Hubs and I are considering buying a Chevy Volt to replace our Mini Cooper, partly because he can charge it for free at work. THAT MEANS FEWER GAS BILLS! It’s a big decision and one I am still hashing through, so of course I want your opinion.
Should we buy a Chevy Volt?
Pros of buying a Chevy Volt
- We can charge it for free at Hubs’ work, a perk of working at a smart grid company. That would save us $980 per year in fuel.
- The monthly payment would be $439 with 0 percent interest for 72 months, at which point we would pay off the car in full to avoid paying interest.
- Or we could use our savings to pay for the $31,645 Volt outright. That price includes a $7,500 federal tax credit. (If paying for a car in full comes as a surprise to you, we save 26% of our income.)
- The Volt is bigger than the Mini, so all three of us could fit in it comfortably.
- The Volt has a lot of features that the Mini lacks, like a touch screen information system, a remote vehicle starter, and Bluetooth.
- The Mini is 10 years old and has 114,000 miles. It drives nicely but is starting to look a tad beat up. Would be fun to have a new car.
Cons of buying a Chevy Volt
- The 2013 Volt costs $31,645, including the federal tax credit of $7,500.
- The Volt only gets 38 miles to a charge before the gas engine kicks in. (The total range on one tank and one charge is 380 miles). Hubs can charge the car for free at work to cover the drive home, but for the drive into work we’d have to charge it at home on our tab or pay for the gas.
- Our Mini Cooper is paid off and only requires oil changes every 15,000 miles and maintenance when something breaks. Hubs often repairs the car, saving us a ton.
- Our car insurance would go up.
- Unclear how much maintenance the Volt will need. If it does break, we’d have to take it to the dealer because what other mechanics know the car well enough? Years ago readers helped me avoid a $4,500 dealer car repair bill, an option we won’t have with the Volt.
- Resale value is totally untested. Worse case scenario, we drive it into the ground or sell the Volt at a loss.
- We can all fit in the Volt, but the trunk is too small for road trips. So it would really just be a commuting car and around town car, like the Mini is now.
Now I’m thinking that the Nissan Leaf may be a better car for us, or even the plug-in Prius.