Running or Driving, What is Cheaper?
What do you think, is it cheaper to drive somewhere or run? I own a Chrysler Town and Country minivan to transport my family of six around in and I also own a pair of Asics GEL-Cumulus 14 running shoes. Although this is no scientific analysis, it is rather interesting, I think! For our comparison, we are going to break down the costs per mile and see which is cheaper, running or driving.
I purchased my van used for about $8,000 and at that time, it had on it 42,000 miles. I am hoping to get from it at least another 100,000 miles. So, if we take $8,000 / 100,000 we wind up with 0.08, or 8 cents per mile in a purchase cost. Between city and highway driving, I average 20 miles to the gallon. Today, gas is $3.59 per gallon. $3.59 per gallon, which gets me 20 miles, thus $3.59 / 20 is 0.175 or 17.5 cents. We are now at 25.5 cents per mile to operate my van. Now, I change oil every 5,000 miles and that costs me about $20. So, over the life of the van I’ll change oil 20 times (100,000 / 5,000) and that will cost me $20 * 20 times = $400.00 additional dollars. $400.00 spread across 100,000 lifespan equates to an additional 0.004, or 4 hundredths of a cent. Let’s just round it to half a penny and add it to our 25.5 cents per mile tally. That brings our total cost to 26 cents per mile to operate my van.
I purchased my Asics GEL-Cumulus 14 shoes brand new with 0 miles on them for $90.00. I supinate more than normal thus I need to keep my shoes fresh. So instead of replacing my shoes every 400 miles as suggested, I replace them every 300 miles. Therefore, if I take the purchase price of $90.00 and divide it by 300 miles I get exactly 30 cents per mile.
So, there you have it! To drive to the store in my mini van that is 5 miles away would cost me $1.30 and to run to the store in my running shoes would cost me $1.50. Thus, I conclude that operating my running shoes is more expensive than operating my mini van. One more point, though. My van holds seven people while my shoes only one. So, let’s say I want to take along my wife and four daughters. The mini van would cost me $1.30 while running shoes for six would be $1.50 * 6 = $9.00 for a 5 mile trip to the grocery store with the family vs $1.30 in the van.
Now, one may say, well what about repairs? To that I could say, I, as a human, need repairs as well. I do visit the doctor, and they are not cheap! One could say, what about insurance? I could say, do you want to compare the cost of car insurance to the cost of health insurance? Now, one could say your comparison is crazy. I would say, you’re right! This whole thing was simply for the fun of it, but still, it is interesting, eh?
My wife, however, put me in my place when sharing my new found revelation, “Factor in there a heart attack or two from being lazy and inactive while you’re driving your van all around town!”