Let me preface this by saying that I love our car…I have never had such a fun car to drive as our Mini Cooper. That being said, we will probably have to sell it someday because, well, it really only fits 2 people. And if we ever have a child, I just cannot see putting him or her in the backseat which is just mere inches away from the rear bumper.
Since we do want our next car to be a hybrid, I like taking opportunities to get behind the wheel of them and test out how they perform in the real world. If you remember, we rented a Prius a while back and absolutely loved it; that is, after I figured out how to start the thing. But since we are going on a long drive this weekend to visit some friends up north, I wondered if maybe I should rent a Honda Civic Hybrid to see how it compares. Yes, I know our car is perfectly good. But here is my reasoning:
1. Gas mileage. The Civic reportedly gets around 50 MPG on the highway, which is about 15 MPG more than my Mini gets. For a trip of 700 miles round trip, it amounts to paying for 14 gallons of gas for the Civic and 20 gallons of gas in my Mini. So other than the cost of the rental itself, I save about $20 in gas and emit less pollution on the drive.
2. Wear and tear on our car. Our car is 17 months old and has almost 18,000 miles on it. It might seem like a lot until you realize we only have that one car, so no matter who is driving it to what location, the Mini is it. So in that respect, we have low mileage. But in terms of ever selling it, these miles start to add up fast and will reduce the resale value the more miles we put on it. Plus, the actual wear and tear of the long drive and parking in San Francisco means the car will take a beating.
So…On the positive side, for about $110 ($130 minus the gas savings), I can rent a new Civic Hybrid for the weekend, save wear and tear on my car and emit way less pollution along the way. And I get to test out a car I have not driven yet. On the negative side, I have to spend $110 dollars to do so. Do you see the question yet? Here goes:
“Is it worth $110 dollars to test a car you might be interested in buying, to not have to worry about the wear and tear on your own car, and save some gas all the while?” Thoughts? Anyone? Bueller?
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