The True Cost of Your Vehicle

If you’re choosing to drive a newer vehicle realize you’re costing yourself years of extra work.  Many people are caught in a viscous cycle of vehicle consumerism; our society teaches us a nice, new vehicle is indicative of our social status. 

However, if you learn to value a vehicle as a tool, then you’ll be able to tailor your purchase to your actual need, freeing yourself of the costs associated with the excess.  For example, someone who needs a vehicle for commuting solo should buy the smallest, most fuel efficient vehicle available, one who needs many seats for hauling people around should consider a van, and only those people who truly use a truck to earn money should consider buying a truck—and even then they should buy a fleet vehicle at a bargain price instead of one of those fancy new Dodge Rams rolling off the assembly line.  If you’re using a vehicle as a tool for social status, prestige, or luxury, you’re paying a premium for it. 

The calculator below shows typical costs for new and used trucks/SUVs and sedans.  This calculator assumes a Truck/SUV costs more to run, insure, and maintain than a sedan.  Also, it assumes an older vehicle will have more maintenance costs than a newer one.  Additionally, people who buy new vehicles tend to trade in their cars every few years and never actually rid themselves of the car payment; it essentially becomes a permanent expense for the duration of their driving life.  We realize costs vary widely, so here’s the original calculator if you wish to plug in your own numbers.


Notice how much a new truck/SUV costs over a lifetime:  half a million dollars!  Factor in your income and you’ll see how much time you have to work to pay for your habit of driving.  In the example, driving an old sedan will save 7 years of work!  That’s an incredible revelation and should motivate you to evaluate how you use your vehicle. 

Bottom Line:  Changing your vehicle can save years of work.  Think of a vehicle as a tool instead of a status symbol.

Did you find this post interesting?  If so, check out our website at  If the subject material of this blog post caught your attention, I recommend starting with the true cost of paying for services post. 



8 thoughts on “The True Cost of Your Vehicle

  1. “My grandmother” always used to say, “You need a car to get you to work, to pay for the car to get you to work…”. You echo her scentiments here! Well done!


  2. Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine
    but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing blog!


  3. Love this. You know how people have a dream car? I never had one. My dream was to not own one. I moved to Austin and I have to buy one but I just want a safe used car. Something electric possibly. Prius?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to have dream cars, and sometimes still see ones that I really like, but I’ve learned the self control to not buy it pays off because I’ll not have to work for years extra supporting my car! If you need a car, I recommend buying something that will meet your exact need. A small commuter car is more than enough for most people’s needs, and there are certainly options for electric cars. BTW, Austin is awesome! Thanks for posting.


      • My old pain management doctor drives a beater because it’s the item that deprecates the fastest. He said people make fun of him. Trust me, he can afford a nice car but is very smart so knows it doesn’t matter. Gotta love that! Austin is such a cool place.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank
    you, However I am going through issues with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I can’t subscribe to it.
    Is there anyone else getting the same RSS problems? Anyone
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