Cost of owning an automobile

NY times has an illuminating article on the current cost of car ownership. And I thought single-family real estate was a bad deal. {{ LOL }}

As I suspected, the best way to reduce the cost of automobile ownership is to get a big personal injury settlement after a collision.

The article prompted me to calculate my own “cost of ownership” for my fully-depreciated 2005 Nissan Altima.

Insurance – $320/yr
Tax and Registration – $118/yr
Maintenance & Repairs – less than $100/yr
Gasoline @$5/gallon – $300/yr
I’m assuming my garage is “free” since it would be filling up with junk if the car wasn’t in there, otherwise you’d add $80/month or $960/yr for the value of the garage. Though parking is at a premium in my neighborhood, maybe it’s worth more.

Total = $320+$118+$100+$300 = $838/yr

I try to walk everywhere within 3 miles of my home for the exercise, so I only drive about 1,500 miles per year. That’s an average of 56 cents/mile. Even with my super low automobile costs, mass transit is still going to be cheaper for most trips outside my 3 mi radius, though I still drive for the most part.