Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tiny Shiny, Big Difference

Hello all... The Professor here, chiming in as "guest blogger" today. Mother Necessity has informed me that she has right of refusal on any and all posts I write, no rights reserved, the comments presented here are the sole opinion of the author and do not indicate the opinion or endorsement of the management, objects in mirror may be larger than they appear, and any other warnings and disclaimers that spring to mind.

Earlier this afternoon, we were running the numbers on Quicken to see how having a new car has impacted our fuel bills. Our little 2007 Hyundai Elantra, "Tiny Shiny" (everyone gets a pseudonym in this blog), is turning 1 at the end of July. Sigh, they grow so quickly these days, don't they? Seems like just yesterday we were... But I digress. We purchased the new car last year before our annual summer car trip to Cape Cod. The minivan we owned was costing us a lot of money in maintenance and gas. So it was farewell to "Big Red" and hello Tiny Shiny. Bonus green fact about Tiny Shiny: It's a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) and the greenest car we could afford.

Here's the lowdown on how Tiny Shiny has helped us go green and save a little money:

1) This year, we filled up at a gas station 43 times. The year before, we filled up 40 times. Now, before you get on our case about wasting precious natural resources, Big Red had a 20 gallon tank and Tiny Shiny has a 14 gallon one. While we don't know exactly how many gallons of gas we bought the past 12 months, I'm sure that it's a reduction over the previous year.

2) Despite the insane increases in gas prices (we're paying around $4.40 per gallon these days), we've actually spent $243.56 less fueling the car this year. Some of it is driving less (about 1000 miles less this year) and some of it is driving differently (see Mother Necessity's post on hypermiling). But a lot of it is the improved mpg.

Mother Necessity still has "Prius Envy," but the Elantra is doing well by us.

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