Santa and his Bright Red Sleigh

Last year, Abogo visited Santa up in North Pole, Alaska, to estimate some of the transportation costs he is likely to encounter. We decided to revisit the jolly St. Nick to update some of the estimates made last year. Bottom line: Santa needs more payment than cookies to break even on his travel costs.

Courtesy AlxTheRed

We can assume the price of keeping Santa’s reindeer healthy has stayed relatively constant since last year at around $2,000 per reindeer per year. This totals $18,000 just for reindeer related costs. This may seem more costly than car maintenance per year, but let’s explore more costs. Taking a trip around the world in one night can put some dings in the sleigh. Luckily Santa has a few handy helpers, so we can assume that he spends only $1,000 on sleigh maintenance.

Abogo decided not to include insurance costs for ole’ St. Nicholas last year. However, after some close calls last year and some nagging from Ms. Claus, he decided that he should pick some up this year. So, how much does it cost to insure a sleigh that travels around the world?  Gina Roberts Grey of MSN Money explored this option in an article published last year. This is what she found:

-Since he flies his sleigh in the air, typical auto coverage will not suffice. Santa must purchase aircraft hull and liability insurance. This will cover any damage done while in flight. Santa hasn’t had any reported accidents, so his annual premium would be low—an estimated $30,000.

-Santa’s nine reindeers are an anomaly in the world of insurance, but could be considered “engines” and insured under a special endorsement along with the sleigh. For the team of reindeers, Santa can expect to pay an additional $12,000 on top of the $30,000 he dished out for coverage of the sleigh.

Abogo has found an unfurnished replica of Santa’s sleigh handmade by a Michigan carpenter.

This replica, with a reindeer pole attachment, costs $4,500. This, however, is only a shell of what Santa’s sleigh includes. On top of the sleigh, he will need headlights to see and be seen in the night, harnesses for his reindeer, a windshield for keeping his eyes dry while traveling so fast, and some decoration in light of the joyous occasion. We can assume that Santa’s elves can produce these accessories in-house (hey, if they can make an iPad…), which will keep costs low. In total, Santa will probably need around $6,000 more to ensure his sleigh is holiday ready.

Assuming his non-residency in any country, Santa will not have to file for any permits this year. The sleigh will depreciate by about 5 percent for a total of $3 in costs. He will most certainly still need an air freshener ($5) since riding behind nine reindeer for an entire night can get stinky!

Good thing Santa has magic on his side, or else he would be hard pressed to visit all of the children in the world. Despite this magic, Santa still must consider transportation costs for the year.

In total, we found that Santa can expect to spend $28,058 on transportation costs per year. In comparison, his neighbors can expect to spend nearly $14,000 per year at current gas prices.  Along with the cost of depreciation and insurance, this cost is likely to be much higher. Santa avoids gas costs by using renewable energy—his reindeer.

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