Monday, May 3, 2010
This past weekend we took a little trip to Vancouver. It was wonderful to spend time with family and see Vancouver in bloom! Hubby and I thought maybe I should blog about keeping expenses down on trips like this! First, a little background info. We were given(YES, GIVEN!!)a wonderful vehicle 3 years ago. It is 4 wheel drive(now 13 years old), which is exactly what we need in the mountains, and for our driveway! It has been reliable and very helpful for hauling lots of people and suitcases from the airport!! All this to say we are extremely thankful for it. As you can probably imagine, a 4 wheel drive that can seat 8 isn't super fuel efficient. So, in preparation for this trip I spent a little time researching what it would cost to drive it to Vancouver and back. Gas buddy is extremely helpful for this, just go here and click on trip calculator. We discovered that our vehicle would cost at least $150, in gas alone. Now, wear and tear is a very real cost too, so I researched some sites for calculating that and found this neat site. I used a calculation of 21.5 cents/mile(I had to do lots of converting back and forth with metric, but gas buddy has a little drop down window on their fuel logbook that lets you easily change this). Our trip was a total of 917km or 569 miles, so to drive our vehicle would have cost $159 in fuel and $122 in wear and tear for a total of $281. I then spent a little time looking for car rentals. I figured if I could rent one at a decent price it would save us money. With this site you can book most rentals without a credit card and therefore you can change it if the price goes down. I ended up getting a fairly good price(I am sure you can do better)for a weekend rate and it ended up costs $56.23 all taxes and charges in. We DID NOT use their insurance as that is where it gets really pricey. Our car insurance and our credit card fully covered us in the event of an accident or theft. Our total gas costs for our rental car were $50.70!!! So even before wear and tear we were saving money! The total cost to drive there and back was $106.93. Our vehicle would have cost $159 in fuel and $122 wear and tear for a total of $281, so we saved $281-$106.93= $174.07!! Not to mention the peace of mind of driving a brand new vehicle!
One last note...hubby says, It's good to take your vehicle on a long highway drive so you blow out some of the carbon!(We just went to Kamloops recently so we had given ours a good drive already)Speaking of carbon, gas buddy also has a carbon footprint calculator as part as their trip cost calculator. Our vehicle's footprint 744.15 lbs the Ford Focus rental 340.21 lbs!less than half. So, it was a good pocket book and enviromental choice!