Costs

lying-personDude’s lie.   We embellish the size of the fish we catch, our dicks, our salaries and the mileage our DB9’s get.  We under report our weight, the time we spend commuting to work, our Age and how much we spend maintaining our DB9’s.

To shock the world I figured I could come clean.  Be honest to my Sweetie and the whole world.  I may not sleep well after finishing this article.

How much does a decade old Aston Martin DB9 cost to run?  I mean REALLY cost to run including Taxes, Registration, Insurance, Scheduled Maintenance, Normal Wear & Tear, Unscheduled Maintenance, and anything else that comes along to sock it to your pocket book.  Those out there being seduced by the looks beware, she’s a high maintenance looker.

I’ve owned my DB9 for a little over three years now, so I have enough data to accomplish this with some level of confidence.  As you know, I am a do it yourself where possible type of owner, so my numbers will be LOWER than someone that has to dealer service their car.   Keep this in mind if you aren’t willing to turn the spanners yourself.

Summary

Here are the big numbers.

Keep in mind they include Depreciation which is by far the largest contributor and equal to almost all the other expenses combined.  All costs are in US Dollars.

As of this update (Feb 7, 20017) I have owned my car 1180 days, and driven it a total of 13,055 miles in that time.

aston-martin-db9-operating-costs-by-expense-type-graphCost Per Mile Driven – $4.52

Cost Per Day Owned – $50.01

Cost Per Year – $18,267

Mileage – 10.8 miles per gallon

Yes, you may need to sit down and take in some air [like me].  Many of you that are current DB9 owners need to come out of denial, these cars are bloody expensive to run.   Prospective owners – these numbers aren’t bullshit.  I haven’t picked a lemon or had unusual luck with mine.  I suggest you read the details of how I came up with this number below and convince yourself, your costs will undoubtedly be similar.

Keep in mind all cars cost money, and most people don’t aggregate all the costs.  “How much does my Mercedes cost per mile?  Well Gas costs $3 per gallon, so a few cents more than that.”  Bullshit.  Do the math, all the math.  In a feature article I will contrast the cost of my DB9 to my last car, a brand new top of the line Acura TL AWD that I had for 5 great years (see the costs of the Acura detailed here).  Spoiler alert – it was cheaper, but not what you’d think.  Stay tuned.

I’ve written up another article with more of my advice and opinion on this topic, and you can check out my post on The True Cost of Owning an Aston Martin DB9 here.  Along with that article I created this video covering the material.  Check it out too if your are interested.

Read on, there is even more good stuff below…..


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 scary summary numbers above.   You can then choose to include or exclude them from what you plan to do with your DB9.  Planning on having a Garage Queen?  By never driving it you’ll probably minimize Cleaning and nearly eliminate Fuel, Normal Wear & Tear and Unscheduled Service (and also miss out on having any fun with your car), but you still need to Purchase, Register, Insure and perform Scheduled Service on the car.  You can’t avoid Depreciation.

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 today.

  • What you paid for it should include all costs.  For example, I paid $63,500, but in reality before I left the dealer I had to pay for Sales Tax, Title, Registration and some other random dealer fees.  My $63,500 car really cost $69,230.91 to purchase.
  • What you can sell it for is tougher to establish.   You need to look at comparable online cars that are sold.  NOT the asking price, but the price they actually sell for.  The Kelly Blue Book website kbb.com does not have enough data to estimate the current value for Aston Martin’s.  I tried Cars.com, but they don’t show you the as sold prices.  I ended up reviewing eBay.com for Aston Martin DB9 2005 Coupes of roughly the same mileage and condition.   eBay has a nice feature where you can say show me ‘Sold Listings’, it’s a small check box on the left side menus.  Don’t pick the highest value example (you are lying to yourself), and don’t pick the cheapest either.  I looked for the average value.  I settled on about $42,000 USD.

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]

Now I can hear you saying “he must be a maniac”.  Sorry, I am in the 50+ year old category with a spotless driving record in California for the last 25+ years.  I am getting about the lowest rate there is for this car.  I even have the multi-car and home owner discounts.   Insurance is expensive for these cars since the slightest damage comes with huge repair bills.

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.  For a DB9, this generally means a once per year Oil Change and some other stuff.  Even if you don’t drive your car much at all, you need to be following this schedule.

