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Hello everyone,

Right now, I'm using a company issued car for work. Nothing too special - and we have to pay $250/month for the car. It's like an all-inclusive lease - that fee includes unlimited gas (though I'm taxed on personal miles), insurance, maintenance, etc. Not a horrible deal, but we also have the option to just expense mileage at the IRS maximum rate of $0.565/mile.

I'm about to hit the mileage limit on my company car - 80k miles. They generally offer to let you buy it for $6500 when it hits that limit. I'm inclined to do this, because I have had it since new and know it's been well maintained - and these vehicles regularly go to 300k miles without any major issues. After a certain point, this would give me a decent tax-free profit in a vehicle I enjoy driving.

I'm trying to figure out a formula to calculate the number of miles I'd have to expense to "break even" including the purchase price, insurance (assumed at $1000/year), maintenance (assume $1000/year and I can do it myself), and the fuel I'm using (assuming $3.70/gallon). Maybe I'm just tired, but for some reason I can't seem to get the continuous fuel use factored in. Any help would be appreciated!

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If a car is religiously maintained and does a lot of highway driving, 300K is easily attainable. What usually happens th... (more)

goku2 (Jul. 19, 2013 @ 12:10p) |

I finally found a calculator online that provides an accurate cost per mile for driving.

artofbeingcheap.com/calculator

highway61 (Aug. 16, 2013 @ 7:27a) |

My Jetta TDI doesn't cost much to maintain, and I can buy a another used one with the fuel savings I have over the Crown... (more)

Dus10 (Aug. 16, 2013 @ 7:53a) |

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perhaps you could tell us what car it is?


ETA: MPG would also help. I would figure the cost to drive per mile, subtract that from what the company will pay you per mile, and divide that into the cost to buy to find the number of miles need to break even.

You're right - my appologies, I wrote that note hastily.

It's a 2012 Crown Victoria. Not too many frills, but VERY heavy duty. I can get 26 mpg on the freeway - let's say an average of 20 all around.

We are familiar with that model of automobile.

I saw it mentioned in another few (dozen) threads when I searched

aggmeister said:   You're right - my appologies, I wrote that note hastily.

It's a 2012 Crown Victoria. Not too many frills, but VERY heavy duty. I can get 26 mpg on the freeway - let's say an average of 20 all around.


You hit 80,000 miles in two years? Wow. Is this accurate?

If those numbers are accurate, then 40k miles a year divided by 20 MPG times $3.7 is $7,400 a year in gas alone. Add $2000 for insurance and maintenance, and it's about $10k a year...compared to only $3k using your company lease option.

To break even on a yearly basis with these numbers, you'd have to expense 11,300 miles a year at the IRS rate.

This doesn't include the purchase price, however; which would be about another 11,000 miles (spread over however many years you like).

Slightly old, but my basisfor some of these numbers.
Company car
Yearly costs
$3,000 'rental fee'
Variable costs
$0.000/mile (company)
$0.057/mile (personal) - how is this tax rate calculated? I assumed a 30% tax rate on just the gas, or 30% * $0.19=$0.057

Your car
Yearly costs
$1000 insurance
$300 registration/taxes
$750 depreciation
$250 finance (assuming worst case scenario on cost of money for your initial $6,500 investment)
Variable costs
$0.270-$0.565=-$0.295/mile (company)
$0.270 (personal)

Cost of driving your car
I assumed $0.08/mile for tires/maintenance
Assumed $3.80gas, 20 mpg=$0.19/mile
Total: $0.270/mile

P=personal miles driven, C=company miles driven, then the 'profit' (represented as ///) is
$3000+$0.000*C+$0.057*P=$2300-$0.295*C+$0.270*P + ///, simplified to
$700 + $0.295*C - $0.223*P=///

Basically, make sure you account for any benefit you may be receiving on personal miles, and don't forget the convenience factor.

aggmeister said:   
It's a 2012 Crown Victoria


It's like a gift from god.....

Is there a FW special achievement badge for actually driving a Crown Vic?

jagec said:   aggmeister said:   You're right - my appologies, I wrote that note hastily.

