Here’s another item to consider with my pursuit of a free car: Gas.

My current car gets 20 miles / gallon. The to-be-free Kia should get over 30 miles / gallon. This will lead to additional projected savings making it even easier to get a ‘free car!’

For the record, this is how I check my actual miles per gallon:

  1. Fill up the tank
  2. Reset the odometer to zero miles.
  3. Drive until 1/4 tank left.
  4. Fill up again, noting the # of gallons.
  5. Divide the # of gallons by miles on the odometer.

So, how to see how much money 10 extra miles / gallon will save me?

I drive 20,000 miles per year. At 20 miles / gallon, this comes to be 1,000 gallons of gas. With the projected 30 miles / gallon, this now become (20,000 / 30) = 666 gallons used. If we average gas to $3 / gallon, this becomes a savings of $1000 per year.

Another few grand to my new, free car.

Maintenance on a 2001 Ford Explorer is currently around $2-3k a year. Theoretically, a new car will not need any such maintenance (aside from regular and customary) for several years. For example, the locks would work!

It’s not all roses, though. A new car has additional expenses that the current one will not.

1. Insurance.

I’m not sure, but a “new” free Kia may require more insurance than a 2001 SUV. Then again, why have collision on a free car?

Registration fees.

New license plate tags, new passes (not sure if I can get the HOA tag transferred or not.)

2. Damage.

I am very impatient. The roads around my house are awful. Currently I can drive over multiple potholes with abandon. I don’t think that will be an option with a Kia. Ice storms might get more interesting as well.


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