A meandering blog with no clear topic. You will find me talking about knitting, building, kids, social and economic issues, Alaska, and lots of other stuff.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Is, of course, the answer to life, the universe, and everything. I talked about a commuting problem here: http://lifeonthelastfrontier.blogspot.com/2008/03/well-shoot.html. The answer to to that problem is also numerical, and the number is 50. As in miles per gallon:

This is a 1997 Geo Metro. We bought this last night for $750. It needs a starter and a passenger side window, but James can fix both of those. We have looked around previously, and to get a new car that comes even close to the Geo's mileage, you have to fork out $40K for a hybrid. Otherwise you are looking at something in the mid 30's in miles per gallon. Plus, you wind up with a payment and full coverage, which would quickly eat up a large chunk of the savings in gas money.

We could have gone out and bought a new car, no problem. But it just didn't seem like the sensible thing to do. We just paid off our Dodge Durango in January, and I am very happy to be free of car payments. (James actually does have a payment on his work van, but since that is just for his work, he takes care of it... I don't even have to worry about it.) And if I can't get a $20K new car that can match the gas mileage of a $750 car, I just don't see any benefit to it at all. Except maybe a warranty, but we have had a Geo before, and we already know that James can fix anything that breaks on it, as they are very simple little cars. (Even when someone happens to hit a bump too hard and shear off the piece of the engine block that is attached to the engine mount. Then you have to buy a new engine. Even then, James could have fixed it, but chose not to. And, yes, that was me.)

So, if you do the math, it turns out that if we commute 55 miles each way round trip five times a week in a Geo Metro, we will spend less on gas than I currently spend to drive my Durango around town every week. What's not to like about that?


Sue said...

Congratulations! I too am in the process of buying a Geo Metro, and I think the one my friend has offered me is even red like yours! I'm really looking forward to reducing my gasoline consumption even though my commute has recently risen slightly, to about 130 miles a week. I think we'll all be seeing a lot more Geo Metros zipping around in the coming months!

Sue in the
Western Great Basin

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