Me and Automobiles

I am a ‘frugal car snob’. My admiration goes to those who get the maximum number of miles from the least expensive vehicle.

My current vehicle is a 2001 Kia Rio with 285,000 miles. My claim to fame is that this is very likely the only ’01 Kia Rio still on the road. While a quarter million miles is not unusual in trucks and other sturdy vehicles, it is extremely rare for a first-generation Kia. At the time my wife bought the car, this was the cheapest vehicle on the market at just over $10k. She drove it for 12 years, and then I took it over. Since then, I have done all major work on it myself, including cylinder head overhaul, fuel tank replacement, wheel bearing replacement, A/C service, brake service, etc..  It runs perfectly, though the frame is severely corroded, and there are a several dents.

My average cost of this vehicle is about 15 cents/mile. This includes everything, from depreciation, maintenance, repairs, insurance as well as gas and oil. Not bad, when the national average is about 60 cents/mile. But, I am afraid, if I were to include all the money I have spent on buying tools, then the numbers won’t be so rosy. In any case, that’s my automobile snobbery.

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