I have a ' Saturn SL which I use for...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Dec 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a '93 Saturn SL which I use for my job as a pizza delivery driver. I know I'm wrecking it by doing this, but what I need to know is how much. Drivers who use their own cars are reimbursed 75 cents per delivery. My deliveries average four miles each, round trip. We have the option of driving a very-less-than-ideal company truck (with no reimbursement, or course). In 16 months, I've put over 22,000 miles on the car, about half of those are delivery miles. Should I drive the company truck instead?

TOM: Well, lets figure it out. You put about 11,000 delivery miles on the car. At four miles each, that's 2750 deliveries reimbursed at 75 cents each. So you got $2062.50.

RAY: If you average 25 miles per gallon, you used 440 gallons of gas, which, at 1.25 a gallon, comes to $550.

TOM: Since you require scheduled maintenance every 7,500 miles, lets figure one and a half services, for $125. Let's also figure that you wore out a quarter of your tire's tread, worth $100.

RAY: As far as wear and tear on the rest of the car, let's take the average annual repair cost for an older car, which is about $700, and increase it by a factor of 40%, since the delivery miles are exclusively stop and go, which is much harder on the car. So for 16 months, let's value the wear and tear at $1306.66.

TOM: That means it cost you $2081.66 to use your car to deliver pizzas. And since you were reimbursed only $2062.50, you're in the hole for 19 dollars and 16 cents.

RAY: But when you factor in that you get to listen to a better radio in your Saturn, I'd say you come out ahead. So be comfortable and drive your own car, Sheryl, if that's what you want to do.

TOM: Just don't spill any tomato sauce on the seats, or the cleaning bill will throw off all of our math.

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