Unexpectedly Intriguing!
April 26, 2006

Tired of high gas prices? Are you looking at possibly trading in your old car for a newer, much more fuel efficient model? Would doing so really save you money?

Once again, Political Calculations(TM) builds the tools to help you answer questions like these! Enter the indicated data in the table below and we'll figure out if getting a newer car makes economic sense in your future!

Update 25 March 2008: Welcome WSB-TV and Clark Howard fans! To help fill in a gap that Clark found in what we covered in this tool, here's a site that provides you with the total operating costs for just about every car running on America's roads and allows you to compare different models from different years. So, if you're looking at that more fuel efficient used car that Clark suggested, you'll be able to get the numbers you need for the tool below to find out if it really makes sense for you!

Driving Data
Input Data Values
Distance Driven per Year (miles)
Percentage of Highway Driving
Average Annual Unit Fuel Cost ($USD/gallon)
Fuel Economy Data
Input Data Old Car New Car
Highway Mileage (miles/gallon)
City Mileage (miles/gallon)
Ownership Cost Data
Input Data Old Car New Car
Monthly Payment ($USD)
Semiannual Insurance Premium ($USD)
Average Monthly Maintenance Expense ($USD)


Fuel Consumption and Total Ownership Costs
Calculated Results Old Car New Car
Annual Fuel Consumption (gallons)
Annual Ownership and Operating Costs ($USD)
Monthly Ownership and Operating Costs ($USD)
Which Is Better?
Should You Get the Newer Car?

Useful Resources

Having trouble getting data for your prospective new car purchase? You might find the following sites useful in getting information for the input data table above:

Edmunds.com

The best one-stop shop for new and used car shopping data on the planet. Includes mileage data, trade-in values for your old car, typical annual maintenance costs and reviews of all the new models!

Bankrate.com

The place to go to find current auto loan rates as well as tools for determining what your monthly payment will be!

Insure.com

One stop shop for auto insurance information and quotes. Assuming you just don't call up your current auto insurance provider....

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

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