Friday, November 19, 2010

Truckonomics

I am considering the pros and cons of buying a 4x4 medium-compact 8ft-bed pickup truck.

Pros as measured by counts of yearly use:
  • Hauling soil and mulch to my funny farm: 10
  • Being Mr. Helpful whenever a friend is moving or just needs to borrow a truck: 8
  • Projecting a manly handyman image at certain social events: 4
  • Hauling big things home from stores times per year: 2
  • Enabling crazy off-road camping adventures: 1.5
  • Being Mr. Helpful at some family gatherings, if Mr. Handsome happens not to be around: 1
  • Traveling roads too icy for bike or car: 1
  • Unknown interesting projects I'd get myself into that require a truck: 1
Adding up the uses, it looks like I'd get about 25-30 uses out of it per year. But what are the costs?
  • $3000-5000 upfront (used)
  • $500-800 annual maintenance
  • $250 additional annual insurance (Geico quote)
  • $500-1000 gas assuming 5000 miles per year (high)
  • hassle (registration, inspections, etc) valued at $200/year
Assuming the truck lasts 5 years, the average annual cost is around $2650, or about $90 per use. By contrast, renting a U-haul pickup for 24hrs with no extras (but including insurance) cost me about $140+ hassle a few months ago. I guess it just depends how bad I need a truck.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer Jo said...

Mr. Helpful,

Do you think you could bring your pick-up truck to my house and haul some leaves for our garden? Mr. Handsome doesn't want to be helpful.

Sincerely,
Your Sis

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Mountaineer said...

I sometimes wish we had a truck, but so far we've been able to borrow, use the car---or do without whatever it was we wanted the truck for.

Also, in our case, with two drivers and one car, we try to walk/ride bike/hitch rides instead of drive; and I fear that our driving would increase at the expense of the other options.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you were to forgo buying the truck, are you certain you will not wish for some extras on the U-haul pickup that you rent for the manly image at those social events?

kbs

8:54 PM  

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