Living With A Sports Car – Nissan 350Z Part III



 Part I, Part II.

Today we’ll address the running costs associated with owning a sports car. I could pretty much call today’s installment “Living With A Sports Car: By The Numbers”, but I won’t.

Previously, I’ve bemoaned the cost of premium fuel, but how much more expensive, overall, is the 350Z to run than, say, my Protege5?

Let’s dig deep into the numbers. 


  • Insurance: $150/month
  • Payments: $290/month
  • Fuel: $110/month
  • Maintenance: $50/month
  • Depreciation: $214/month


  • Insurance: $138
  • Payments:$331/month
  • Fuel: $200/mo
  • Maintenance: $74/month
  • Depreciation: TBD

The insurance is cheaper for the Zed than it is for the Protege5? Well, that’s because I didn’t get collision insurance against the 350. Had I, it would have cost me $217/month, but I decided against it. I don’t even know why I have it on the Protege5, come to think of it…

The fuel cost for the Zed is only an estimate so far because I haven’t even driven it for a month.

The payments are closer than you might think because the interest rate used to borrow money for the P5 was higher (~6%) than for the 350Z (~2.5%).

The depreciation of the Protege5 was calculated based on a purchase price of $14,000 and a current value of approximately $5,000.

Also, I’m ignoring costs for new tires and whatnot. For the 3.5 years I owned the Protege5, I spent about $2,500 on wheels and tires. I also bought a short-shifter and a cold-air intake in that time, both of which I paid to have installed. Altogether, the P5 cost me about $85/month in non-maintenance expenses over the last 3.5 years. If I were to drive the 350Z 12 months of the year, the way I did the Protege, I would expect the annual running costs to be higher, but since I’m only going to drive the 350Z in the summer, it has yet to be seen how much the 350 ends up costing me. So far, the new Toyo Proxes 4 tires cost $1250 for the rubber and will cost another couple hundred to install, I expect.

I would love to use this time to talk about how great the new Toyos are, but the dealership I went to was unable to swap out 35-series tires due to the “stiff sidewall”. Which, when translated from dealershipese to English, means “we have no idea what we’re doing, so we can’t do it”. As a result, I called Kal-Tire to see if they could mount the new rubber for me. Nope, not unless I purchased my tires there. It’s their policy, apparently. Well their policy doesn’t stock the tires I wanted either, so I called my local Firestone Tire. “We can do it”, the service advisor said, “no problem”. They’re just booking into next week, is all.

So by Friday, May 22, I should have a definitive report on the Toyo Proxes 4 tires. Sorry for the delay. You can just blame the dealerships and the protectionist policies of some tire shops for the wait.