Here’s my Saturn SL1, off-road in 2004:
I drove it off the lot in April 1998 with 30 miles on the odometer. Twelve Minnesota winters, five-hundred fill-ups, and 154,000 miles later, I’m still driving it. I’ll be happy if I can stay with it for several more years.
The numbers from twelve years of overly-meticulous recordkeeping tell me that this car has provided great value.
Cost Per Mile
First, there’s the lifetime cost-per-mile to own and operate it. I think this is a beautiful graph.
Lifetime expense is $0.29 per mile. That includes everything: payments, gas, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and etcetera.
(I initially had a three year lease for $8,000. The spike in 2001 is when I …