Real-Value running costs of a Vehicle in 2001 Vs Vehicle in 2012

A exploratory exercise to understand the real-value running costs of a vehicle between 2001 and 2012, limited to variables related to fuel price and fuel consumption for a specific range of vehicle. Whilst limited, it was fascinating to see the relationship between fuel prices and fuel consumption figures as time has progressed.

First the disclaimers: by no means is this a complete and accurate reflection of all vehicles manufactured during the periods specified. Data was gathered from sources off the Internet which were accepted as reliable however discrepancies may exist with respect to values themselves. Should you think anything is glaringly wrong you are welcome to contact me. The exercise was merely done to understand if the real-value running (pertrol only) costs changed substantially between 2001 and 2012.

Okay lets start:

Firstly, I needed to use a vehicle that was manufactured both in 2001 and 2012, which would be comparable over time (and easy to get fuel consumption figures). I decided to use the BMW 320i, and managed to find the following figures below for fuel consumption. I also worked out the average for city and highway consumption figures to provide an indication of what it would cost in litres to drive 50% highway and within the city.

Secondly, I needed to understand what the fuel price was during these times, I extracted the latest pertrol price and the first pertrol price available for 2001 from my previous article here. What I then had was the following table:

Thirdly, I needed to calculate what the cost of driving the chosen vehicle for a set distance would be in both years. Therefore I calculated what petrol costs would be incurred for driving a new BMW 320i in 2001 and 2012 for 100km if one drove said BMW 50% on the highway and within the city. For purposes of the example I assumed the driver would fill the BMW 320i with 93 Unleaded in both years. Thus to fill the table I took the petrol price for that year * the average fuel consumption for that year model per 100km.

Fourthly, I now needed to take into account inflation,I could of used actual inflation figures but since this was just an indication I decided to use a guesstimate average of 7%. Since the reserve bank has kept inflation between 3-6%, with a few outliers here and there.

Using the guesstimate 7% inflation calculation, it seems that the real-value petrol cost of running a BMW 320i is the same or changed negligibly. In laymans terms, what it cost you to drive a 2001 BMW 320i 100km in real-value terms is exactly the same for a 2012 BMW 320i.

I think this a fascinating, (if the above is true and somewhat applicable for other vehicles) although petrol prices have increased the costs of fuel are being offset almost equally by the reduced fuel consumption of new cars. I do not know if this is applicable in a global context and further analysis would have to be done to understand that relationship.


3 people like this post.

This entry was posted in Finance. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Real-Value running costs of a Vehicle in 2001 Vs Vehicle in 2012

  1. Gerrie says:

    Yes this is all good, unfortunately we all can’t afford to buy a new (latest technology enhanced) vehicle every year. The comparison with a 5 or 10 year old vehicle will be horrifying.

  2. Zaffy says:

    Completely agree, however wanted to understand how bad the difference would be. Tried the same exercise using more premium vehicles, top of the range BMW’s (330i Vs 335i) to be more specific and discovered that the real-value running costs (in petrol terms only) actually increased.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *