Why used cars cost more to drive than new cars (and other uncommon personal finance advice)

Sunday, April 17, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles...)

eTrust Pro Certified

Pin It
Used cars versus new cars: which is cheaper to drive? Here's a financial reality that may surprise you: it's actually far cheaper to drive a well-built new car than to drive an old car that requires ongoing maintenance.

One of the things I've noticed in looking at the vehicles people drive is that those who have serious money problems tend to drive run-down cars. And that's not surprising, but what is a shocker is that these people would actually save money if they drove well-built new cars. Let me explain.

An old car is actually more expensive to drive than a new car. If it is sufficiently old, then it's a car that has high maintenance costs. Maybe the alternator goes out and requires a couple of hundred dollars to repair. Maybe the power windows stop working. There's another $300. It's always one thing after another with old cars. You're always replacing parts and taking it on the chin in terms of the labor expense you pay to the car repair shops.

This is especially true if you buy an older American-made car. Anything that was made before 1995 is going to have very high maintenance costs. If you add it all up, you're probably spending several hundred dollars a month just on the maintenance of the old beater you're driving around, thinking that you're saving money. You would be far better off financially to actually go out and buy a new car that has zero maintenance costs.

A new car that's well built, such as a Toyota, which is my top-recommended car company, will work as promised. Plus, it comes with a strong bumper-to-bumper warranty, meaning that if anything goes wrong for the first three years or 36,000 miles, you're not spending any money out of pocket at all. The dealer will repair it for you free of charge.

So instead of spending all this money maintaining an old beater car that costs you several hundred dollars a month on parts and labor, you could be spending the same dollars (or perhaps even less) on a monthly payment for a brand new Toyota vehicle. But that's not the whole story of how driving a new car actually saves you money.

New cars are also more fuel efficient, especially if you're driving a Toyota. So you'll save money every month in terms of gasoline alone. And as fuel costs continue to rise in our uncertain global economy, this could save you even more in the years ahead. Longer term, you may even consider switching to a hybrid vehicle, although hybrids are today not well justified in terms of cost savings alone. (There are other reasons to own a hybrid, however...)

The second thing to consider is the value of your life and safety, since new cars have much better safety features. They have better airbags and restraint systems, better crumple zones and better road handling for dangerous conditions such as icy or wet roads. You'll be much safer in a newer car, no question about it. You might think you're safer in an old Chevy, but in reality, these cars are far more likely to lose control, and they weren't designed with the same sort of crumple zones and restraint systems as today's smaller, lighter and more technologically advanced cars.

The third reason to move to a new car is based on the value of your time. Even if it costs you the same per month to drive an old beater versus a new Toyota, what's the value of your time in terms of waiting around for repairs on your old car? If you have to take that car into the shop once a month, you're probably wasting at least three or four hours every time a repair has to be done. And what's the value of your time? Is it worth $20 an hour? $50 an hour? Or perhaps just $10 per hour? Let's say it's worth just $10 per hour, which means for every repair, you're wasting $40 of your time, plus probably a couple hundred dollars on the repairs itself in terms of parts and labor. Wouldn't you be much better off putting that money into a new car and using that time to be productive and earn money at your job or earn extra revenue if you're running your own business?

Now you might say, "Okay Mike, all of this makes sense. But I don't have the money to buy a new car." I understand the situation. It takes a little bit of money in savings to get ahead and start making these smart financial decisions that will save you even more money in the long run. But the truth is it doesn't take much money to make a down payment on a new car. Only a few thousand dollars. And it's easy to set aside a few thousand dollars if you simply watch your consumption. You could probably save a few thousand dollars a year just by not buying coffee at Starbuck's, or by avoiding fast food meals and making your own meals at home. If you have any kind of a job or income whatsoever, it's pretty easy to set aside a few thousand dollars by watching your consumption.

Think about all the stuff that's in your house right now. Do you really need all that stuff? You probably spent a couple of thousand extra dollars in the last year alone buying this stuff. So now, this year, instead of buying more stuff, set aside that money as a down payment on a new car. Then you can sell off your old car for a few hundred bucks, buy a new car and start driving a vehicle that's going to save you money and probably make you feel a little better at the same time.

