Great gas mileage beater for paper delivery business

Hi car talkers

I would like to see what kind of very creative advice you guys can hopefully come up with for me. I thank anyone willing to read my long essay in advance:

I deliver 300 newspapers every morning 7 days a week at 2am on back country roads in Pennsylvania, sticking newspapers in plastic newspaper boxes from my car window. Currently, I drive my 2009 Mazda 6, 4 cyl. 6 speed. (great car btw) Driving 80 miles round trip costs me $15.00 each day, $450 a month.

Please refrain from the close-minded “get a better paying job” nonsense with the whole “wear and tear” drivel, I’ve heard it before and often. I live in a very rural area and this is the best paying job available and I make enough to support myself and daughter, about $30,000 a year working 30 hours a week, and that’s not including tips (I get a decent amount at Christmas, it’s fun). .I don’t need to pay taxes once the whole tax write-off system works out, so figure the $15 gas as a substitute for taxes. Living within ones means is a wonderful and fulfilling concept and I LOVE doing this job! It allows me to attend college full time and take care of my daughter without ever needing a sitter and in the summer she comes with me.

Anyway, I think I can find a better vehicle to do this job, so that I can give myself a decent raise. Any kind and helpful suggestions for a beater? I’m not too proud I would drive a scooter if I could find someplace to put my stack of newspapers! I only need about 200 newspapers in my vehicle at a time, and they usually fit on my passenger seat and reach/ touch the headrests.

I prefer a 5 speed because of the ease of throwing it in reverse and its what I’m used to, but that might be too limiting I know.



You may not like this answer . . .

I’d stick to your present vehicle

The devil you know . . .


My daughter has a saturn, Cheap, good mileage and fairly dependable, and a big guy at work loves his, I have trouble getting in and out and asked doesn’t it bother you? He is like I will put up with it.

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has she ever checked what gas mileage she gets. thanks so much for the reply by the way.

I have not did a quick look at ls2 here

I imagine a used Ford Focus would be cheap, considering what new ones are going for (southwest Ohio).

I appreciate all answers. I plan to keep the Mazda. But it’s very difficult to only have one vehicle when doing this job because you need it every day and the vehicle is in the shop often for brakes, etc. good to have a cheap backup. they don’t make exceptions for car trouble, you’ll be docked 500.00 if you miss a day for any reason.

The last year for Saturn production was 2009 so that brand should not be in the picture.

I would not want a 5 speed manual for stop and go paper delivery. I suggest the OP do a search on the web for right hand drive and getting great fuel mileage is not what this type of driving produces.

@GailTempest With the papers in your passenger seat does that mean your are driving on the wrong side of the road to put the papers in boxes?

Yes it does, But please lets not get on the topic of whether it is legal or not, it’s how the world delivers newspapers and no newspaper business could stay in production if they had to pay us delivery people enough to support a right hand side vehicle.

Why do you think a right hand drive vehicle is more costly than left hand. Self employed rural mail carriers and newspaper people buy surplus postal vehicles all the time.

Now that you’ve given me some more information, here’s a suggestion

Buy a service manual for your car and start doing some of the repairs and maintenance procedures yourself. Buy craftsman tools at sears, they generally have a lifetime warranty, and are quite cheap on club saver days.

You’ll gain a sense of accomplishment, and you’ll also be able to do the repairs when you want, not when an appointment is available. And you won’t have to bum a ride back home, while the car is in the shop

Oil changes and brake pads should be well within your capabilities within a reasonable amount of time

Barkydog Ahk that’s about what my Mazda gets. thanks so much for the suggestions

Sorry old fart, Ahk?

db I’d agree with you, but I I have tried to change my own brakes but I couldn’t get any bolts or whatever loose! I bought the brakes, borrowed the tools, watched the youtube video while I was all hyped on doing my own thing. I couldn’t get any bolts or whatever to come loose. 2009 vs. rural PA area = rust!!, Had to put the wheel back on, find a mechanic who was willing to do my brakes, and it was an all day event.

also, I have a spinal deformity that makes anything like that more difficult for me.

I’m sure they are hon. And we don’t do it that way.

Barkydog ???

Ignoring the wear and tear is just like sticking your fingers in your ears and repeating loudly, wear and tear ins’t costing me any money. Tell me, does the “Tax write off system” let you escape the self employment tax?

Is the question for Ahk

I have no idea what you mean .

oldtimer_11 I make enough to live so yes, I essentially can do that because I want to. Nobody would say anything to me if I chose to work 40 hours a week at Mcdonalds for less than what I make now, placing wear and tear on my body.

I own an old Mazda that I will drive till it dies. So yes wear and tear is a non subject and I will not answer any more on this subject.