The True Costs of Owning a 2009 Acura TL

Prior to getting my DB9 my last new car was a 2009 Acura TL w/SHAWD and Tech Package.   Essentially a top of the line all wheel drive 4 door sedan with 307HP.  This was a great car that I very much enjoyed.  The only knock against it was the homely ‘beak’ design of the front end.

Being that this is a website about my Aston Martin DB9, you might be wonder why the heck I am waxing on about an old girlfriend.  I have done an in depth ownership cost analysis of my DB9 (see the costs here), and I wanted something to compare it to that was more mainstream like my Acura.  I had all the same data available to me so I have worked out the complete and exact costs of ownership for my TL.

Summary

Here are the big numbers.

Keep in mind they include Depreciation which is by far the largest contributor and larger than all the other expenses combined (typical of a new car).  All costs are in US Dollars.

I owned this car 1970 days (a little over 5 years), and drove it a total of 27,307 miles in that time (mostly city miles).

Cost Per Mile Driven – $1.59

Cost Per Day Owned – $22.07

Cost Per Year – $8,059

Mileage – 17 miles per gallon

Keep in mind all cars cost money, and most people don’t aggregate all the costs, and are usually stunned by these actual costs.  Do the math, you situation will work out similarly.  Speaking of doing the math, here is how I arrived at those numbers.

The Details

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know I don’t do anything half-assed. I am an Engineer, and data is everything. Fortunately, I have all the data and broke it down into 10 categories so you can see what makes up those summary numbers above.

Here is my definition of each category:

Depreciation

cars-depreciateYour car isn’t worth what you paid for it. A simple calculation – a complete and honest evaluation of every last penny you spent purchasing the car minus what you can realistically sell it for.

  • What you paid for it should include all costs INCLUDING what you had to pay for Sales Tax, Title, Registration and some other random dealer fees.  A $45k car does not cost $45k to drive off the lot.  All-in I ended up paying $51,909 for my Acura (which was a lease I ended up buying out at the end).
  • If you still own the car figuring out what you can sell it for is tougher to establish. In this case I had already sold the car on and received $25k for it, so this was easy.
  • The total depreciation then is easy to work out as $26,909.

Insurance

aaa-logoSimple, just include what you paid for Insurance. I had complete coverage for my car [of course] from a national US carrier that is cost competitive – AAA. [I have a great agent, so if you are in the US and want to contact AAA, please let me know and I will share her contact info with you]

Registration Fees

california-dmv-logoThe government needs their pound of flesh, and we all pay some form of road tax. Once a year I need to give the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) a check for my license plate tags. Include whatever fees your government sticks you with.

Scheduled Service

If you own a car, you need to at least follow the manufacturers regular recommended service schedule. I had my Acura dealer serviced when it told me it was needed.

Normal Wear & Tear

Cars wear out. You use up the tires and the brakes just by driving them. This generally equates to mileage. If you never drive your car, you’ll have very little wear and tear. Me, I drive about 5,000 miles per year as my daily driver. You should expect to replace the tires and brakes periodically. It’s not a sign of a failing car, or even Unscheduled Service.

For the time I had my Acura I never had to service any of these items.  Another reason to buy a new car.

Fuel

gas-pump-gradesEasy one. Include all your gas charges. I use a credit card to buy my fuel, and could download a report.

With this, I was also able to estimate the average cost per gallon for fuel over the time I’ve owned it, and work out my average fuel economy. MPG = Miles Driven / (Total Fuel Cost / Average Cost Per Gallon). In the USA and Canada there are website that can show you the historical fuel costs for your city – I used this one.

Cleaning

We like to keep our beautiful cars shiny. Either you use an Auto Detailer service or do it yourself.  I used both.

Unscheduled Service

Another reason people pay the premium for new cars is to avoid unscheduled repairs.   My Acura was super reliable and never missed a beat in the time I owned it.

The Data

I have compiled all the this data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, and created a Adobe PDF report as well if you’d like to download either of them to review more closely or fill in your own data and get your own cars numbers [If you do, PLEASE share them with me in the Comment section – I would love to know].

You can download the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet here.

You can download the PDF report version here.

Below is a summary table of the breakdown amounts and below that the gory truth of every detailed expense. Enjoy!