Now, this is where I have tried to save some money by doing the regular scheduled services myself.  Something that might cost $1,500 at the dealer I can do myself on a weekend for about $400 in parts.   So, I have included Dealer services and the parts when I do it myself.

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.   So, in this category I lumped in everything like that, whether I purchased the tires myself online to save a few bucks, but then also paid a local tire shop to mount and balance them.   I did the brakes myself, but I included the costs of pads, rotors, etc.  I even think replacing the Battery falls into this category.  These are things you should expect to wear out and be prepared to repair when they do.

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

aston-martin-db9-after-detailing-november-28-2016 soapy-photo-of-the-ass-of-an-aston-martin-db9We like to keep our beautiful cars shiny.  Either you use an Auto Detailer service or do it yourself.  I use both.  If your car lives in a Garage under a cover and never comes out, you won’t have much cleaning expense.  A few times a year I have an Aston Martin trained detailer go over the car and clean every nook and cranny.   Most of the time I wash her myself.  Who doesn’t love running a wet soapy hand over those gorgeous rear quarters.  [Hmm, I seem to be off on a tangent here]  Anyways, I included costs for the details, cleaning supplies if I am doing it myself.

Unscheduled Service

Ok, this is the one everyone points their finger at.  “Sure that car looks awesome, but if something big breaks it will cost you an Arm and a Leg”.  Correct.  This website is all about documenting how to fix the unexpected on a budget.   Small niggles you can fix yourself for not too much.  Loose mirror, turn signal bulbs, are all cheap to fix if you can do it yourself, but costly if you have to dealer service because of the labor rate.

My early model car has had its share of Unscheduled Service events.  You can see them all listed on the “My Car” page of this Blog where I am chronicling the full service history.  Leaky transmission cooler (typical issue with early cars), Leaking Timing Cover Gasket (another common issue), Lumpy Idle (another common issue) and even a sagging headliner.  A 10 year old Aston Martin is still a 10 year old used British car.  Shit breaks.  If you need to take it to the dealer, expect for most things to be at least $2,000 and up.

I have included the costs for the Dealer servicing for the big jobs, and the parts and supplies for the things I did myself.

Tools

Autel MaxiDiag Elite MD802This is the cost of doing some of the Service work yourself.  I bought my OBDII reader, and a few special sockets and a torque wrench.   I already had all the basic mechanics tools.  Like most men, its doesn’t take much of an excuse for me to run out and buy a new Tool – but be reasonable here.  If you have to buy the tool to do the repair work, the cost should be included.

Recreation

Karen and Steve at AMOC Track Day 2014My Sweetie and I like to take the DB9 out and enjoy it.  We’ve joined the AMOC to meet other owners.  We’ve participated in Track Day, not because we are race drivers but because it’s a fun way to play with other Aston owners.  So, I have included the costs of memberships, track day, etc. here.  This is of course optional for anyone, you may choose to enjoy it other ways.

The Data

aston-martin-db9-actual-costs-reportI 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 to Date Total Per Mile Per Day Percent
Depreciation $                                           27,230.91 $                                 2.09 $                         23.08 46%
Insurance $                                             9,079.00 $                                 0.70 $                           7.69 15%
Registration Fees $                                             1,300.00 $                                 0.10 $                           1.10 2%
Scheduled Service $                                             1,598.13 $                                 0.12 $                           1.35 3%
Normal Wear & Tear $                                             3,474.83 $                                 0.27 $                           2.94 6%
Fuel $                                             3,875.64 $                                 0.30 $                           3.28 7%
Cleaning $                                                 675.07 $                                 0.05 $                           0.57 1%
Unscheduled Service $                                             8,851.39 $                                 0.68 $                           7.50 15%
Tools $                                             1,063.30 $                                 0.08 $                           0.90 2%
Recreation (optional) $                                             1,865.25 $                                 0.14 $                           1.58 3%
Total Operating Costs $                                           59,013.52 $                                 4.52 $                         50.01 100%

