Going Green with Old Cars
Hybrids get a lot of press.
They’re touted as being incredibly fuel-efficient, getting between 30–45mpg in some cases. Wow. What most of these green fanatics don’t realize is that they’re hurting the environment more than the creepy hippie in his VW bug.
It takes roughly 50,000 miles of fuel savings to recover the cost of manufacturing for the average hybrid car, and that number comes closer to 80,000 for hybrid SUVs (they require more materials to manufacture and weigh more, decreasing fuel economy). That’s a huge carbon debt to pay off, especially if the car ends up in an accident or has mechanical failure resulting in its salvage. Older cars have already paid their carbon debts, so we should do everything we can to maximize their life after the debt is paid off. Every time a new car is purchased, an old (often working) car is crushed.
Consider the financial impact, as well. When buying a new car, everything on it is brand new. Once those new components begin to break, they are going to be the most expensive components on the market, because they aren’t yet in common circulation. Parts (and mechanic fees) for older cars are lower, and because they’re generally simpler designs, they are less likely to fail when given regular maintenance.
On top of that, the initial cost is lower. The KBB value of a 1991 Honda CRX Hf with 100,000 miles on it in EXCELLENT condition is USD$2300. Assuming you want a freshly rebuilt motor ($1,000) professionally installed ($750), along with new tires ($400) and suspension ($1500, installed), and you wanted to freshen it up with a professional paint job ($2,500), your total would still be $8,450, compared to the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s $23,474. You’re saving the environment and money in the bank! If the 2-seater CRX just isn’t big enough, you could look into a 1996 Honda Accord 4-door, which changes the starting price to $4,585 and the ending price to $10,735. That’s still half off, and far less to pay in maintenance!
Finally, you’ll save more fuel by going with many older cars. The Honda CRX Hf, for example, averages 43mpg, according to fueleconomy.gov. The new Toyota Camry hybrid averages 34, according to the same site. Overall, unless you’ve already fallen in love with the idea of a new car and a payment plan, a used vehicle is a better way to go for your wallet, the environment, and your peace of mind (you have a recipt and warranty on all work performed by a local shop).
For more information, feel free to visit:
After the jump:
I’ve noticed that a certain Spanish enthusiast site has taken notice of this post!
Apparently, this particular CRX has gone internationally cool!