The bottom line is that people who have financial difficulties are almost always in that situation they've made a series of bad financial decisions. Those decisions could be about auto insurance, purchasing a new car, buying life insurance, working with a home mortgage company or dealing with credit card companies. Poor people tend to make poor decisions. Most of that is because they haven't been taught how to make good decisions about finances. Very rarely is anyone poor because of circumstances alone.

Now, of course I'm talking about people in industrialized nations like the United States. Without a doubt, there are poor people in less economically advantaged countries all around the world who are indeed poor by circumstances alone. But it is our responsibility as relatively wealthy individuals on this planet to help out those disadvantaged people around the world, and the only way we can do that is by first gaining control of our own financial circumstances. As we make better financial decisions and set aside more money, make more money, boost our productivity and function as smarter consumers, we have more discretion about what we wish to do with that extra money we have set aside.

Personally, I'm a big believer in making donations to charitable organizations and helping out those in need, especially in the aftermath of natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes. But in order to get there, you have to start making sound financial decisions. Otherwise, the entire economic system in this country serves as a financial trap. We are told the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and it's absolutely true, but not for the reasons you might suspect. Part of the real reason is because people who are financially poor tend to keep making poor decisions about their finances.

We have in this country a remarkable degree of economic mobility. That is, you have within your hands the ability to alter your financial destiny. Here in the United States you can move from poverty to wealth in just a few years. Likewise, a person can move from wealth back to financial poverty by making poor financial decisions in rapid succession, such as driving an old beater vehicle that costs more to repair than just buying a new car.

So even if you are financially strapped today, realize that you are in a country that offers you unprecedented opportunities for economic mobility. You can alter your financial future by wising up about how to deal with home mortgages, home loans, credit card debt, your personal credit rating, food purchasing and other discretionary purchases. If you're wise about it today, you can start saving money and, just as importantly, start finding ways to stop wasting your money on things like old cars.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Articles Related to This Article:

How Acetyl-L-Carnitine prevents Alzheimer's disease and dementia while boosting brain function

Review: Tesla Motors pioneers all-electric performance sports car

What would happen if doctors were car mechanics

The story of $100 billion: A mysterious number that may explain what's wrong with America

Dr. Carol Look Explains the Effectiveness of EFT

The great direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising con: how patients and doctors alike are easily influenced to demand dangerous drugs

Related video from NaturalNews.TV

Your NaturalNews.TV video could be here.
Upload your own videos at NaturalNews.TV (FREE)

About the author: Mike Adams is a consumer health advocate and award-winning journalist with a strong interest in personal health, the environment and the power of nature to help us all heal He has authored and published thousands of articles, interviews, consumers guides, and books on topics like health and the environment, and he has published numerous courses on preparedness and survival, including financial preparedness, emergency food supplies, urban survival and tactical self-defense. Adams is an honest, independent journalist and accepts no money or commissions on the third-party products he writes about or the companies he promotes. In 2010, Adams created, a natural living video sharing site featuring thousands of user videos on foods, fitness, green living and more. He also founded an environmentally-friendly online retailer called that uses retail profits to help support consumer advocacy programs. He's also a noted pioneer in the email marketing software industry, having been the first to launch an HTML email newsletter technology that has grown to become a standard in the industry. Adams volunteers his time to serve as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and enjoys outdoor activities, nature photography, Pilates and martial arts training. He's also author a large number of health books offered by Truth Publishing and is the creator of numerous reference website including and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. His websites also include the free reference sites and Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the innate healing ability of the human body. Known by his callsign, the 'Health Ranger,' Adams posts his missions statements, health statistics and health photos at

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

 people have commented on this article.

Related Articles:

How Acetyl-L-Carnitine prevents Alzheimer's disease and dementia while boosting brain function

Review: Tesla Motors pioneers all-electric performance sports car

What would happen if doctors were car mechanics

The story of $100 billion: A mysterious number that may explain what's wrong with America

Dr. Carol Look Explains the Effectiveness of EFT

The great direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising con: how patients and doctors alike are easily influenced to demand dangerous drugs

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...

Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Dear Donald Trump: Blockade the lying mainstream media and recognize the independent media as America's real free press
Kellogg's found to have financial ties to the money man for cop-killing left-wing HATE groups: George Soros

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play