Expense Total Per Mile Per Day Percent
Depreciation $                                           26,909.05 $                                 0.99 $                         13.66 62%
Insurance $                                             6,622.83 $                                 0.24 $                           3.36 15%
Registration Fees $                                             2,195.00 $                                 0.08 $                           1.11 5%
Scheduled Service $                                                 642.54 $                                 0.02 $                           0.33 1%
Normal Wear & Tear $                                                           – $                                       – $                               – 0%
Fuel $                                             6,422.38 $                                 0.24 $                           3.26 15%
Cleaning $                                                 680.00 $                                 0.02 $                           0.35 2%
Unscheduled Service $                                                           – $                                       – $                               – 0%
Tools $                                                           – $                                       – $                               – 0%
Recreation (optional) $                                                           – $                                       – $                               – 0%
Total Operating Costs $                                           43,471.80 $                                 1.59 $                         22.07 100%

Detail by Individual Expense and the Category I applied it to

Date Expense Vendor Type Amount
12/29/2008 Amount Due at Lease Signing Acura Elk Grove Purchase $                   2,000.00
1/12/2009 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
1/28/2009 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
1/29/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
2/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
2/12/2009 Auto Insurance (Extra to Existing Policy) Allstate Insurance $                       116.50
3/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
3/18/2009 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
3/18/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
3/31/2009 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
4/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
4/17/2009 Auto Insurance (semi annual) Allstate Insurance $                       641.98
4/22/2009 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
5/7/2009 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
5/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
6/1/2009 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
6/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
7/1/2009 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
7/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
8/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
9/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
10/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
10/27/2009 Auto Insurance (semi annual) Allstate Insurance $                       697.59
11/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
11/19/2009 Vehicle Registration Annual Renewal California DMV Registration $                       511.00
11/30/2009 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
12/12/2009 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
1/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
1/30/2010 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
2/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
3/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
4/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
5/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
5/12/2010 Auto Insurance (semi annual) Allstate Insurance $                       674.61
6/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
6/29/2010 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
7/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
7/30/2010 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
8/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
9/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
10/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
11/4/2010 Auto Insurance (semi annual) Allstate Insurance $                       656.55
11/9/2010 Vehicle Registration Annual Renewal California DMV Registration $                       465.00
11/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
12/12/2010 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
1/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
2/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
3/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
4/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
4/20/2011 Auto Insurance (semi annual) Allstate Insurance $                       656.55
5/2/2011 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
5/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       555.32
6/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
7/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
8/4/2011 Scheduled Maintenance Neillo Acura Scheduled Service $                       229.31
8/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
9/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
9/15/2011 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
10/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
10/20/2011 Auto Insurance (semi annual) Allstate Insurance $                       677.69
10/21/2011 Vehicle Registration Annual Renewal California DMV Registration $                       286.00
11/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
12/12/2011 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
12/13/2011 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
12/30/2011 Scheduled Maintenance Neillo Acura Scheduled Service $                         35.08
1/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
2/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
3/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
4/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
4/28/2012 Auto Insurance (semi annual) Allstate Insurance $                       666.83
5/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
6/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
7/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
8/1/2012 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
8/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
9/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
10/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
10/23/2012 Scheduled Maintenance Neillo Acura Scheduled Service $                         74.49
10/29/2012 Clean/Detailing NGS Pearls Cleaning $                         40.00
11/11/2012 Vehicle Registration Annual Renewal California DMV Registration $                       465.00
11/12/2012 Lease Payment Acura Lease Purchase $                       550.21
11/23/2012 Auto Insurance (semi annual) Allstate Insurance $                       605.70
12/4/2012 Lease Buy Out Acura Lease Purchase $                 21,621.67
1/4/2013 Vehicle Registration after lease buyout California DMV Registration $                       234.00
1/4/2013 Vehicle Sales Tax after lease buyout California DMV Purchase $                   1,724.00
5/5/2013 Auto Insurance (semi annual) Allstate Insurance $                       605.70
11/5/2013 Auto Insurance (semi annual) Allstate Insurance $                       623.13
11/5/2013 Vehicle Registration Annual Renewal California DMV Registration $                       234.00
12/27/2013 Scheduled Maintenance Neillo Acura Scheduled Service $                       303.66

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s