As I promised to do in that post I've been looking into my options for switching to something more efficient. The car which has caught my attention is a small four-door with a continuously variable automatic transmission (aka CVT) and fuel economy rated at a very impressive 5.6L/100km. And to my surprise there's actually more headroom in that tiny car than in the one I have now. At about $23,000 on the road I think it'd be a good choice.
But there's a problem with the financial side of things when it comes to the car I have now. The lease company wants thirty grand as a payout, and the car's worth only twenty as a trade-in: so if I want to do this it's going to cost me ten thousand bucks.
What will $10K get me? Well, over the next two years it'll drop my fuel consumption by about three thousand litres, assuming I were to continue to drive the same distance. Divide the one by the other and you get $3.33 per litre as the amount I'd be paying for the sake of using less fuel. (That's ON TOP of the actual cost of fuel at the pump!)
Of course the new car would cost less to purchase and run, so there'd be some compensation along the way. I haven't done the sums yet to work that one out, but I can imagine it still being in the vicinity of $3/litre.
I'm not sure I'm willing - or able - to do that. And besides, there's still the issue of what happens with the old car. A huge amount of energy was consumed making the thing, and it still performs its intended function perfectly well. It probably wouldn't be helping the overall cause to prematurely dispose of it.
So I guess there are three things I can do for the next couple of years to minimise the overall impact of my use of the car I have now:
- Drive as efficiently as I possibly can.
- Purchase CO2 credits to offset the car's emissions.
- Consider whether it's worth paying the tax penalties for not driving 25,000km a year.