Commuter car and truck

  • crappie55369
    Participant
    Mound, MN
    Posts: 5757
    #2010937

    I’ve always driven crap vehicles. Extremely used and cheap. Now I have a new truck and a new truck payment. I love it but you know…. poor gas mileage. Im tempted to buy like a $2000 commuter that gets 30+ but I’m doing the numbers and with the initial up front cost, insurance, maintenance, tabs… just doesn’t seem to make sense. How many of you have a newish truck and use a commuter car?

    Alagnak Pete
    Participant
    Lakeville
    Posts: 336
    #2010941

    Depends on how far you commute is.

    I usually had a newer truck under warranty and for many years was driving 50-60 miles round trip to work and it made sense to me to have a commuter car for gas mileage and to keep the miles off my trucks. It seemed to make even more sense once I found the truck I want to have for as long as possible. However- I made a change a year ago and now have a 4.5 mile rt commute and the car has just been sitting here and still have 6 years until one of the kids can use it. So I don’t want it just sitting here for that long. If you need a 2012 focus hatchback manual trans with 100K on it let me know but unfortunately it’s not going to be $2000.

    IMO- get a decent enough car that you’re not going to be putting money in it left and right if you do go that route. It’s also handy having an extra vehicle for when one in the fleet does need maintenance.

    mxskeeter
    Participant
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts: 3572
    #2010943

    It only makes sense if you are going to keep your truck for at least 10 years. If you are someone who trades trucks every 3 to 5 years I would drive the truck.
    JMO

    Gino
    Participant
    Grand rapids mn
    Posts: 1210
    #2010951

    Two thousand buys a lot of gas. Would you really be saving yourself money.

    Alagnak Pete
    Participant
    Lakeville
    Posts: 336
    #2010953

    Two thousand buys a lot of gas

    Right now it does. I hope we can say that this summer or a year from now.

    dbright
    Participant
    Cambridge
    Posts: 1766
    #2010955

    It really depends on the miles you drive but I bought my commuter car 5 years ago and won’t be without one. My drive round trip is usually 80+ miles. I just picked up a newer focus to replace the one I bought 5 years ago.

    MNdrifter
    Participant
    Posts: 1641
    #2010957

    I trade pickups every 5-8 years. Once you hit 75k miles seems there’s a sharp drop in value. Been running Buick lesabres to commute with great luck. Buy them with 150-170k miles for 18-$2500. Easily get 300k miles out of them. It especially helps since now oil change and fuel filter on a diesel pickup is around $200. Plus it’s incredibly convenient at times to have an extra vehicle around.

    crappie55369
    Participant
    Mound, MN
    Posts: 5757
    #2010964

    I bought this pickup with the intention of keeping it for 15-20 years. Currently I’m working remote but when we do go back to the office I’ll have a daily 30 mile commute. I usually drive about 1000 miles a month.

    I think there’s just a part of me that hates spending on gas when there are cheaper options out there. Ive always had both a truck and a car and the truck was only used when I needed to do truck things. Guess it’ll just take some getting used to

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 13897
    #2010967

    I usually drive about 1000 miles a month

    12,000 miles a year is pretty standard. It’s gonna be 9 years before you get 100,000 miles on that truck at the current pace.

    PmB
    Participant
    Posts: 425
    #2010970

    I’ve got a 19 tundra and a 99 avalon work car. I like being able to keep the truck nice and clean and not having to worry about the car. The avalon gets around 30 mpgs hwy and has enough room to haul my tools. Works great . All my ice fishing gear stays in the back of the tundra

    Hot Runr Guy
    Participant
    West Chicago, IL
    Posts: 1934
    #2010971

    I just picked up a newer focus to replace the one I bought 5 years ago.

    Hopefully not one of the 11-16’s with the dual clutch automatic transmission,,,,

    HRG

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 4769
    #2010972

    I’ve got a 19 tundra and a 99 avalon work car. I like being able to keep the truck nice and clean and not having to worry about the car. The avalon gets around 30 mpgs hwy and has enough room to haul my tools. Works great . All my ice fishing gear stays in the back of the tundra

    I do the exact same thing. Truck stays in the garage and always clean. I only use it when I need it. My Buick lesabre also rides a lot nicer than my super duty.

    al-wichman
    Participant
    SE Wisconsin
    Posts: 448
    #2010994

    I used to have a Volkswagen Passat AWD that I used to get to and from work(120RT). When it finally died with around 310K on it. I said I would get another commuter vehicle. Ended up getting a job much closer that I can do remotely a lot. The times I do go into the office. I like my heated seats, heated steering wheel, SiriusXM radio, and all the other little creature comforts that new vehicles have. Plus the I get right around 21mpg with my 2019 Silverado. The drive is almost all freeway miles.

    dbright
    Participant
    Cambridge
    Posts: 1766
    #2011002

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>dbright wrote:</div>
    I just picked up a newer focus to replace the one I bought 5 years ago.