It's a 2012 Crown Victoria. Not too many frills, but VERY heavy duty. I can get 26 mpg on the freeway - let's say an average of 20 all around.


You hit 80,000 miles in two years? Wow. Is this accurate?

If those numbers are accurate, then 40k miles a year divided by 20 MPG times $3.7 is $7,400 a year in gas alone. Add $2000 for insurance and maintenance, and it's about $10k a year...compared to only $3k using your company lease option.

To break even on a yearly basis with these numbers, you'd have to expense 11,300 miles a year at the IRS rate.

This doesn't include the purchase price, however; which would be about another 11,000 miles (spread over however many years you like).


Yeah, I average 30-40k miles per year. I cover the gulf-central region, so I get around. So basically, if I can expense 22,300 miles in a year, I've covered that year's expenses as well as the cost of the car - and then beyond that it's profit as long as I hit 11,300 every year to cover gas and whatnot?

Are you sure it's 2012?

From the ultimate source of truth:

All Crown Victorias built after August 31, 2011 are 2012 model year cars. For the 2012 model year the US government required that electronic stability control be fitted on all new cars. Ford did not add this feature to the Crown Victoria, so the 2012 model was not sold in the US and Canada.

On September 15, 2011, the final Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line. It was destined for export to Saudi Arabia.

stat9 said:   Is there a FW special achievement badge for actually driving a Crown Vic?

... and another one for being the sole owner of aforementioned vic?


I am renting a Crown Vic for a week tomorrow. Special Dollar RAC $169/week.. cheaper than a compact car!
Got to remember to get a pic with my FW T-shirt on in it.

aggmeister said:   jagec said:   aggmeister said:   You're right - my appologies, I wrote that note hastily.

It's a 2012 Crown Victoria. Not too many frills, but VERY heavy duty. I can get 26 mpg on the freeway - let's say an average of 20 all around.


You hit 80,000 miles in two years? Wow. Is this accurate?

If those numbers are accurate, then 40k miles a year divided by 20 MPG times $3.7 is $7,400 a year in gas alone. Add $2000 for insurance and maintenance, and it's about $10k a year...compared to only $3k using your company lease option.

To break even on a yearly basis with these numbers, you'd have to expense 11,300 miles a year at the IRS rate.

This doesn't include the purchase price, however; which would be about another 11,000 miles (spread over however many years you like).


Yeah, I average 30-40k miles per year. I cover the gulf-central region, so I get around. So basically, if I can expense 22,300 miles in a year, I've covered that year's expenses as well as the cost of the car - and then beyond that it's profit as long as I hit 11,300 every year to cover gas and whatnot?


Yes, assuming that gas/insurance/maintenance doesn't go up, of course.

But with that many miles, you DO have to compare your buy-out option to the possibility of getting a higher fuel mileage car instead. A 2012 Prius, for example, gets 50 MPG and would cost $20k. A 2012 VW Jetta TDI is similar. It would "cost" 24,400 miles more than the Ford, but save you 7860 miles a year in fuel expenses...thus paying itself back in 3 years vs. the Vic.

Of course, if you like the Vic for other reasons, that's fair...but keep in mind that highway mileage makes a BIG difference when you drive that much.

With that many miles driven and that good of a compensation scheme, you have a lot of options for transportation. How many miles can you actually expense every year?

If its truly an 2012, I would snag it as it is a rare bird. In fact anything newer than about 2008 is harder to find as they were fleet only. My parents bought a New 1995 and drove it until they bought a 2008 Taurus. They gave me the Vic and I still have it. It hasn't been driven lately but it was a great car. I really wish I had a 2011 or 2012 model that drove as well as it did. That thing would get 25-26 MPG highway all day, and even 30 on one interstate trip. I could not believe it possible, but I checked it several times.

Oh I want my Crown Vic Badge Too.....

jagec said:   aggmeister said:   jagec said:   aggmeister said:   You're right - my appologies, I wrote that note hastily.

