aren't popular as miles in factoring ROI or COO, but I only drive about 6K a year on my primary vehicle. We live in the center of town so trips are 1-3 miles which also seems to put MPG in the 17-18mpg realm. This goes for my Jeep and wife's Honda. We just don't drive enough to makeup for the start-up mpg loss. SO I generally view cost based on Cost per month.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:14 PM   #3
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I never thought this in depth about it. I just know it costs me roughly $500 per month to operate my truck. So at 1,700 miles per month average...that puts me at about .30 cents per mile. If I factor in oil changes, I would probably be somewhere around .35 cents.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:42 PM   #4
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I don't get paid for mileage but I did the math and I realize I don't drive enough! I have had my little 5 lugger for 11 months and have only put 8,000 miles on it! With payment and cost of gas, oil changes, etc... I would say I'm around $400 a month at most. So that would put me at $.55 a mile? I think that's right....I hate math.

Don't really care about the cost now since I am stuck with the payments for quite a while. I do need to put some more miles on her though, hope to go on some good camping trips down south this year.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:28 PM   #5
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Love this kind of stuff. I have a scan-gauge II and I usually get around 25 mpg with my Access-cab Prerunner 5 spd. I have it lifted on smaller tires. I drive up hill to work at around 22-23 mpg and home is usually 26-28 mpg. Summertime I can get almost 500 miles out of tank of gas which I absolutely love.

I just need more time to calculate all this stuff out.

Brent
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:32 AM   #6
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I track all my mileage anyway at work: e.g. " Went to JAX40, 1.5 Hrs, drove to Ocala warehouse to p/u antenna, Drive to GAN22" etc

its nothing when I stop for gas to write down how much I spent and what the odo says. Plus, its a rush every 2 weeks to get that $700-$900 check which is pure tax-free reimbursement for my vehicle use.

I started out putting $5k down so my first few months is going to be expensive per mile!!
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:21 AM   #7
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:32 AM   #8
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Great post Tim, love the extent to which you track costs, so you are seeing the REAL out-of-pocket cost. Do you have a smart phone app you track your costs with, or just write it down and enter it into a computer? I've been tracking costs (fuel and service) of my beater S10 using an iPhone app called GasCubby. Think I will look into more complete cost tracking when I get my 2011 Taco next month.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:34 PM   #9
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I go old-school with a notebook and pen

Vehicle cost is the same, whether its a bumper-sticker or a payment. Of course, what in unique about my situation is the $.51/mi I get back for driving it. The zero point is what I hope to get within 120k miles and I think in the toyota this should be a piece of cake.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:05 PM   #11
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Cool topic! I got what I got in no small part because I'm trying to be frugal.

I'm not fastidious like the OP, but my ROUGH estimate would be that my "Albino Mule" will cost me about 31˘/mi. That's 13˘ for depreciation & maintenance, 12˘ for gas and 6˘ insurance (based on 200K over 20 years). Plus or minus a few ˘, or course!

Even if my figures prove to be all wrong, I'm still pretty sure I'll be making out like a bandit with the standard mileage rate.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:07 AM   #12
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Well it just occurred to me that the 17th and 18th of last week were the last 2 days of my mileage cycle and I drove the truck for those. The dealer paid for my first tank of gas. Tag is temporary and my insurance is paid for by a credit on my account from my previous vehicle. Aaaaand my $5k down payment is behind held til friday.

18th - period end Business miles: 212 @ $.51/mi = $108.12

personal and business miles driven - 300

$108.12/300mi = + $.36/mi (profit)
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:11 PM   #13
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Nice. I travel a lot for work too and take the $0.51/mile reimbursement. So far I have tracked my fuel costs on Fuelly.com to be about $0.12/mile but i haven't broken down insurance cost/car payment/maintenance costs per mile yet. Partially I figure I'm paying insurance and car payments regardless if I drive for work or pleasure and I've had $0 in maintenance in the first 3k miles and hopefully on up to 20k with the complimentry ToyotaCare the truck came with, although you figure that to be a hidden cost with the purchace price of the truck.

