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Old 12-02-2022, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Edmunds TCO, what's the cheapest car?

Looking at Edmunds TCO for 5 years ownership and a few cars I found:
  • $32,749 for a 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
  • $32,972 for a 2022 Mitsubishi Mirage Hatchback
  • $33,432* for a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • $34,301* for a 2022 Toyota Prius Prime

*Edmunds is applying a $1,500 tax rebate to both the Bolt and Prime in their figures.

I tried the TCO's on the 2017 models of the same cars (so about a 5-year-old car) but Edmunds only lists the Prime and the Mirage. I guess the Corolla hybrid didn't exist and they don't have a TCO for a 2017 Bolt.
  • $34,152 for a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
  • $39,198 2017 Toyota Prius Prime

This was going by the cheapest (base) models. Higher trims give more expensive TCO's.

So if my car were to bite the dust, it looks like this is what I have to go with. New is cheaper than used according to Edmunds. Any other eco cars to put on the potential list?

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Old 12-02-2022, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I built my TCO calculator (linked in signature) precisely because there are none offered on the interwebz, and there's no transparency in how sites like Edmunds does their calculation. Furthermore, it has to make certain assumptions like the price of petrol or electricity that will not be accurate for your location.

The #1 cost by for of any new vehicle is depreciation, and it's not even close. That's why the cheaper the car you get, the lower the TCO will be. The only time efficiency becomes a large factor in TCO is for those that put a lot of miles on a vehicle that was purchased used (most depreciation already occurred).

If purchasing a new car and holding onto it for a long time, efficiency becomes a greater factor as well.

The Bolt is going to be the TCO winner if the 250 mile range (maybe as bad as 120 in the depths of winter going up the mountains) is acceptable to you. It's also not going to waste your time with needing head gaskets and whatnot.
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Old 12-02-2022, 05:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I paid $300 for my Insight and almost immediately sold the hybrid battery for $700. I've probably put a few hundred dollars into it in the 3.5 years I've been driving it. Averaging 64 MPG.
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Old 12-03-2022, 11:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I built my TCO calculator (linked in signature) precisely because there are none offered on the interwebz, and there's no transparency in how sites like Edmunds does their calculation. Furthermore, it has to make certain assumptions like the price of petrol or electricity that will not be accurate for your location.

The #1 cost by for of any new vehicle is depreciation, and it's not even close. That's why the cheaper the car you get, the lower the TCO will be. The only time efficiency becomes a large factor in TCO is for those that put a lot of miles on a vehicle that was purchased used (most depreciation already occurred).

If purchasing a new car and holding onto it for a long time, efficiency becomes a greater factor as well.

The Bolt is going to be the TCO winner if the 250 mile range (maybe as bad as 120 in the depths of winter going up the mountains) is acceptable to you. It's also not going to waste your time with needing head gaskets and whatnot.
It is hard to get an exact number on fuel. I'm doing around 20mpg with my multiple short trips during the winter, but that can go up to over 40mpg in the summer. It seems I'm averaging about 35mpg year round, at around 15,000 miles per year. If I'm doing my math correctly, at about $3.70 per gallon that's a little over $1,500 per year in fuel costs.

The thing about electric is I could do most of my charging for free. At least that's what I did with the Leaf. I never paid more than $80 per month for electricity when I had it, and right now I'm paying around $70. That includes other things like refuse though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasoline Fumes View Post
I paid $300 for my Insight and almost immediately sold the hybrid battery for $700. I've probably put a few hundred dollars into it in the 3.5 years I've been driving it. Averaging 64 MPG.
I paid $300 for my Prius and have spent about $30 on fuel since over 2 years ago. It also hasn't moved from the place I parked it.
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Old 12-06-2022, 11:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Researching the Prime, the Bolt and the Corolla hybrid, it looks like non of these come with a spare tire. (I haven't looked at the Mitsubishi yet). Yipes! I wonder if there's a way to add a spare to one without just chucking a tire and rim into the trunk space or tying it up on top.
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Old 12-06-2022, 01:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Zachary View Post
Researching the Prime, the Bolt and the Corolla hybrid, it looks like non of these come with a spare tire. (I haven't looked at the Mitsubishi yet). Yipes! I wonder if there's a way to add a spare to one without just chucking a tire and rim into the trunk space or tying it up on top.
For the Bolt, I don't think so.

I've never had a sidewall puncture though, out of dozens of punctures. There might be only 2 instances I've had where a spare wheel was required.
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Old 12-06-2022, 05:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I called in last week about a sidewall puncture. They didn't have any slots to look at it until tomorrow. Good thing I got a spare. I also frequently drive over mountain passes where there is no cell service. And even then, the last time we needed a tow truck it didn't come until three days later. Relying on a can of tire sealer does not seem prudent.

It looks like if I want a plug-in hybrid or EV and a spare tire carrier then my only options are an SUV or pickup truck...

https://www.torquenews.com/1083/here...and-spare-tire
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Old 12-06-2022, 07:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Zachary View Post
I paid $300 for my Prius and have spent about $30 on fuel since over 2 years ago. It also hasn't moved from the place I parked it.
Eyyyy at least it has backseats, amirite?

These Insight engines seem to run for 5-700k miles with 0w20 changed ever 7500 miles. The batteries are hot garbage though, especially aftermarket, but the cars run "fine" without them.
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Old 12-06-2022, 07:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Eyyyy at least it has backseats, amirite?

These Insight engines seem to run for 5-700k miles with 0w20 changed ever 7500 miles. The batteries are hot garbage though, especially aftermarket, but the cars run "fine" without them.
I'm still on the fence on what to do with that car. Even if it costs $6,000 to fix it up into tip top shape, that's still a lot cheaper than a new car.
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Old 12-06-2022, 07:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Zachary View Post
I'm still on the fence on what to do with that car. Even if it costs $6,000 to fix it up into tip top shape, that's still a lot cheaper than a new car.
How much would it cost compared with an equivalent old, used Prius?

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