Detail by Individual Expense and the Category I applied it to

Date Expense Vendor Type Amount
11/7/2013 Carfax History Report Carfax.com Purchase $                         39.99
11/11/2013 Vehicle Purchase Deposit Rancho Sante Fe Motors Purchase $                   2,500.00
11/15/2013 Vehicle Purchase Rancho Sante Fe Motors Purchase $                 61,000.00
11/15/2013 SMOG Check Fee Rancho Sante Fe Motors Purchase $                         58.25
11/15/2013 Registration Fee Rancho Sante Fe Motors Purchase $                         15.00
11/15/2013 Document Prep Fee Rancho Sante Fe Motors Purchase $                       199.00
11/15/2013 California Sales Tax Rancho Sante Fe Motors Purchase $                   5,418.67
11/20/2013 Trunk (Boot) Strut Replacements eBay.com UnScheduled Service $                         95.27
11/24/2013 Key Fob Remote Batteries Frys Electronics Normal Wear & Tear $                         10.00
1/1/2014 Auto Insurance (semi annual) AAA Insurance Insurance $                   1,212.50
1/5/2014 Download Manuals AstonMartinTechInfo.com Tools $                       115.33
1/11/2014 AMOC Membership amoc.org Recreation $                       248.00
1/11/2014 AMOC Track Day amoc.org Recreation $                       300.00
1/13/2014 Download Manuals AstonMartinTechInfo.com Tools $                         99.40
1/13/2014 Torx Socket Set Sears.com Tools $                         43.78
1/16/2014 Digital Tire Pressure Gauge PepBoys Tools $                         19.82
2/11/2014 Bridgestone Tires TireRack.com Normal Wear & Tear $                   1,344.16
2/12/2014 Brake Rotors, Caliper Bolts HWM England Normal Wear & Tear $                   1,163.41
2/12/2014 Porterfield Brake Pads RaceBrakes.com Normal Wear & Tear $                       391.38
2/17/2014 Mount and Balance New Tires, Alignment Neillo Maserati Normal Wear & Tear $                       100.00
2/17/2014 Wheel Scuff Repairs Neillo Maserati UnScheduled Service $                       227.24
2/22/2014 Brake Cleaner PepBoys Normal Wear & Tear $                         14.40
2/22/2014 Brake Caliper Grease PepBoys Normal Wear & Tear $                         21.69
3/4/2014 Vehicle Registration Annual Renewal California DMV Registration $                       451.00
3/10/2014 Transmission Cooler Lines Replacement Neillo Maserati UnScheduled Service $                   2,078.41
3/14/2014 Meguiars Dual Action Buffer and Kit Detailing.com Tools $                       230.91
3/14/2014 Clean/Detailing Lion Solutions Cleaning $                       375.00
4/17/2014 Service Supplies PepBoys UnScheduled Service $                       116.27
4/21/2014 Clean/Detailing Lion Solutions Cleaning $                       102.00
7/3/2014 Auto Insurance (semi annual) AAA Insurance Insurance $                   1,212.50
7/26/2014 Service Supplies PepBoys UnScheduled Service $                         61.25
9/3/2014 OBDII Reader Amazon.com Tools $                       350.00
11/19/2014 AMOC Track Day Photos BlueMilk.com Recreation $                         65.00
12/10/2014 1 year annual Service (Oil Change) Neillo Maserati Scheduled Service $                       833.11
12/10/2014 Wheel Balance Neillo Maserati Normal Wear & Tear $                       100.00
1/6/2015 Auto Insurance (Annual) AAA Insurance Insurance $                   2,344.00
1/22/2015 AMOC Track Day amoc.org Recreation $                       350.00
2/4/2015 Clean/Detailing Lion Solutions Cleaning $                         45.00
2/20/2015 SMOG Check Fee Smog Test Center Registration $                         68.00
2/23/2015 Vehicle Registration Annual Renewal California DMV Registration $                       411.00
10/15/2015 2 year Service Parts Kit eBay.com Scheduled Service $                       425.00
10/19/2015 Engine Oil Amazon.com Scheduled Service $                         86.07
11/27/2015 Service Supplies PepBoys Scheduled Service $                         47.13
11/27/2015 Wheel Balance Les Schwab Tires Normal Wear & Tear $                         76.00
11/29/2015 Hex Socket for Diff Drain Home Depot Tools $                         49.84
12/14/2015 Auto Insurance (Annual) AAA Insurance Insurance $                   2,298.00
