Costs of cars

One thing we are gaining from higher gas prices is increasing information about how much cars cost to run. Right now, when everyone is talking about the price of fuel, Kathleen Pender in the Chronicle has provided many facts about judging a car by its overall cost instead of just its gas mileage. Depreciation is a huge factor, of course, although that doesn’t matter too much if you tend to keep cars until they become worth nothing more than a donation to your favorite charity. Then there is the added cost of cars that require premium instead of regular gasoline. And of course you have to figure out the amount you will save on a hybrid’s fuel mileage as compared with the higher initial cost. Buying a car is more complicated than ever–a social statement rather than just a purchase. Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to the days when we could just pick the color we liked and the most comfortable seats?

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