Long Commute to Work? What do you drive?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by deb, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. deb

    deb Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2002
    I'm wondering what other commuting homesteaders drive to work?

    I live 55 miles from my job and I've been driving a station wagon that gets almost 30 mpg. I like the wagon because it can haul a lot of stuff from town... even 8ft long pieces of lumber. The station wagon just turned over 100,000 miles and I've realized that it isn't made well enough to make it to 200,000 miles.

    It always takes me a long time to make a big purchase so I want to start researching cars now before I HAVE to buy something. Please help me out by answering the following questions:

    1) How long is your commute?

    2) Do you buy new or used vehicles?

    3) What do you currently drive to work?

    4) How many miles does your car have on it?

    Thanks in Advance
    in WI
  2. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 12, 2005
    SW WA
    30 miles one way, combo of gravel road, county rd, state hwy and interstate, plus town. Drove an '86 1/2 Nissan Kingcab p/u for years. Had over 150K on it when I hit a deer last summer. Very reliable and I plan to get it back on the road this year. Only problem, was a 2WD. Bought a 2000 Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4WD SUV used about a year ago, 100K on it. Up to about 125K now, has been a very gd rig so far. Has a funky problem with the antitheft system et electric locks (alarm goes off sometimes when you open the door, scares the heck out of the oil change people!) and the check engine soon light is always on. Have it checked and turned off and it's back on in a day. I've finally decided not to worry about it, just take it in for its scheduled oil changes and "checkups". Haven't needed the 4WD yet (warm winter in WA state this year), but it's nice to know it's there :)

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 21, 2004
    deep south texas
    just 55 miles try 5-600 miles a day that is driving, and at about 6 mpg .it a lot of fuel, seriously though you might want a small deisel vehical for durability and cost 4 maintance as its lower.
  4. WillowWisp

    WillowWisp Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    I hadn't posted this thread. If we don't move and my hubby doesn't get the other job he applied for, we may eventually get property that is from 1 hr 40 min-2 hrs 15 minutes away from his job. He said he would commute, but I am not really sure if he could handle driving that far every day. I used to drive and hour and back to college in a small 4 cylinder escort and then when doing extra practicum I had too drive an extra 2 hours to and from a small school. I believe Jetta used to make or still does make diesel cars. James Dilley is right bout that...best thing. If not a small 4 cylinder that is good on gas.

    God bless
  5. QueenB04

    QueenB04 Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    35 miles one way, down back country roads onto the main road and then a straight shot to town. I drive a 99 Dodge Durango 5.9l V8....can ya'll hear that? That's my engine belching*lol* Not the best on gas but I need big, 4wheel drive, and room for kiddies in the future. This is upgrading from an 89 Jeep Cherokee that had suffered through my wild years, needs a new part or two but still runs, just isn't reliable any more. I have to fill the Durango up about twice a week, about $30.00 on average at a time. Can't complain got a good deal and it's done nothing but right so far.
  6. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Right now drive about 35 miles ea. way. I was driving a Madza 626 until last June when a drunk totalled it for me. Then started driving my dad's 86 GMC pick up, which died last Saturday. Now driving a rental Kia Optima (smooth ride) and trying to get financing for a new truck or mid-sized SUV. I a couple of weeks when I move to my land, I'll be driving 2 1/2 hours ea. way, 3 days a week. Not looking forward to it, as I hate to drive.
  7. indypartridge

    indypartridge Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 25, 2004
    I drive about 55 miles each way. Takes a little over an hour. We buy used cars and run them till the wheels fall off. Currently driving a 98 Ford minivan with 115k, and hoping it lasts another 18 to 24 months. I get about 22 mpg.
  8. jgbndaudio

    jgbndaudio Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    New York

    We drive 60 miles each way for our commute. Right now we have a gas Chevy s-10 p/u that gets about 15mpg max. Soon we will be buying a diesel something since they last longer and usually get 20-40% better mileage than a gas equivalent. Also diesel-powered vehicles can have a small fuel system modification done to them so they can burn waste vegetable oil. We will definitely do that since I've already gotten a few restaurants willing to give me their used oil. All I'll have to do is filter it and I'll have free fuel!
    That should save me enough every month to almost make the car payment.

    Whatever you buy, if you buy the highest MPG vehicle you can afford, it’ll pay for itself in fuel savings. Also keep in mind the price of gas isn’t very likely to be going down anytime soon.

  9. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2002
    My commute is only 12 miles now.It takes me 20 min as it is in the mountains.
    Probably only 5 miles as the crow flies. :haha:
    DH and I both commuted 50 miles for a couple of years after moving here.
    I drive a celica. Her name is truck. She is a fancy sports car but doesn't know it and please don't anyone tell her. The back seats fold down and then she has a nice big cargo area and can haul lots of feed or whatever and she does!
    We also have a gmc truck for whatever my truck can't haul. Thats not much!
    I did have a tracer that thought she was a truck too. These both get great gas milage and handle these mountain roads just great except in the rain. Be very careful with front wheel drive in heavy rain! Snow and Ice is another matter. Thay do that very well.
    :haha: I just love it when a new kid goes to work at the feed store and they tell him my truck is at the dock. They go out and their jaw drops to the ground.
    They are shocked that I even think about hauling feed in that little number. :haha:
  10. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    Verndale MN
    I've driven anywhere from 25-50 miles one way. I just applied for a job that's 45 miles away.
    I always buy used. BUT if you're looking at a 1-2 year old car that holds its value well, the same model brand new might have a manufacturer supported interest rate (those 0%!) and the difference in interest would make the new car cheaper.
    I'm currently driving a '95 Saturn SL. The only option it has is a cassette player- doesn't even have a/c or power steering. I bought it at 22k and it has 158k on it now. In the summer on the freeway, it'll get 42 mpg. I usually get around 35 mpg out of it. The S-Series was a great car and of course they don't make 'em anymore. If you keep the oil changed, the engines go forever. I've seen 422k on them and more than one with over 300k.

