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Buying a car for fuel efficiency

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My fiancee has recently moved in with me and has made the sacrifice or lengthening her commute from the "get out of bed and slide into work in 10 minutes" to the "break out the iPod because it's going to be awhile" time of 40 minutes. I have had to commute more than 40 minutes before and it's not that bad, but losing an hour a day is a shock. I've thought about giving in and moving a little closer to her work (I enjoy the 10 minute commute now) when we look for the next home, but I'm not that comfortable moving that far outside of Boston. I'm already further than I really intended to ever be, but with housing prices what they are, it's necessary.

Here's the straw that breaks the camel's back. She has an SUV that simply guzzles gas like no tomorrow. We can't really get rid of it, because we always seem to be moving some big thingamajig. My car doesn't get the greatest MPG, but it's better. We switched cars a couple of times, but I can tell that's not something she feels overly comfortable with. She's mentioned possibly getting a third car for commuting. Seems like it's not a terrible idea as long as our insurance doesn't sky rocket and we get the condo to allow us to park a third car.

So this is where I ask for your help. If you could buy a car now as the most cost effective way to travel about 60-70 miles a day, what would you get? I'm eliminating a new cars as it would take too long to recoup the cost of gas when you factor in depreciation. I get the feeling it's going to be between a 4-5 year old Miata, the first year the Prius was made, or some kind of Kia/Hyundai that gets decent milage.

Give me your suggestions and in a future I'll run some rough numbers.

Last updated on December 14, 2006.

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2 Responses to “Buying a car for fuel efficiency”

  1. Jaime says:

    What was the best car???

  2. I didn’t get any suggestions when I wrote this, but we ended up relocating to San Francisco shortly after the post. She commutes via public transit now, so there’s not really a need to run the numbers. It would be pretty cool to make a calculator though… Hmmmm… I smell a future project.

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