So I just figure I roughly make $0.39/mile at this point for work mileage with 1800 miles driven so far for work that comes out to $702 I've gotten back from uncle sam tax free. I really should set that money aside into a special "truck fund" to cover future maintenance and possilbe money for a new vehicle down the road. This is the first brand new vehicle I have purchased and I sincerly hope to own it atleast 10 years. 4 out of my 5 previous vehicles were 12 to 16 years old when I sold them off, and 2 had over 240,000 miles.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:56 PM   #14
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I also get mileage reimbursement from Toyota, the usual .51/mile for my personal car. That will change next month when I get my corporate lease Taco. Because Toyota will be paying for virtually EVERYTHING but gas (even insurance), the reimbursement rate will be .19/mile. Travel isn't daily, but it does add up, especially when there's a vehicle launch project away from home base. My lease includes up to 30k miles per year, and I will be paying $340/mo.

BTW Tim, I used to live in Ocala a lot of years ago. Would sure like to get back for a visit some day.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:36 PM   #15
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So since Toyota is paying your lease and insurance what is the $340/month you're paying? Is that gas cost?
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:56 PM   #16
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I do keep track of the cost to own/operate my truck. I am a low mileage driver, so anything I do to the truck will take me years to get the cost per mile down.

What I do not include in that is the truck payment, I do not consider that a cost of ownership. After all, if I did not own/make payments on the truck in the first place, I would not have the other associated costs such as insurance, fuel and maintenance. If I really want to know that number I can add that in at anytime.

For business purposed I would keep track of every cent the way you do, because it would be a NEED, not a want.

edit to add: Road Trip by Darren stone for the iPhone is an excellent app for keeping track of everything, even on the road.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISUGrad05 View Post
Nice. I travel a lot for work too and take the $0.51/mile reimbursement. So far I have tracked my fuel costs on Fuelly.com to be about $0.12/mile but i haven't broken down insurance cost/car payment/maintenance costs per mile yet. Partially I figure I'm paying insurance and car payments regardless if I drive for work or pleasure and I've had $0 in maintenance in the first 3k miles and hopefully on up to 20k with the complimentry ToyotaCare the truck came with, although you figure that to be a hidden cost with the purchace price of the truck.

So I just figure I roughly make $0.39/mile at this point for work mileage with 1800 miles driven so far for work that comes out to $702 I've gotten back from uncle sam tax free. I really should set that money aside into a special "truck fund" to cover future maintenance and possilbe money for a new vehicle down the road. This is the first brand new vehicle I have purchased and I sincerly hope to own it atleast 10 years. 4 out of my 5 previous vehicles were 12 to 16 years old when I sold them off, and 2 had over 240,000 miles.

Absolutely. that $.51 may seem like a lot against the cost of gas but its designed to factor in oil changes, tires, brakes, and regular maintenance as well.

Essentially, if you put any extra mileage money into a truck fund against your payment or a mechanical breakdown if you arent under warranty then thats the way to go. I use my truck as a personal vehicle too so eventually my job, while using my personal vehicle allows me to use it almost for free after a time.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdtemple View Post
I do keep track of the cost to own/operate my truck. I am a low mileage driver, so anything I do to the truck will take me years to get the cost per mile down.

What I do not include in that is the truck payment, I do not consider that a cost of ownership. After all, if I did not own/make payments on the truck in the first place, I would not have the other associated costs such as insurance, fuel and maintenance. If I really want to know that number I can add that in at anytime.

For business purposed I would keep track of every cent the way you do, because it would be a NEED, not a want.

edit to add: Road Trip by Darren stone for the iPhone is an excellent app for keeping track of everything, even on the road.
If you are making payments, you need to track the interest on the payments as a cost of ownership.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISUGrad05 View Post
So since Toyota is paying your lease and insurance what is the $340/month you're paying? Is that gas cost?
No, I'm paying the lease (sry, wasn't too clear in my first post) and gas, Toyota is paying everything else (except my mods )
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:54 AM   #20
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I calculated my cost of ownership at $0.33 per mile. At first it seemed like a lot but that includes everything: fuel (22 mpg at $4/gallon), tires every 60k, oil change every 5k, general maintenance (transmission/brake service, alignments, gear oil, etc.), annual registration, insurance, and the initial cost of the vehicle (bought used for $16k otd). This is all assuming I'll get 300k miles out of it. Trivial items such as soapy washes and wiper blades were not included. Curious to see what others will get when all these costs are included.

EDIT: Did not include that I'll probably get some resale value in the end. And who knows, in 10 years maybe I'll buy a newer truck that gets 28-30mpg and this will change all over again.
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