I just sold a car I bought back in Sept. of 2003. Back in 2005 I wrote a posting attempting to estimate the cost of owning a car. At the time my estimate was $12.65/day or 42 cents per mile.

I’m not going to attempt to redo that calculation having just handled the appropriate bits of paper I know that if I consider only amount I paid to buy the car and how much I just sold it for; then the two odometer readings the it comes out to twenty five cents per mile.

Where I estimated the depreciation as $5 per day back in 2005 it turned out to be $6.30 per day. You can take 3 bus and subway rides for six dollars in Boston.

$13 dollars/day is $4745/year. Which is enough to buy two unlimited bus and subway passes along with 500 hours of zip car rentals. Food for thought; and that’s before tax rebates and bargaining.

CalebWhat about us poor souls who live in car-centric cities? The bus system is spartan and there is no subway system nor Zip cars.

How do the years after the car is paid off but can still be used factor into the calculations? Is it in the depreciation curve, or the resale value?

bhydePost authorSorry Caleb;

I’ve often wondered where the sweet spot is between the depreciation curve and the maintenance + cost of inconvenience. I suspect my 97 Honda maybe in that sweet spot. But as the other posting reveals the depreciation/cost-of-capital is only an interesting portion of the total cost.