Two Wednesdays ago, I brought my car in to the Hyundai dealership for some maintenance and they ended up doing a whopping $371. Um, ok, I guess, there’s not much that I can do about it, right?
On Friday, I finally picked up my car. I got in, turned it on, and I see that the same maintenance light was on. So I paid $371 and they didn’t even fix the problem? That’s no good. After waiting a few minutes, they said they’d need the extended weekend (and what turned out to be the entire following week) to take a longer look and fix it, so I immediately got worried about my trip to San Francisco over the Christmas weekend.
It’s kind of hard to go without a car, and bringing my car in a few days later wasn’t a realistic option, I made specific plans for Wednesday-Friday and lining up something similar the following week would be difficult. I was pretty annoyed because all they had to do was turn on the car to see that the problem wasn’t fixed and the maintenance light was still lit.
The guy asked me if I needed a loaner car, so I said, “If I can bring it to San Francisco,” thinking that putting about 1,000 on a loaner car wasn’t a realistic possibility, but surprisingly, the guy said it was ok, so I got in and drove away as fast as I could before he could change his mind.
Then, I got to thinking about just how much having a loaner car would help me.
A trip to San Francisco was going to be at least 900 miles, so not having to put those miles on my car was definitely welcome. And there is obviously a cost to driving a car, and the IRS agrees. The IRS says that driving your own car for business uses can be deducted at a rate of 55.5 cents per mile.
That includes the cost of gas, so it was pretty easy to figure out the total cost of my trip:
1,048 miles x 55.5 cents = 58,164 cents or $581.64. Wow, I thought we’d be saving money by driving, but that’s more than the cost of 2 plane tickets! Of course, we still did have gas expenses ($138.13), so the final savings from not having to drive our car was a whopping $443.51.
So I saved over $443 by not driving my own car for about a week. The repairs cost me $371, so I was able to save over $72 on my trip to the mechanic. How many people can say that?
I did not plan to get a loaner car (I didn’t get one from Wednesday-Friday because I didn’t even know it was an option), and I certainly didn’t plan to not have a car on my trip (in fact, I brought it in so that I would have a healthy car for my big trip).
But, I got a little lucky, so I’ll gladly refer to this trip as the one where I made $70 bucks from the mechanic!