    Hopefully not one of the 11-16’s with the dual clutch automatic transmission,,,,

    HRG

    I bought another manual. Ford definitely dropped the ball on the auto they put in the newer ones.

    IceNEyes1986
    Participant
    Harris, MN
    Posts: 1202
    #2011006

    I’m in the commuter car club. I drive 101 miles round trip for work, Monday-Friday. I picked up my little 2000 Honda Accord for $2200. I get 28mpg even with the V6. Sure feels nice not watching my truck miles go thru the roof when driving 500+ miles per week just for work alone. Now, add in all the activities the kids have & probably pushing 700-800 miles per week. Adds up quick. For reference, I put 34,000 miles on my Honda last year & only 10,000 on my truck.

    MNdrifter
    Participant
    Posts: 1641
    #2011007

    Now, add in all the activities the kids have

    Lol. Do your kids love it too when you pick them up from school in the beater? My kids are so embarrassed when I roll up to the bus stop in “fity cents”.

    IceNEyes1986
    Participant
    Harris, MN
    Posts: 1202
    #2011008

    Hahahahaha!! That movie is a classic! But no, they don’t complain too bad about my Hooptie Honda. Either they get in or walk the 4 miles home from school. lol

    Smellson
    Participant
    Posts: 302
    #2011015

    Did the commuter car thing when I was broke to save a couple bucks. Now that I have a nice truck I would never go back to a commuter car. Keep in mind I’m still cheap, just not quite as broke! It did save a little money but there is still expense you don’t really think about…. Yearly tabs, insurance etc. I bought a niceer truck now because I enjoy some of the features and comforts and not just to use it for hauling stuff. I imagine you bought a new truck this time for a reason, and I’m guessing that reason wasnt just to look at it!

    Reef W
    Participant
    Posts: 2074
    #2011021

    I did the reverse, once I paid off my truck I bought a new car as a daily driver to stop racking up so many miles on truck and prolong its life. There are a lot of things to consider besides just gas because truck maintenance is way more expensive than car maintenance. Both regular maintenance like replacing fluid in differentials and transfer case, more expensive tires, etc and when something breaks. For me another big factor was trucks are stupidly expensive now so I want to prolong buying another one as long as I can.

    Erik Swenson
    Participant
    Posts: 331
    #2011024

    If you live in the city, how about public transportation? If you live near a reasonable route it’s a good commuting option.

    buckybadger
    Participant
    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 6730
    #2011025

    My first thought is good luck, that price range is the exact range everyone is targeting for a “commuter car” or a “beater” to run around in. If another stimulus package goes through, those cheap used cars with life left will be even more scarce.

    LabDaddy1
    Participant
    Posts: 1640
    #2011248

    Toyota trucks are great, but they suck for fuel economy… Even my 5 year old Tacoma will rarely touch 20 mpg in the city. Usually around 16. 3.5L v6 4wd

    Bearcat89
    Participant
    North branch, mn
    Posts: 16912
    #2011252

    Buddy does this exact thing and buys buicks for work cars. Last week he picked up a 97 buick lesabre for 1500 bucks. 97xxx on it from a old woman in town. Super clean nice car.
    I have a company vehicle so I don’t bother doing it any more. Before the company trucks I ran a Saturn sc2 I think it was. Put 350xxx on that car that I bought for 300 bucks. Was great. That was also when my truck had a 454 for driving 2.5 hours each day to work would kill half my paycheck in that truck

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9523
    #2011253

    You bought it to use it, drive the wheels off! You “only” drive 12k miles a year, you will never recoup the costs of a commuter vehicle. Let’s say the Tundra gets 15 mpg and your commuter 30 mpg, that works out to 750 gallons a year in the truck or 400 in the commuter, at $2/gallon gas (to use easy #’s) it will take 3 years just to recoup a $2100 purchase price, not counting tabs, insurance and maintenance on another vehicle. Factor that in and it’s at least another year to break even let alone come out ahead, and that’s assuming the commuter doesn’t die 6 mos or a year in.

    Randy Wieland
    Participant
    Lebanon. WI
    Posts: 13276
    #2011256

    You bought it to use it, drive the wheels off! You “only” drive 12k miles a year, you will never recoup the costs of a commuter vehicle.

