[this is a ymoyl update.]

i dug into my old cbb records, and by combining them with my gnucash ones, was able to compute the total amount spent on the car in the 3.5 years that i owned it. here are some figures for those who enjoy statistics.

what the car cost
purchase $8,794.00
aaa membership $171.00
auto loan interest $260.55
gasoline $1,267.81
insurance $3,503.25
mva fees $240.70
parking $4.75
repairs and maintenance $4,160.63
tolls $670.00
ebay selling fees $82.00
selling price -$3,500.00


  • 24,607 miles total
  • 7,030 miles per year
  • 586 miles per month


  • $4,472.76 per year
  • $372.73 per month
  • $12.25 per day
  • $0.64 per mile


  • repair and maintenance equaled almost half the purchase price.
  • it cost almost three times as much to insure it as to buy gas for it (though i’d stopped buying before gas prices shot up).
  • i sold it for 40% of what i paid for it; it depreciated at 17% a year.
  • $3.50 gets me a day pass that takes me all over the area on the mta, from annapolis to hunt valley, but would take me less than 5.5 miles in $0.64 car miles.


  • 586 miles a month? where was i going?
  • if i had put my money into a mutual fund which lost 17% year after year, how long would it have taken before i cut and ran?
  • knowing i spent $372.73 each month i owned the car makes it seem not so bad to pay $300 to rent one for a few days when i really need it.
  • if i had held onto the car longer, the cost of the initial purchase would have been spread across more time, but that would have been balanced by the lesser resale value when i eventually sold it, so i think this is a pretty good example of the cost of car ownership to someone who didn’t even use a car very much. i’d hate to know what the cost is to someone with a daily commute.

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