Friday, August 30, 2019

Nearest train station, nearest Vline train station, nearest tram stop moving to Mapz.

After reviewing the Nearest Train Station site (which contains nearest Vline train stations and nearest tram stop) I''ve decided to migrate the Nearest Station site into the Mapz site. By making train, Vline and Tram stop locations available under the Mapz site this makes the sites easier to find for users. It also makes the Vline and Tram information more obvious.

You can find each of the services at:

Nearest Train Station
Nearest Vline Train Station
Nearest Tram Stop

Alternatively you can visit Mapz and select the services from the list of options.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Car running cost calculator and cost to run per kilometre over the first 10 years.

The Car Running Cost Calculator has been really good in helping me get a handle on using the car versus options such as using public transport. By clicking on the example button in the calculator the actual costs over 10.38 years are provided. By adjusting these figures others can also get a handle on how much their car is costing them per kilometre.

Now one thing came to mind and that was, what if people sell a car sooner. How does that affect their cost per kilometre?

Whilst not scientific, the first thing I needed was an estimate of how much a car drops in value from the day you purchase it. One site gave a figure of 24% in the first year and then 6% each year after that. I thought that was a good figure as it roughly corresponds to what my car was worth after 10 years.

I took the figures my example data provided and then divided the number of kilometres by 10.38 to give my yearly travel distance of 13,627 km per year. I left all the figures for each year the same with the only change being the residual value of my car. I plugged this information into a spreadsheet and obtained two interesting figures.

The first was the effect of the high depreciation in the first year and then the straight line 6% drop in value each year after that. In years 14 and 15 the car would go negative so I entered a notional value of $500 which I consider the car would then be worth. Maybe more, maybe less, but at least I have something to work with. This figure isn't about getting rid of the car at an earlier year, but shows me the cost per kilometre assuming I keep the car for a long time and there's not major unexpected costs.

Year 1: 88 cents per kilometre
Years 2-13: 42 cents per kilometre
Year 14: 33 cents per kilometre
Year 15: 27 cents per kilometre

What is good about these results is you can quickly see after the first year, my car is costing me roughly 42 cents per kilometre. It should be noted I didn't finance the car and used savings to purchase the car. That meant I did lose some interest on the money that I haven't factored in. Over the 10 years I'd estimate this to be around 2-3 cents per kilometre.

Let's now look at what I was really after. What is the cost per kilometre and how is it affected by disposing of the car earlier.

Year 1: $2.22 / km
Year 2: $2.06 / km
Year 3: $1.91 / km
Year 4: $1.76 / km
Year 5: $1.60 / km
Year 6: $1.44 / km
Year 7: $1.29 / km
Year 8: $1.14 / km
Year 9: 98 cents / km
Year 10: 83 cents / km
Year 11:  68 cents / km
Year 12: 52 cents / km
Year: 13: 37 cents / km
Year 14: 30 cents / km
Year 15: 30 cents / km

When you look at these figures you really can't help but be amazed at how much per kilometre it costs if you turn over your car regularly.

A few factors to consider when comparing your costs to mine are that my car was more expensive than the average car at around $35,000. Being a small people mover (possibly heavier) it means my cost of fuel may also be higher. I also drive only around 14,000 km a year which is under the average. Those who drive a lot bring their cost per kilometre down quicker. Basically by driving more you spread your fixed costs (registration, insurance and the cost of the car) over more kilometres each year.

For example a lower cost car costing around $25,000 and using say 80% of the petrol and driving twice as far a year would almost halve the cost per kilometre if the car was kept over a long period of time. In terms of disposal the cost per kilometre would be around 89 cents per kilometre in the first year dropping by 6 cents per kilometre per year after that.

I hope others find this information and the Car Running Cost Calculator useful for them.

Kelvin Eldridge

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Petrol Price Alert Melbourne - Unleaded petrol increasing to 165.9.

Last Thursday saw the first signs of the current petrol price hike. Over a few days only a small number of petrol stations increased their prices so I felt it best not to make the announcement at that point in time as the price increase was happening slowly. Letting people know too early means they can jump the gun and get petrol too early in the price hike part of the cycle.

The petrol price hike is now well under way and the price is hiking to around 165.9 for unleaded petrol.

