Early last month, we bought a Prius. It is a second car we are using as a commuter car for my husband. Technically, of course, we aren’t saving anything, since we bought the car with a loan. But we were planning on buying a car in the next year anyway, and we already factored in insurance costs, etc., so we’re not really spending more than we expected to in the next year or two. But I did have a few people ask me if I’m saving money in gas. After owning the car for the better part of two months, I can say that I am!
Gas savings with the Prius
Prior to owning the Prius, we got gas once a week for right around $18, or $72 per month. A trip to Idaho to see my family cost a fill-up and a half, or $27, on top of the $72. In a month where we included a trip to Idaho (or to Salt Lake) the cost would be around $99 for gas. Last year we paid way more than that some months, though, because of the horrendous gas prices in summer 2008.
Here’s what we’ve found with the Prius, which has a smaller gas tank:
- 1 fill-up costs about $13.
- We only fill the Prius up every three weeks.
- We only have to fill up the other car every two weeks now, since I’m not driving it as much.
- 1 tank of gas gets us to Idaho and back — with some left over.
So, it costs us $13 (Prius) plus $36 (two fill-ups at $18 for the old car) for regular driving, bringing the new monthly gas total to $49. That’s a savings of $23 per month. And the trip to Idaho costs $14 less. So we are saving money — probably about $360 a year, assuming we go to Idaho (or Salt Lake) six times during the year.
It’s not a huge amount, but it is something. And we do enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having a newer, more reliable car. We should save money in car repairs as well, since we’ll be driving the old car less and it will probably get less wear and tear. Additionally, I save time. That’s one less hour a day that I have to spend driving my husband around. And it makes me more pleasant because I get my work done faster and I can spend more time with my son. So, even if the gas savings aren’t that dramatic, there are definite intangibles that come with having the new car.
image credit: Miranda Marquit