6/13/2008 Utilities

How much does it actually cost you to drive your car to work? Gas prices recently have soared, but gas is a small part of the total cost of the trip. This calculator can help you determine how much your daily commute is actually costing you.

Fuel is one of the more obvious costs. Experiment here to see how much a more fuel efficient mode of transportation could save you.

 Length of round-trip commute in miles: Estimated miles per gallon (MPG): Price of gallon of gas: Estimated Cost of gas for trip: Estimated Cost of gas per mile:

Something else to consider is the cost of your vehicle. Cars tend to be consumable. IE: They have a lifespan after which they are used up. So one way at looking at a luxery car versus an economy model is by cost per mile. To determine cost per mile, this calculator includes four components: The initial cost of the vehicle, the cost to finance the vehicle (if the purchase was financed), the cost to insure the vehicle, and finally the cost to maintain the vehicle.

 Purchase Price of Car: Estimated lifetime of car in miles: Estimated Cost of car for trip: Cost of Car Per Mile:

Complete coverage of the many ways of financing a car are beyond the scope of this calculator. The calculation below will show you how much financing your vehicle costs per mile if you have a typical simple-interest loan.

 Amount Financed: Annual Interest Rate: Monthly Payment Amount: Estimated Cost of Financing for trip: Cost of Financing Per Mile:

Insurance is a huge variable as there are many different types and levels of auto insurance. Also, since insurance usually is billed monthly, semiannually or annually and we wish to calculate the cost per mile, we must have an estimate of the number of miles traveled each year.

 Miles driven/year: Cost of Insurance for Six Months: Estimated Cost of Insurance for trip: Cost of Insurance Per Mile:

Routine and preventative maintenance should also be included in any calculation of total cost of ownership for a vehicle. The list below is not all-inclusive. It was taken from the owner's manual of a 2005 Dodge Neon but the PMs listed and the reletive intervals and costs should be in the ball-park for all but the most expensive of cars.

 PM Interval (miles) Cost Cost/Mile Oil Change: Replace Tires: Rotate Tires: Brakes: Air Filter: PCV valve: Spark Plugs: Tie Rods: Automatic Transmission Fluid: Drive Belts: Engine Coolant: Engine Timing Belt: Estimated Cost of maintenance for trip: Estimated maintenance cost per mile:

If you've entered values in for all the fields above, then here you'll see how much that drive to work really costs. The next time you're tempted to take a long trip, try using this calculator to compare the cost of driving with that of flying or of taking the train.

 Total cost of trip: Total cost per mile:

Note: This calculator is just for fun. I'm not an accountant, so don't use these numbers on your taxes.