    X2!! I drive 50 to 60K on average with some years well above that. I ended up buying a corolla stripped model and put just about 300K on that car. That really helped getting the mileage off of the trucks in the short term. But never really recovered the cost. It was only the satisfaction of keeping my trucks off the road a few days a week

    crappie55369
    Participant
    Mound, MN
    Posts: 5757
    #2011261

    You bought it to use it, drive the wheels off! You “only” drive 12k miles a year, you will never recoup the costs of a commuter vehicle. Let’s say the Tundra gets 15 mpg and your commuter 30 mpg, that works out to 750 gallons a year in the truck or 400 in the commuter, at $2/gallon gas (to use easy #’s) it will take 3 years just to recoup a $2100 purchase price, not counting tabs, insurance and maintenance on another vehicle. Factor that in and it’s at least another year to break even let alone come out ahead, and that’s assuming the commuter doesn’t die 6 mos or a year in.

    Thats the exact same math I worked out too. I think I just needed someone to confirm my thinking. Thanks

    Maybe years down the road ill get a beater just to take miles off the truck and extend the life of it but not for the saving money factor.

    PmB
    Participant
    Posts: 425
    #2011266

    Another reason I bought a commuter is to keep some of the salt off the truck. Might not make a difference but hopefully slows down the corrosion process.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11662
    #2011274

    You bought it to use it, drive the wheels off!

    That’s the camp I’m in. I don’t want the cost and maintenance of a third vehicle, and I don’t need a car and a boat sitting in the driveway.

    Gitchi Gummi
    Participant
    Posts: 2620
    #2011277

    You bought it to use it, drive the wheels off! You “only” drive 12k miles a year, you will never recoup the costs of a commuter vehicle. Let’s say the Tundra gets 15 mpg and your commuter 30 mpg, that works out to 750 gallons a year in the truck or 400 in the commuter, at $2/gallon gas (to use easy #’s) it will take 3 years just to recoup a $2100 purchase price, not counting tabs, insurance and maintenance on another vehicle. Factor that in and it’s at least another year to break even let alone come out ahead, and that’s assuming the commuter doesn’t die 6 mos or a year in.

    Something you’re not factoring in in this analysis is the depreciation (or lack thereof) the mileage difference will have for your truck. As already mentioned, trucks are insanely expensive these days.

    For an easy example, on Kelly blue book I priced a 2015 (5 yr old) Ford F-150 super crew XLT (all standard features) two different ways; one with 10k miles on it and the same truck with 60k miles on it. These numbers are from someone driving 1k miles/month or 12k/year as the OP mentioned previously. The first 2015 truck with 10k miles on it assumes you have a commuter car and are only putting 2k miles/yr on the truck and the remaining 10k miles/yr on the commuter car. The second 2015 truck with 60k miles assumes 12k miles/yr with no commuter car. Truck one’s KBB mid range value is currently $34k versus $29k for truck 2. In this example, the commuter car saved you $5k of depreciation.

    Taking the same truck on KBB and adjusting the mileage to 20k on truck 1 and 80k on truck 2; truck 1’s mid range price estimate is the same $34k versus $26k on truck 2. In this example, the commuter car saved you $8k of depreciation.

    Not perfect math but a rough estimate and good example of the extra value your truck would retain 5 years down the road if you had a commuter car to spread your mileage out. In both examples, I think there’s a pretty good argument the commuter car pays for itself in the long run.

    Gas savings and extra maintenance/insurance are not the only numbers to factor into the analysis. I’ve had a commuter car and truck combo for 5 years and my only regret is not doing it sooner. For the record, my insurance only went up about $200/yr by adding a 2011 Impreza as my daily driver and I get about 28-32 mpgs. My commute is 55 miles round trip 5 days/week.

    Johnie Birkel
    Participant
    South metro
    Posts: 291
    #2011507

    In my experience, these decisions seems to be driven by something other than dollars. I don’t really get it, but wonder if it’s due to spending a lot on a truck and it partially supports ones hobbies or what and then having a feeling to find savings to offset that. I think if a lot of people just did some simple math the would probably have their answer. Here are some examples from “family friends”

    – guy got a lightly used loaded SUV, basically refused to drive it and got the commuter car, but also kept his other car to normally drive. After 15+or so years the thing had rust in the frame and shock issues and traded it in for 6 or 8k with 60k on it. I’m guessing another 100k of miles probably would have cost about 2k in trade in. I think in a lot of cases once trucks hit a certain age, they are just outdated and a limited market regardless of miles.
    – this guy is a huge electricity worry wart. He will shut the lights off on you when he thinks no one is down stairs.. He gets up one time from a holiday family dinner to leave and shut the lights off in another room. I calculated him waiting till it was over probably cost about half a penny and he missed some precious time with family who flies in once a year.

    Both cases are pretty obvious, but for some reason it blows my mind people don’t just do some rough math to at least start out the process. I didn’t do this, but what is the actual cost difference of a ~2005 F150/Silverado with say 75k or 150k. Take that plus TLF plus insurance plus all the maintenance plus the pure headache of owning another older car and see if it’s worth it on paper. I’m sure it is in some cases, but not in a lot.

Viewing 30 posts - 1 through 30 (of 48 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.