10/13/2005

Do I Really Want to Save Money in Gas?

According to new mileage ratings from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy the Honda Insight a gas-electric hybrid car edged out the Toyota Prius as the most fuel efficient car in the U.S. The Honda Insight will give you up to 60 miles per gallon in the city, and 66 miles per gallon on the highway. That is just a shade higher than the 17 miles a gallon I get from my Ford F-150. I have crunched the numbers and found that if I were to drive 10,000 miles next year in my truck with the current gas prices I would spend around $1,500 in gas. If I were to buy a Honda Insight and drove the same 10,000 miles I would only spend about $500. Now the only thing I have to do is put together a cost/benefit analysis and find out if it would be more beneficial to take some of that extra $1000 dollars I would save and put it into more quality dates while driving my girl around in a little two seat, four cylinder Honda Insight, or whether I would be better off sticking to the “cheap date” approach while diving around in my big Ford truck. Let’s face it, if any of you guys have taken a girl out in Cedar City you already know what I’m planning on doing. Besides I don’t think the Honda Insight would have the towing capacity to get my boat to the lake (another gas guzzler), or my four wheeler up the mountain.

9 comments:

destiny said...

You bring up an excellent point. I drive a V8 gas guzzling machine that gets about 14 miles to the gallon here in Cedar. My Dad tells me every day to sell it and buy something more efficient. What the hell would I want to do that for? I knew going in that I would get horrendous gas mileage. But I outweighed the costs and benefits of the situation. I could either buy a small, fuel efficient car that I would be most likely embarrassed driving around in, or I could buy the 5 liter, 325 horsepower driving machine. The benefits of driving fast and looking good (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) outweigh the costs of the excessive amounts of gas I put into my car. So I am hit pretty hard with the increase in the price of gas, but it's the decision I made so I don't really mind.

sara said...

Bob, I was wondering if you would take me out on a date in your big truck. Seriously what you should really do is take that extra $1,000 or $1,500 and buy yourself a little car that gets good gas mileage. Then you get the best of both worlds. You can still save tons on gas while just doing the day to day stuff, but then when you want to go on a date or go boating or digging you can bust out the big guns. My roommate does that right now. He's got a little beater car and a nice be diesel truck. It works out great for him, especially when he has to drive long distances to visit his family. P.S. Bob, I know who you are and I think your cute.

Anonymous said...

2006 Ford F-150 MSRP $19,805.00
2006 Honda Insight MSRP $21,080.00

Your savings on gas would be more than eaten up by the cost of the vehicle. Not to mention that there are very few mechanics (other than the ripoff dealers) who can actually work on a hybrid.

I think I'll stick to the gas guzzler as well.

Mia said...

I love how most of us are sticking with our gas guzzlers instead of going with a more fuel efficient vehicle. Yet how often do we complain about the raising gas prices? It sounds a bit hypocritical which I myself am guilty of doing.

destiny said...

Well Mia, I myself am guilty of being a hypocrite because I do not like the fact of gas being so expensive. But swapping vehicles is a huge commitment. I don't think a slight raise in the price of gas constitutes a need to purchase a different vehicle. Besides looking at the costs of gas, you need to look at the costs of switching. Putting your car up for sale can be one of the biggest nightmares there is, not to mention buying a new one. You are probably pretty familiar with the way your car runs and how to deal with it. With a new vehicle, the variables of something going wrong can increase tremendously. I drive a gas hog, but I don't switch to something different because of the huge hassle of switching.

Anonymous said...

Honda Insight owner! (Before the gas prices went crazy!) I own an Insight because there is nothing like taking care of the mouth that feeds you. The earth!) Practicing what you preach and putting your words into action.

The Prius gets all the press but I'm STILL getting the best gas mileage and clean emissions. Can't say that for the diesels....

Kathlene - Insightful Wacko

Morgan said...

I found this post particularly amusing. My position is that if you have the resources up front, buy the insight, save the earth, and fatten up your wallet. Also, just to venture to the dating angle of it, who said you had to use the money to go on more expensive dates? Why don’t you use the money you save on gas to go on lots of cheap dates? This will make everyone better off. You will be better off because you will get to know more people, and all the people you ask out will be better off because they are actually residents of Cedar City going on a real live date, a true novelty! Is that pareto or what?!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, Morgan you sound like most of the girls I know. This is my fourth year at SUU and I can honestly say I have done my fair share of dating. I'm not the cheap date kind of guy, even though I drive my big Ford truck. I go on at least two dates a week, not hang out dates, but actual dates. You just have to hang out with the right knid of guys, which I'll admit aren't in abundance here at SUU. If you want to know a little secret, Sara is a boy and I think he's hurting for a date. If you want his number let me know. p.s. I hope you don't date guys for looks, because Sara is lacking! Ha ha!

Dr. Tufte said...

OK - I laughed pretty hard at this thread. While proctoring a 2010 exam to boot.

Mia made the best point - it's pretty hypocritcal for most people to complain about gas prices.

That actually has a name in economics - it's called cheap talk. Complaining about high gas prices is something you can do that connects you to others in a way that isn't likely to harm you very much. It's like rooting for the home team - although in this case the home team is cheap gas and the visitors are big oil companies, OPEC countries, SUV drivers and so on.

The general point made by many of you is that there are significant opportunity costs in switching cars. Y'all scoff at economics professors when they talk about opportunity costs, economic profits, and implicit costs and benefits, but you're pretty darn good at figuring this stuff out when it involves something you deal with day-to-day.