By on August 7, 2019

The fuel economy rollback posited by the Trump administration remains a hotly debated issue within the automotive community. Unfortunately, it has become mired in political nonsense, making decrypting the real-world impact of embracing or shunning it rather difficult. Consumer Reports recently took a stab at making sense of the matter, coming out in favor of balking at the notion of a rollback on the grounds that it would ultimately raise fueling costs.

Last year, the administration proposed capping fuel economy and emission standards at 2020 levels, instead of allowing them to rise annually as under existing regulations. The opposition, fronted by California, is vying to maintain the existing standards — with the possible compromise of delaying them by one year.  (Read More…)

By on October 26, 2018

Advanced safety tech may save your skin, but it certainly won’t spare your wallet in the event of a minor accident. According to research from the American Automobile Association, replacing and/or recalibrating the sensors needed to allow modern driving aids to function properly are severely inflating the cost of even minor repairs.

Unfortunate, considering features like blind spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking are cropping up as standard equipment on even the most affordable rides. Car ownership continues to get more expensive and there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it — with one exception.  (Read More…)

By on February 8, 2018

chevy spark 2018 mint green

There are few things sweeter in life than bragging to your friends and family about the good deal you just negotiated on a new car. They certainly won’t care, but the amount of self-satisfaction received from reminding yourself that you are a force to be reckoned with at the dealership is immeasurable.

Of course, the bargain in the driveway can turn into a money pit once you calculate all the costs associated with vehicle ownership. Fuel costs, financing, insurance, and depreciation can all add up — especially if you purchased the wrong model. So what’s a thrift-obsessed shopper to do, calculate the total cost of ownership on every model in every segment over a five-year period to determine which is the best value overall?

Don’t be ridiculous, someone has already done that.  (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2017

Auto Repair

According to the American Automobile Association, one third of drivers in the U.S. cannot pay for an unforeseen vehicle repair without going into debt.

AAA says the average trip to the shop will set you back between $500 and $600. So, what does that mean for the 64 million American drivers who can’t afford an unexpected repair bill? (Read More…)

By on May 15, 2014

Salesman With Customer

In its annual Your Driving Costs study, AAA says the cost of owning and operating a vehicle has fallen on the back of lower fuel prices, though its findings leave a little to be desired with current fuel costs.

(Read More…)

By on January 20, 2014

rr-ab-black-studio-281013-03-1

 

Recently, I spent some of my procrastinating time in Facebook discussion with a colleague, motoring journalist here in Czech Republic. He was driving a new Range Rover at the time, and he was raving about how great car it was. But there was one flaw, he said. The car came with the most common engine on our market – the TDV6 diesel. And while it didn’t really lack power and was reasonable refined, even for the luxury car it is, there was one thing it just lacked. A V8. Preferably, of the gasoline-burning kind.

(Read More…)

By on December 20, 2013

best-hybrid-cars-2013-consumer-reports-480

The Toyota Prius was ranked at the top of Consumer Reports’ Best New Car Value scoring for the second year in a row. CR’s analysis ranked over 200 vehicles on performance, reliability and costs and determined that over five years the Prius will cost 47 cents per mile to own and operate. Lower depreciation and operating costs for the Prius offset paying a premium for the hybrid.

“The Prius’ 44 mpg overall is the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that Consumer Reports has tested,” Rik Paul, the magazine’s automotive editor, said in a statement. “Though it’s not particularly cheap to buy, the Prius’ depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over the first five years than its initial MSRP. We call that a bargain.” (Read More…)

By on October 21, 2013

car-ownership-costs

One thousand, nine hundred, and fifty two dollars.

That is how much the average Georgian is supposed to pay in tax, title, and registration fees every year according to Bankrate.com.

When I read that factoid, my eyebrows almost flew off my head. The amount had no cents, and the statement made no sense because I happen to be the guy who collects the taxes from my customers and sends them to the state. Only a $28,000+ car purchase every single year would make this possible, and Georgia is a notoriously poor state. Out of a population of nearly 10 million, our state registered fewer than 300,000 new vehicle sales in 2012.

I quickly concluded that Bankrate.com had done little homework except to launched a PR campaign, under the guise of a study, that was heavy on the numbers and light on the facts.

I also decided to read through the list since 49 other states were also given their daily dose of tax calculations. Immediately, I saw enough red flags to warrant a bit more detail.

(Read More…)

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