    The CHEAPEST way to go is to buy a $500 car that's running and road legal, put nothing in it but oil and gas, drive it until something breaks and junk it. The average new car payment is about $300 and if you only get 2 months out of each car, you're ahead.
  11. diane greene

    diane greene Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2002
    My neighbor has a 2 hour commute (3 days a week) each way. She bought a Honda hybrid (I'm really bad with car names) and tells me she loves it. She gets over 50 mpg on average. It's a small car, but she is the only passenger. She also got a state rebate of $5000 (NY) for purchasing a hybrid. Her husband just bought a diesel pickup and joined a bio-diesel co-op for fuel, I don't know how that is working out, but I do see him driving around a lot.
  12. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2003
    You all need to read this...


    Scary? Working out of home really helps, but the other half drives about 10 miles (which isn't bad reading what some drive). We own two used (new used!) 4cylinder cars. Both avg from 30-35+mpg(its lower in the winter! i HATE winter!)

    This summer may not feature any long road trips! :)
  13. Wilbur

    Wilbur Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2004
    I am wish Anna- sometimes a new car with great dealer incentives will provide a better value than a used car with bad used car financing. of course some dealers have good used car financing and then you get the best of both worlds. Look for cars that have had alot of lease deals a year or two ago and many times when those large numbers of cars start coming off lease you can find a deal. The dealers don't want to get stuck with them so the parent will come up with some creative financing. I got my 540 that way.

    Jetta does make a diesel that gets incredible mileage- The TDI won some awards for its innovative design when it first came out a couple of years ago. The other good thing is that they have had 2 or 3 years to work out the kinks- I never want to be the beta tester for some new engine or car design! :haha:

    The TDI Jetta is listed at 38 mpg city and 46 mog highway which is close to some of the hybrids.

    My comute is 37 miles one way. Which means in no traffic its about 35 minutes but when there is traffic it can be 1-1/2 hours. Boston is AWFUL for traffic when school is in session!!
  14. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    Since I don't work I'll answer for my husband...

    1) How long is your commute? He commutes 40 miles one way. Eleven miles of that is on twisty country roads, the rest is interstate.

    2) Do you buy new or used vehicles? We always buy new. Hubby's dad is a GM retiree and we get great GM discounts.

    3) What do you currently drive to work? He is driving my car, a 2000 Sunfire.

    4) How many miles does your car have on it? It has 86,000 miles on it and is having some problems...leaking, etc. He is not good at keeping it maintained.
  15. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    SC and soon to be NC
    About 45 miles one way four times a week.

    Drive a 2500 Dodge Ram diesel 4x4.It gets about 20mpg which is pretty good considering the size of the truck.

    Of course when I bought it diesel was almost a dollar cheaper a gallon...

    If anyone is really interested in running a vehicle on waste oil,look at Mercedes diesels.Supposedly these can be run without any modifications.
  16. Swampfoot

    Swampfoot Active Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Lower Alabama
    I telecommute part of the time and work in the main office the remainder. It is 160 miles to the office and I make the drive once or sometimes twice a week. I have tried doing it daily and that is a killer, it takes me about 2 1/2 hours one way. My drive is 12 miles of country roads, 50 miles of four lane highway and the remainder in interstate. For the first 60 miles there is a deer waiting to pounce from behind every tree, they help keep me alert at 5:00am.

    When I am at the office I stay with a relative, I average about three nights a week away from home. I hate being away from home, I am trying to get to the point where I can do something else locally in a couple of years.

    I buy new vehicles and my intention is always to squeeze as much value as I can out of them. My current vehicle is a 1996 Ford Ranger with 156,000 miles on it. The one before this one was a 1989 Ranger that had 150,000 miles on it. In my experience they are good trucks, I think you could put 200,000 miles on one easy if you take care of it. I get around 21 mpg on the highway. I am trying to decide between a full-size F150 or a 4WD Ranger for my next vehicle.
  17. kz

    kz Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2003
    Hubby drives 16 miles roundtrip to work. He has a Ford F-150 that gets about 16 mpg. I don't work outside the home so gas prices aren't a huge concern for us.
  18. roncarla

    roncarla Well-Known Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    For our business, Ron drives anywhere from 20 miles to 120 miles one way in a 1989 Dodge Caravan Cargo Van. It gets about 21mph and has a little over 100k miles. He would like to keep it but it cannot handle the weight of the equipment he just bought. Now he is looking for a 3/4 ton cargo van and wishing they made cargo vans to run on diesel.
  19. tooltime

    tooltime Border Ruffian

    Nov 16, 2003
    I've seen lots of used Ford E-350 cargo vans with diesel, and I believe you can get a diesel engine in the new Econolines (150,250 or 350).
  20. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

    May 11, 2002
    Now in Virginia
    My DH drives 100 miles a day to work one way. :rolleyes:

    We moved down to oregon for a job,, and he ends up working in WA again.
    He is still looking for a job closer to home.

    He bought a brand new Toyota Echo in 2000 and has already put 100K on it. Mileage averages 43mpg. So far it has been a very, very good little car.
    The miles DH drives, he had to buy a new car last time his old one gave up.
    He just drives to many long miles to take a chance on a older car.