# What is the true cost of car ownership?

The American Automobile Association (AAA) says that, on average, it costs 52.2 cents to drive one mile. To drive a Ford Focus like mine 20,000 miles per year, the average cost is 37.6 cents per mile.

How close are the AAA estimates? I ran some numbers.

## Calculate the average cost per mile

Based on the purchase price of my vehicle (\$16,500), the interest paid (\$1,300), and the number of miles on the odometer (81,762 in 66 months), I calculated that for the past year my average cost per mile to drive is \$0.2170 over 20,274 miles. But that’s only for the car itself. I’ve also accumulated the following operating expenses:

• Fuel: \$1,646.37 (\$0.0812 per mile)
• Insurance: \$762.93 (\$0.0376 per mile)
• Service: \$507.07 (\$0.0250 per mile)

## The total car cost per mile

My total cost of ownership per mile is 36.1 cents, which is not far from the AAA estimate of 37.6 cents. My total cost to run the Focus for the past year was \$7,514, which is about 5% less than the national \$7,967 annual average cost of ownership.

I encourage you to run numbers for your car. It’s easy and enlightening. After calculating your current automobile costs, you can explore “what if?” scenarios. For example, how much do rising gas prices affect your costs?

My Ford Focus gets roughly 310 miles on eleven gallons of fuel, for an average of 28.2 mpg. If fuel is at \$3.00/gallon instead of \$2.00/gallon, I’m paying 10.3% more — \$725/year — to run my car.

How much does it affect your cost-per-mile to choose a luxury car instead of something practical? I recently found myself fighting the new car itch. I wanted a new BMW or Audi. A commenter wrote:

In The Millionaire Next Door, one of the best-performing groups in terms of net worth was what the authors called something like “used car prone”. This class of person buys a car that is 3 to 5 years old, and drives it for many years. The authors spend a lot of time discussing this class because it is statistically most likely to have a very high net worth compared to annual income.

If I were driving a new BMW 325i, my total cost of operation would be 60.1 cents per mile, a 68.8% increase over the cost with my Ford Focus.

Examine your driving habits in relation to how much it costs to run your vehicle. For example, driving seven miles into Portland and seven miles home costs me about five bucks. Now the trip to my favorite cheap taco place doesn’t seem so cheap any more.

If I drive 38.6 miles to work and back every day, I spend one hour and \$13.93 for the privilege. (When I lived closer to work, my 11.4 mile round-trip cost me twenty minutes and \$4.11.) My wife and I plan to drive from Portland to San Francisco for a week-long vacation this summer. We will log about 1200 miles, which will cost me \$425. (According to Travelocity, round-trip airfare for two would run \$442, so this is basically a wash.)

For more information on the cost of automobile ownership, read the AAA driving cost study for 2006.

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### There are 40 comments to "What is the true cost of car ownership?".

1. josh_parris says 31 May 2006 at 20:33

You’ve forgotten the resale/total loss value of your vehicle. I bet you can’t sell your 5 year old Focus with 80K on the clock for \$17,800, but let’s say you can get \$8,000 for it. That means you’ve lost \$8,500 in depreciation, plus \$1,300 in interest – \$9,800 opportunity cost over 80K -> close enough to \$0.12 / mile (much better than \$0.2170 a mile). Of course, the older a depreciating asset like a car gets, the slower the dollar value drops, so things should only get better from here on in.

2. Peter says 04 June 2006 at 03:19

The other thing you’re not considering is that most of your costs are fixed. The purchase price of the car, the insurance and a lot of the maintenance are the same even if it sits in the driveway all day. Fuel is really the big variable as your miles driven changes. If you only drive the car 100 miles per year, your total cost per mile would be astronomical.

3. VinTek says 04 June 2006 at 08:10

While it’s entirely true that if you drove only 100 miles/year, your cost/mile would be high. Most costs of ownership in a car are to some degree variable. For example, if I drove a low number of miles per year, my insurance premium would be lower. Oil changes would slow down to once every six months (or even once a year) just to rid the car of sediment. Even depreciation to some degree would slow down, as a low-mileage car is worth more than a high-mileage car.

