Life on the Road

Photo #3000! Antique Shell Gas PumpThe news stories tell us Americans are driving less and enjoying it more. However, there are those of us that live on the road as a way of life. We don’t have any choice about heading out when gas prices go up.

I drive a little over 3500 miles each month covering a territory from Amarillo to Brownsville, Texas, a distance that Google Maps says is 785 miles on the shortest route. Of course, that’s just the north and south, not the east and west dimensions.

Before buying my Dodge Magnum, I built a spreadsheet to determine the mileage required to cover the costs of driving the monthly distance. It covers tires, gas, payments, oil changes, and several other aspects of car care. My wife made huge fun of me for spending the time to build it, but I was able to determine the mileage required, thus making sure the Magnum would work. It was rated at 22mpg city and 27mpg highway, so if I attained better than 23 miles/gallon, the Magnum would pay for itself.

As of my last fillup, the Dodge is averaging 23.4mpg since going into service, 28,750 miles ago. The 3.5l V-6 produces plenty of power and is still the right choice for me.

How do you decide which car to buy? Let me know in the comments. I might even share the spreadsheet, if you want.

photo courtesy Cobalt123

2 thoughts on “Life on the Road

  1. Dave J.

    You are so left-brained, I don’t how you picked such a cool car!

    Picking for me is more like Malcom Gladwell’s ‘Blink’. Picked up a used Saab 93 (2.0 turbo) off the bulletin board at work. Manual, four doors, sunroof, and turbo. Oh, the turbo is nice.

  2. Larry

    Guilty, Dave. I did buy one car like you, but that’s a story for another post. I will say, it was one of the favorite cars I’ve owned.


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