It's a 2012 Crown Victoria. Not too many frills, but VERY heavy duty. I can get 26 mpg on the freeway - let's say an average of 20 all around.


You hit 80,000 miles in two years? Wow. Is this accurate?

If those numbers are accurate, then 40k miles a year divided by 20 MPG times $3.7 is $7,400 a year in gas alone. Add $2000 for insurance and maintenance, and it's about $10k a year...compared to only $3k using your company lease option.

To break even on a yearly basis with these numbers, you'd have to expense 11,300 miles a year at the IRS rate.

This doesn't include the purchase price, however; which would be about another 11,000 miles (spread over however many years you like).


Yeah, I average 30-40k miles per year. I cover the gulf-central region, so I get around. So basically, if I can expense 22,300 miles in a year, I've covered that year's expenses as well as the cost of the car - and then beyond that it's profit as long as I hit 11,300 every year to cover gas and whatnot?


Yes, assuming that gas/insurance/maintenance doesn't go up, of course.

But with that many miles, you DO have to compare your buy-out option to the possibility of getting a higher fuel mileage car instead. A 2012 Prius, for example, gets 50 MPG and would cost $20k. A 2012 VW Jetta TDI is similar. It would "cost" 24,400 miles more than the Ford, but save you 7860 miles a year in fuel expenses...thus paying itself back in 3 years vs. the Vic.

Of course, if you like the Vic for other reasons, that's fair...but keep in mind that highway mileage makes a BIG difference when you drive that much.

With that many miles driven and that good of a compensation scheme, you have a lot of options for transportation. How many miles can you actually expense every year?


I would agree, but with the opportunity that OP has, he could get the Crown Vic and when it has paid for itself, in essentially six months, we could turn around and get a different vehicle if he wants and still have the CV.

The other thing to consider... what will they do next? Do you have the option to get another company car?

Personally, in this situation, I would probably do the CV and just drive it until the wheels fall off and bank every last bit of profit that you get from mileage so long as you keep this job and keep racking up the miles... That is unless you could get a VW TDI out of the next vehicle that they offer .

Didn't they stop making Crown Vics in 2011? How can the OP have a 2012?
http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/15/autos/last_crown_victoria/index....

The break in safety and environmental rules always was based on production date not model year date. For example I have 1966 Mustang with the 289-K code engine assembled Nov 18,1965. So it does not have the smog pump required fort the 1966 models. Another classic example where Wikipedia is really screwed up is the 68 Shelby GT500/KR. If built before January 1, 1968 they came with an automatic and side oiler 427 medium riser Engine Code R. Homolgated for NASCAR rules as the 427 wasn't available in the Torino body; same thing in 1969 when the Boss 429 Mustang had the Boss 429 engine for NASCAR rules even though the engine wasn't available in the Torino body. After Jan1, 1968 until April 30,1968 the GT 500 came with the 428 PI and a top loader or an automnatic, engine code S. May 1, 1968 the GT500KR was legal with the 428 Cobra Jet engine and engine code R transmission was either a top loader or automatic.

Apparently there was a 2-3 week run after the change over that were badged as 2012 but probably identical to the 2011.

InTrouble said:   We are familiar with that model of automobile.

Cannot green this enough.


OP - $6500 is a STEAL for that car. Edmunds (could only select 2011 model year) shows around $11k on trade-in and $13.5k for dealer retail for my area. Even if you kept it for another year or two, you will still be way ahead.

Plus, when you get tired of it, I'm sure someone here would buy it.

Dus10 said:   
I would agree, but with the opportunity that OP has, he could get the Crown Vic and when it has paid for itself, in essentially six months, we could turn around and get a different vehicle if he wants and still have the CV.

The other thing to consider... what will they do next? Do you have the option to get another company car?

Personally, in this situation, I would probably do the CV and just drive it until the wheels fall off and bank every last bit of profit that you get from mileage so long as you keep this job and keep racking up the miles... That is unless you could get a VW TDI out of the next vehicle that they offer .