In the last couple of months we've seen the petrol price hike increase prices by over 35 cents per litre above the gate price (think average wholesale) which is currently 129.0. For the last couple of years the price hike has been between 25-30 cents so we're now consistently seeing  higher margins on petrol  which is a concern, but not much we can do about it. Except of course, avoid the high prices as best you can.

We can expect the current price hike will result in most of the service stations increasing their prices by late this week, to early next week.

My tank is literally on empty so I've timed this top up well. For those using the 7 Eleven Fuel App keep an eye on the 7 Eleven Fuel prices and lock in a price in a few days time. Remember you can be driving around Melbourne, using public transport, or even be interstate (I once locked in a price in Sydney whilst sitting on the aeroplane) and if there's a cheaper price, you can lock that in and top up, up to seven days later. It's a good way to give you that extra boost on a lower petrol price and take you closer to when prices have dropped considerably.

For example petrol prices drop from the highest to the lowest over about a month. Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. Let's say you fill up weekly. If you fill up just as the price has nearly peaked at a low priced petrol station, that's the first week of petrol. Using the 7 Eleven Fuel app to get the cheaper price one week later, that takes you to the end of the second week. At this point the petrol will have dropped by around half the price hike, or between 10-20 cents per litre. For a 50 litre tank that means you're saving around 35 cents per litre in the first week, around 25 cents in the second week giving a saving of around $30 which adds up to around $390 a year (13 x 4 weeks). Then shop around in the  third week as there can be quite a difference as prices have spread out and you're likely to save around 10 cents a litre saving another $65 a year. Then you're ready to fill up again when the price is low. A possible saving of $400-$500 a year per car just by knowing when petrol prices are hiking.

Kelvin Eldridge

UPDATE: 27/08/2019
I thought I'd point out a couple of interesting things that's happening with the current petrol price hike.

The first is how incredibly slow the price hike is occurring. It's around a week and a half since the first petrol stations started to hike their prices. Why I can't be sure, but perhaps it's because the Victorian school holidays are around three and a half weeks away and hiking the price too early means prices are going down when people fill up for holidays.

The second observation is whilst some petrol stations are hiking to 165.9, since there's been a delay, some are now hiking to 155.9. That means there's already a 10 cents per litre price difference in the market. As of today there's still around 20 per cent of petrol stations selling at the old low price so there's still time to fill up at the lower price. There's also a few 7 Eleven petrol stations offering the lower price that you can still lock in, but they are spread out.

It will be interesting to see what happens as we approach the school holidays.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Pension Age Calculator web app now available.

In keeping with things that take my interest I recently wrote the Pension Age Calculator to help people determine when they'll reach pension age.

Normally knowing pension age is very simple. It used to be 65 years of age. However at the current time the pension age is gradually being increased to 67 years of age. At one point it was mooted this may go to 70, however that is not currently the case.

To help people know when they will reach pension age I wrote the Pension Age Calculator.

I hope you find it useful.

Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Pines Shopping Centre car park slippery and dangerous in the wet.

Recently I was returning to my car with a younger person at The Pines Shopping Centre. It had been raining but now the weather was fine. As I walked I stepped onto the driving direction arrow on the road and thought that felt pretty slippery. The next moment the younger person next to me did the splits and down they went.

Getting older this type of fall can really hurt and if you do your back, shoulder, or the many other parts that seem to give more issues as you get older.

I can't help feeling the arrows on the road now seem to be more slippery in the past. I don't know why. I do think however The Pines Management should rethink the material used for the arrows. A non-slip material should be a must.

The Pines Management have allocated the parking bays near these arrows reserved for the elderly, and a fall at that stage of your life, can lead to fatal complications.

It really isn't good enough to use material on roads that make them slippery in the wet, but more so if the road is used as a shared walkway as they are in shopping centre car parks.

Kelvin Eldridge

Saturday, August 10, 2019

New site called Taste Test -

Sometimes you just have to do it. Our family has fun at get-togethers participating in a taste test. These taste tests can be quite informative. It's interesting to see what people prefer the most and how different, or the same, people can be.

I decided to start a site where I share our taste test results. Perhaps it will interest others, perhaps not. Either way the information is available for those who find it interesting.


Kelvin Eldridge