12/24/2015 Definitive Buyers Guide Book Amazon.com Recreation $                         53.98
1/6/2016 AMOC Track Day amoc.org Recreation $                       325.00
1/14/2016 Rental Car while in Shop National Rental Car UnScheduled Service $                       135.59
1/14/2016 Timing Cover Leak Repair Aston Martin of Walnut Creek UnScheduled Service $                   3,905.09
2/19/2016 Vehicle Registration Annual Renewal California DMV Registration $                       370.00
2/21/2016 Cabin Air Filters (Charcoal) Amazon.com Scheduled Service $                         19.60
3/1/2016 AMOC Membership amoc.org Recreation $                       151.00
4/29/2016 Coil Packs HWM England UnScheduled Service $                       681.88
4/29/2016 Spark Plugs HWM England UnScheduled Service $                       241.60
4/29/2016 Fuel Injector O-Rings HWM England UnScheduled Service $                         35.74
4/29/2016 Fuel Injector O-Rings HWM England UnScheduled Service $                         37.84
4/29/2016 Intake Manifold Gaskets HWM England UnScheduled Service $                       202.53
4/29/2016 PCV Valves HWM England UnScheduled Service $                         89.97
4/29/2016 PCV Vacuum Harness HWM England UnScheduled Service $                       119.95
4/29/2016 PCV Vacuum Harness HWM England UnScheduled Service $                         43.80
4/29/2016 PCV Vacuum Harness HWM England UnScheduled Service $                       146.83
4/29/2016 PCV Vacuum Harness HWM England UnScheduled Service $                       141.07
4/29/2016 Hose Clamp for PCV system HWM England UnScheduled Service $                           1.23
4/29/2016 Crankcase Oil Separator Assembly HWM England UnScheduled Service $                         65.88
4/29/2016 Crankcase Oil Separator Assembly HWM England UnScheduled Service $                         53.99
4/29/2016 Crankcase Oil Separator Gaskets HWM England UnScheduled Service $                           7.42
4/29/2016 Side Repeater/Marker Lights HWM England UnScheduled Service $                         37.84
4/29/2016 Undertray Replacement Screws HWM England UnScheduled Service $                           2.92
4/29/2016 Undertray Replacement Screws HWM England UnScheduled Service $                           1.64
4/29/2016 Undertray Replacement Screws HWM England UnScheduled Service $                           6.85
4/29/2016 Service Supplies Pack and Shipping HWM England UnScheduled Service $                         72.15
4/29/2016 Oil Filter HWM England Scheduled Service $                         24.15
4/29/2016 Drain Plug HWM England Scheduled Service $                         11.32
4/29/2016 Throttle Body O-Rings HWM England Scheduled Service $                           3.62
5/23/2016 Felt Tape for Interior Squeeks Amazon.com UnScheduled Service $                           8.45
6/29/2016 1/4″ Torque Wrench Amazon.com Tools $                         34.22
7/3/2016 Hose Clamp for PCV system PepBoys UnScheduled Service $                           2.70
7/7/2016 AM Registry Research amht.org.uk Recreation $                         31.85
7/19/2016 Fir Tree Fittings for Headliner Aston Martin of Walnut Creek UnScheduled Service $                         30.00
7/26/2016 Headliner Sagged and had Reglued Award Interiors UnScheduled Service $                       200.00
8/9/2016 Engine Oil Amazon.com Scheduled Service $                         74.46
9/5/2016 Car Wash Brush Amazon.com Cleaning $                           7.53
10/6/2016 Replacement Battery PepBoys Normal Wear & Tear $                       253.79
10/19/2016 Car Wash and Detailing Supplies Amazon.com Cleaning $                         67.28
10/20/2016 Car Wash and Detailing Supplies Amazon.com Cleaning $                         78.26
10/25/2016 Tow Hook for Track Day AstonMartinBits.com Recreation $                         40.42
11/21/2016 Brake Fluid for flush Amazon.com Scheduled Service $                         73.68
11/21/2016 Brake Fluid Vacuum Bleeder Amazon.com Tools $                       120.00
12/6/2016 Auto Insurance (Annual) AAA Insurance Insurance $                   2,012.00
12/21/2016 AMOC Track Day amoc.org Recreation $                       300.00