100000: Thoughts

In late May of 2006, I took a picture of our new car’s odometer, because it amused me.

The Odometer of the Beast.

The car had 12 miles on it when we bought it; it took us approximately two months to put 654 miles on it.

No, we really didn’t drive much then.

Heck, it took us more than a month to get to the point where we had to fill the gas tank.

A couple of days ago, I took another picture of the odometer*.

* Journalistic integrity compels me to admit that the photo has been doctored. As I write this, we’re a couple of days short of actually hitting that mark. But since we spent yesterday sitting around while the car got its hundred thousand mile service, we fully expect it to pass the milestone without trouble.

Elapsed time from Photo 1 to Photo 2: sixteen years, one month, and two days. Clearly, we drive rather more nowadays than we did back then.

That first fill-up in April of 2006 cost exactly $29 at $2.759 a gallon. Sixteen years and two days later, we gassed up for a mere $62.70. Admittedly, it took an additional half gallon, but it was the pump charging $5.599 that did us in.

The good news is that we’re still getting excellent mileage. Better than 34 MPG in each fill-up this year, and the overall mileage since Day One is a solid 29.34.

The car (a 2006 Corolla, by the way) has served us well, and will likely continue to do so.

And, yet.

I look at the price of gas and the cost of regular maintenance, and I keep thinking “Shouldn’t we go electric?”

I feel disloyal. But what we’ve spent on the car–not including insurance–so far this year would be a decent down-payment on a new car. I’m not eager to commit to five years of payments, but if those payments are less than what we’re spending now…