Run Your Car Into The Ground: It's Cheaper

When Irv Gordon squeezes 2.5 million miles out of his old volvo, or Syl Schmid manages to get 562,000 miles from his VW Jetta, it just goes to prove that replacing your car for a newer model every few years is not the only way to go. While some may worry about the car depreciating in value, we have just learned from Consumer Reports (via CNN Money) that keeping hold of your old car can save a massive amount of cash in the long run:

"Calculating the costs involved in buying a new Honda Civic EX every five years for 15 years - including depreciation, taxes, fees and insurance - the magazine estimated it would cost $20,500 more than it would have cost to simply maintain one car for the same period. Added to that, the magazine factored in $10,300 in interest that could have been earned on that money, assuming a five percent interest rate and a three percent inflation rate, over that time."

The report does go on to say, however, that getting that much mileage out of a car requires some significant upkeep. It also suggests choosing your car carefully to select one that will last. Encouragingly the Prius, an obvious TreeHugger favorite, ranks high among the magazine's suggestions of cars that stand a good chance of lasting to 200,000 miles or more.

We should note that just because keeping an old car makes financial sense, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the greenest option – the debate continues among us environmentalists on whether buying newer, efficient models creates less pollution than caring for your old one. Obviously ditching the car all together and buying a bike would be the ultimate in green living, but we're not all in a position to do that just yet.::Consumer Reports:: via CNN Money::