That's a good point. We should probably separate the "should I buy out the company car" decision from the "should I use the company lease option, or expense mileage on a personal vehicle instead" decision.

Buying out the company car for $6500 seems to make sense, as newer Crown Vics in good condition are selling for more than this (at least in my area). You could turn it around instantly and make a profit, or keep it for a while as a car that you got a good deal on.

The lease decision is even easier. If he can expense more than 11,300 miles a year (@20 MPG), he should be driving a personal vehicle instead of taking the lease option. Also, he should get a high-percentage gas rewards card to sweeten the deal even more.

I'm tired of everybody praising the Crown Victoria when it actuality, it's a POS that is superseded by many superior vehicles at much better cost per mile. The Crown Vic is crap and the idea that this is the 'ideal' fatwalleter car is completely ludicrous considering we're living in an era of $4 per gallon gasoline in a car that gets 16MPG, 20mpg in an "ideal scenario".

goku2, you have angered the Gods. I'd hang low for a while.

goku2 said:   I'm tired of everybody praising the Crown Victoria when it actuality, it's a POS that is superseded by many superior vehicles at much better cost per mile. The Crown Vic is crap and the idea that this is the 'ideal' fatwalleter car is completely ludicrous considering we're living in an era of $4 per gallon gasoline in a car that gets 16MPG, 20mpg in an "ideal scenario".

It's a joke... We all know \\\M3 is the FWF auto of choice.

Get it ///right.

Pretty sure that 2012 Crown Vics were sold in the US. I had a 2012 as a rental for a week.

Buy out the car and flip it, then buy a more fuel efficient car and expense your mileage. The only tricky thing is maintenance - I don't know if there's anything cheaper to maintain than a Crown Vic.

oopsz said:   I don't know if there's anything cheaper to maintain than a Crown Vic.

Bicycle

oopsz said:   Buy out the car and flip it, then buy a more fuel efficient car and expense your mileage. The only tricky thing is maintenance - I don't know if there's anything cheaper to maintain than a Crown Vic.Just about any economy car with a timing chain is cheaper to operate and maintain. Tires are cheaper, brakes last longer, there is no differential fluid to change in a FWD vehicle, oil changes require less 5 quarts (therefore oil change specials are actually that), fuel consumption is significantly less.

"I'm about to hit the mileage limit on my company car - 80k miles. They generally offer to let you buy it for $6500 when it hits that limit. I'm inclined to do this, because I have had it since new and know it's been well maintained - and these vehicles regularly go to 300k miles without any major issues."

What cars go 300,000 miles without major issues? I like to know. If this is the case, there should be a lot of these 300K cars on the road.

burgerwars said:   "I'm about to hit the mileage limit on my company car - 80k miles. They generally offer to let you buy it for $6500 when it hits that limit. I'm inclined to do this, because I have had it since new and know it's been well maintained - and these vehicles regularly go to 300k miles without any major issues."

What cars go 300,000 miles without major issues? I like to know. If this is the case, there should be a lot of these 300K cars on the road.

If a car is religiously maintained and does a lot of highway driving, 300K is easily attainable. What usually happens though is that cars age out, aren't maintained on a consistent basis and fall apart. There are a bunch of hybrid taxis that reached 300K miles and were retired due to govt. regulations stipulating that they retire those vehicles at 300K miles and they had no issues to speak of. When people think 300K miles, they're thinking in terms of 30 years of driving not 10 years or less of driving that vehicle. Time takes its toll on parts just as much as mileage due to oxidation and hardening and cracking of various rubber parts that protect lubricated and non lubricated parts alike. I mean people may remember to replace plugs wires, oil and timing belt but neglect the PCV system causing the car to waste gas and the engine to eventually blow out its seals leading to oil consumption.

I finally found a calculator online that provides an accurate cost per mile for driving.

artofbeingcheap.com/calculator

oopsz said:   I don't know if there's anything cheaper to maintain than a Crown Vic.

My Jetta TDI doesn't cost much to maintain, and I can buy a another used one with the fuel savings I have over the Crown Vic every ~3 years.



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