I think it does, but maybe that's just Evil Alex trying to convince Good Alex that he needs more cars.
So let's say Alex wants to compliment his M3 with an E36 318i. How much more would it really cost me?
Here's the big surprise that lead to this investigation. If I were to insure the 318 as my primary vehicle with liability insurance only and make the M3 a secondary vehicle with the same coverage I have right now, I would actually save $300 per year on insurance. Storing the M3 in the winter and reducing the coverage on it over that time frame would further reduce my insurance cost.
I typically get about 22 MPG driving the M3 on a daily basis, and probably do about 15,000 miles per year of driving that doesn't require an M3. Between better fuel economy and cheaper gas (89 octane compared to 92+), I should be able to save at least another $500-700 per year on fuel.
Hard to put exact numbers on anything, but I'll essentially be trading wear and tear on one car for wear and tear on another. The engine in the 318 is said to be more reliable and with 2/3 the cylinders, it should be cheaper to keep up. Keeping the road miles off my $$$$ DA shocks is always a smart move, and a lot of the other wear items on the M3 are more expensive or less durable aftermarket pieces compared to what would be on the 318. It's hard to put a dollar amount on this, but I think it's safe to say that there would be some savings here.
An inexpensive, higher mileage 318i isn't going to see as much depreciation from year-round daily driving as a low mileage rust-free M3. I wouldn't be surprised if the cost of buying a 318 minus what I would get back from selling it after a few years to be less than what it would cost me in depreciation alone to daily drive the M3.
Yes, it will cost more to keep two cars licensed instead of a single car, but not that much as both cars would be relatively old.
The one that could make or break it. Keeping two cars accessible all summer may or may not be workable for me. It's the biggest question mark. Winter storage is easier because I don't have to have both cars accessible to me, and it could cost around $500 if I need it.
If I hold onto both cars for at least another 3 years, I think I would at least break even owning a second car.
I used to think that owning two cars could never be the financially sensible thing to do, but it appears that may not be the case. Of course the really sensible thing for me to do would be to get rid of the M3 entirely and run a 318i in HS, but what fun would that be?