Friday, November 19, 2010

New vs. Used vs. No Car

I've had a car since I turned 16 years and 8 months when I received my G2 Ontario License.  Since moving to Toronto in July I've been trying to live without a car.  Let me tell you, it's been tough.

I'll hopefully be sitting on a volunteer committee for an event outside of the city for which I will be attending meetings anywhere from once per month to once per week.  Calculating the options via TTC it'll take me approximately 1hr 15min depending on where the meetings are held.  So, I've been contemplating buying a car.

Note: All projected costs do not take into account possible lower insurance amount as car depreciates, fluctuation in gas prices/maintenance charges, or parking fees.
Option 1: NEW
2010 Hyundai Accent GL - 280.32/month finance, 60 months @ 0.0%
Insurance - $262/month
Parking - $15/month street parking
Gas - $50/month
Maintenance/Licensing - $40/month
Cost over 5 years: $38,839

Option 2: USED
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe - $3,995
Insurance - $198/month
Parking - $15/month street parking
Gas - $60/month
Maintenance/Licensing - $60/month
Cost over 5 years: $23,972

Option 3: NO CAR
TTC Pass: $40/month until 2012, $111 thereafter
Occasional Car Rental: $20/month
Cost over 5 years: $6,724

And my own verdict is: No Car is the best option.  Over a 5 year period not having spent a minimum of $17,248 makes a big difference to my lifestyle as well as options for buying a home.  Not tying up hundreds of dollars a month will allow me to save for a bigger down payment, pay off my mortgage faster once I get one, and will tree up travel money.

If some sort of circumstances life- or career-wise change whereby I need to think seriously getting a vehicle, then I will be sure to look at all options again!


  1. From looking at the numbers, this seems like the best choice, from a financial standpoint. It's much easier to live without a car when you're single and have no dependants. I applaud your good choice!

  2. When I live in Toronto, the TTC was a pain in the butt if you haven't been used to public transportation, but it's a nice time to relax and get your thoughts whirling around your head while you wait for the bus, rather than concentrating on the road.

  3. Sounds like you made the right decision.

  4. Yup! :) This topic came up to me while I was driving to work and thinking how much I could have saved if I didn't drive! :) But I choose to drive instead haha (bad Money Pincher, bad Money Pincher)

    I guess we just need to be aware of how much we spend on luxuries of driving a car (and not take it for granted) and be ready to give it up when times are tough or when there are other more important priorities to fulfill (like buying a house or getting further education)

  5. Sounds to me like "Car Share Canada" was made for you! No car when you don't need it and there when you do.

  6. Good choice! It's surprising how much it adds up after only 5 years. I live in a small town with no public transportation, so unfortunately it's not an option here. Great way to save some money and save up for that next car though!