Posts tagged ‘Fuel-Efficient Vehicles’

Embracing High Mileage: 2 Cars, 580K Kilometers, and 26 Years of Dependable Service

In our household, we proudly own two cars. The first, a 2008 model, has clocked in at a whopping 250,000+ KMs. The second, a 2012 model, boasts an impressive total mileage of over 327,000 KMs. Now, if you’re struggling to wrap your head around just how substantial those mileage numbers are, let’s dive into the real world and paint a vivid picture for you:

  • If you were to drive 580,000 kilometers, you could encircle the Earth’s equator more than 14 times. That’s like taking a road trip around the entire planet, and a bit more…
  • Or how about putting it in cosmic perspective: the distance to the Moon from Earth averages about 384,400 KMs. Driving 580,000 KMs would be like making a round trip to the Moon with some mileage to spare.

Well, you get the point. It is is a lot of mileage! These two cars have embraced the road for far too long and we couldn’t be more happy and thankful.

In fact, we could car less about all this mileage and relatively old age of these two cars (whether combined or alone for each) . In fact, we take such good care of them so that we could drive them for another 5 years for each if possible, and maximising each to 400K or more in mileage

Why this obsession with keeping old?

The math is really simple: as long as we keep driving these cars, we are saving a lot of money that we would otherwise have to make towards new car payments. Sure, older cars may need more maintenance as they age, but as long as you are taking care of the basics and scheduled maintenance, you should be fine for the most part. In this case, if we assume we were to buy newer cars (5 years or newer) and with less than 50K on them, then you are looking at min of $15-20K for each. And depending on how much down-payment you are putting down, and given today’s high interest rate environment, you will be paying significantly more. It also helps that both cars are pretty fuel-efficient, hence even more savings in the long term.

When you consider the possibility of increased insurance payments as well, you’re looking at a combined $1,000 that we have to shell out for the payments on two newer cars. Ouch! That’s $10,000 to $12,000 in annual spending on two new cars, which could be better saved or invested.

Ways to stretch your older cars and get more out of them

While it is inevitable – just like us humans – that cars have an end date, we can always do more to get more out of them and stretch their expiry date:

  • Regular Maintenance: Stick to a strict maintenance schedule. Regular oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections can prevent major issues down the road. In fact, the older the car and higher the mileage, the more these have to be followed and adhered to.
  • Quality Parts: When repairs are needed, opt for high-quality, manufacturer-recommended parts. They may cost a bit more upfront but can save you in the long run.
  • Professional Inspections: While not always needed, periodically have your vehicles inspected by a trusted mechanic. They can identify and address potential problems before they become major repairs.
  • Safe Driving Habits: Gentle driving and avoiding sudden acceleration or heavy braking can reduce wear and tear on your car’s components.

Can’t avoid the inevitable!

Now we all wish we could keep driving our cars forever, without ever having to worry about replacing them. But cars, like other things we use in our daily life, are meant to eventually be replaced, giving age and the wear and tear they experience. Not to mention, as you keep using them longer and longer, they will likely become less fuel efficient and require more maintenance etc, which could eventually cost you more money. In other words, you have to know that point at which it doesn’t make sense to keep using the same car. Which is why I often say, saving for your next car should begin immediately after you buy your current car! Let us assume the average car lasts you 7-10 years. That means you have minimum of 7 years to save for your next car, which is more than enough time. To reverse engineer this, you try to estimate what your future car will cost you (say $20,000) . You then take that amount and divide it by 8 years as a starting point ($20K / 8 = $2,500, or $208 a month) . Once you know the numbers, you will be more prepared and know how much you need to save from each paycheck, bonuses, side gigs etc. While you may not be able to save the full amount, it is important to save a big enough amount to avoid having to take a big car loan with potentially high interest rates.

In a world that often seems focused on the latest and greatest, we find solace and practicality in our high-mileage companions. These two cars have travelled vast distances, forging memories and experiences with us along the way. We’re not just saving money; we’re cherishing the journey, one kilometer at a time. So, while some may trade in for shiny new models, we’ll continue to celebrate the road-tested, faithful companions that have carried us through the miles. Here’s to many more adventures together!