In thinking about Tavarish’s post about how much you are willing to spend maintaining an older car vs. buying a new(er) one, I wondered something: How many of you calculate the true cost to own your car. For example, I keep a spreadsheet on maintenance costs. In addition, it has a section that calculates total monthly costs including everything like insurance, registration, oil, tires, and depreciation based on my estimated current market value. This gives me a TRUE monthly “cost to own,” and I can compare that against a new car which would have fewer issues, but a guaranteed monthly cost, in addition to higher registration and insurance costs.

Does anyone else do this insanity?