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Question 299  equivalent annual cash flow

Carlos and Edwin are brothers and they both love Holden Commodore cars.

Carlos likes to buy the latest Holden Commodore car for $40,000 every 4 years as soon as the new model is released. As soon as he buys the new car, he sells the old one on the second hand car market for $20,000. Carlos never has to bother with paying for repairs since his cars are brand new.

Edwin also likes Commodores, but prefers to buy 4-year old cars for $20,000 and keep them for 11 years until the end of their life (new ones last for 15 years in total but the 4-year old ones only last for another 11 years). Then he sells the old car for $2,000 and buys another 4-year old second hand car, and so on.

Every time Edwin buys a second hand 4 year old car he immediately has to spend $1,000 on repairs, and then $1,000 every year after that for the next 10 years. So there are 11 payments in total from when the second hand car is bought at t=0 to the last payment at t=10. One year later (t=11) the old car is at the end of its total 15 year life and can be scrapped for $2,000.

Assuming that Carlos and Edwin maintain their love of Commodores and keep up their habits of buying new ones and second hand ones respectively, how much larger is Carlos' equivalent annual cost of car ownership compared with Edwin's?

The real discount rate is 10% pa. All cash flows are real and are expected to remain constant. Inflation is forecast to be 3% pa. All rates are effective annual. Ignore capital gains tax and tax savings from depreciation since cars are tax-exempt for individuals.

Copyright © 2014 Keith Woodward