The True Cost of a Toad

How much is a toad worth?

For us, the car itself gives us priceless freedom…but we ended up paying double what we had originally planned for:

  • Cost of our in-excellent-condition 1998 Saturn SL2 that included a Blue Ox tow bar, base plate, full size spare tire, chains and automotive bra: ~$2800
  • Florida taxes, registration and license plates: ~$500
  • Cost of replacement power cable, 3 locking pins and new dual hitch receiver (to mount bike rack and toad): ~$290

This was where we had planned on stopping, however, since our Saturn weighs 2400 pounds, it needs to have an auxiliary braking system (technically) when traveling through the following states: NY, OH, TN, MS, CA, NV and ID. We’ll be traveling extensively through 5 of those this year. Such a bummer :(

  • Recommended auxiliary braking system plus labor (a direct installation, not a portable one, like a Brake Buddy): ~$1300
  • Traded in existing 15 year old Blue Ox tow bar – that needed to be rebuilt – for new Blue Ox tow bar: ~$600
  • Grand total: ~$5500

Better safe than sorry, right? Yes!

In the end, it’s been extremely liberating to have a mode of transportation that isn’t the coach or a bike :)

This site has a pretty good breakdown per state:

For the more visually inclined, this site has a map:

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