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Auto Expenses

September 26th, 2008 at 07:21 pm

We live downtown in the biggest city in Canada, and use public transit (the subway, in our case) to get to work every day. I was therefore surprised to see that our second-biggest expense in the past year was... "Auto"!

From last September 1 to the end of August, we spent $17 564.59 in that category. Wow.

Fortunately that's not typical for us. The biggest hit was because we bought the dream car that I'd wanted for a couple of years - a 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia campervan. We spent five weeks in July and August driving from Toronto to the Yukon Territory and back, and it was an amazing adventure.

It cost $8 800 to buy the camper and get it on the road (taxes, registration, plates, and all that). We also spent about $2 000 for a very good mechanic (one who specializes in air-cooled VWs) to get it ready for the trip.


We do have another car that we use occasionally, and if you thought a 30-year-old camper was old... well, my "regular" car is a 1971 Volkswagen Superbeetle. I had been putting off various maintenance issues for it until last September, so it had a considerable amount of work in the past year - about $3 800.

Insurance for both vehicles is a fairly reasonable $135/month. Since we don't drive every day, even being Canadians we spend less than $100/month on gas (today's local gas price is $1.15/litre, which works out to $4.35/gallon.) The other recurring cost is parking, which we have to pay for, and works out to about $25/month.

Even with some maintenance costs built in, I'd expect to see next year's auto costs running between $3500 and $5000. If we decide to sell the campervan, we'll actually get ahead for the year in that category!

Edit: added picture of the campervan. Isn't he the cutest thing ever?!

1 Responses to “Auto Expenses”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    Oh, my best friend growing up had a Westfalia camper - maybe the same color. What a blast from the past. Big Grin IT was a nice auto, for sure.

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