Frankly, there is a point where not owning a car and renting one when needed is a reasonable choice. A lot of people who live in NYC do that.

That said, I’ve always felt that the best way to get full value out of any car, whether an economy car or a luxury car, it to drive it.

4. John Wagnitz says 16 June 2006 at 10:36

I guess that means I can go out and by that J.P. Weigle ranndoneur bicycle I’ve been dreaming about for the last year. it runs about \$7,00 fully loaded.

You see, I caught onto the big lie that we need automobiles to survive and, other than the occasional rental car, I pay NOTHING for auto expenses. 99% of my trips are by bicycle, 1% by mass transit, I pay nothing for health clubs since I average about 170 miles per week in cycling.

There are also the larger environmental and societal costs of car ownership not factored into your figures. The increased costs for housing because parking takes up valuable space, oil runoff into our lakes and streams, the occasional Exxon Valdez oil spill, foreign wars, to mention a few. Get rid of you car completely and break free of the chains of death mobile ownership!

• Curtis says 15 December 2011 at 13:51

Great if everyone did it. Not so great if you’re one of the few. Bicycles and cars do not belong on the same roadways. If that’s what you’re recommending, better count on being hospitalized at least once during your years of saving commute dollars. My neighbor was killed commuting home from work on his bicycle – he got hit and run over by a sudden right-turner. It took him a month to die. I have given up riding on major thoroughfares – being in the right does not protect you.

• Will says 15 February 2012 at 06:57

What rubbish!

While high quality cycle lanes would be nice, claiming that it is too dangerous to share the road with cars is nonsense. It’s fashionable to paint cycling as dangerous but the facts don’t bear this out – it’s actually safer per mile travelled than being a pedestrian!

It even compares favourably with driving once you take in to account the fitness benefits; cycling increases your life expectancy overall.

Save money, be healthier, live longer. Win, Win, Win.

• MPH says 22 April 2014 at 21:01

I doubt it is safer per mile travelled than walking. Recent data (2011) shows that 677 bikers were killed and 4,432 pedestrians were killed in vehicle accidents for the year. But nobody really knows how many miles people are riding or walking per year. But one thing that is certain, EVERYONE is a pedestrian for some amount of time every time they leave their home. Walk in from the car to the store, you’re a pedestrian. Walk out to your mailbox, you’re a pedestrian. All 310,000,000 of us are in the pedestrian risk pool every time we walk outside. Bikers are only in the biker risk pool when biking. For it to be safer to bike than to walk, the portion of the population that bikes has to travel for 25% as much time as all of us walk when outside. No chance. Note: it isn’t the miles travelled that matter, it’s the TIME spent traveling. For instance, no matter your mode of transportation (walk, bike, car), you’re still at risk sitting still. When driving, walking, or bike riding for one hour on/along the public roads, you’re at risk of being involved in a crash for one hour. A walker will maybe cover 4 miles, biker maybe 20, and a car easily 60 miles or more. But all are still in the risk pool for one hour each.

According to this: http://peoplepoweredmovement.org/site/images/uploads/2010%20Benchmarking%2011.20.10%20Web.pdf only 0.5% of people ride bikes to work. Even if 2 times that much ride a bike every day (even though it isn’t commuting to work), that’s 1% of the population. If this guess is accurate (and nobody knows, even the above report admits that), that means that 1% of the population would have to be at risk of vehicle impacts for 2500% of the TIME that ALL of us spend walking outside for the risk of fatality to be equal. There’s just no way. A recent survey showed that about 25% had ridden a bike at least once during the summer of 2010. Even if we use this value, the bikers have to spend as much time biking as all of us do walking.

Here’s the math I used (we’re trying to solve for bicycle risk time, assuming equal risk, which will give us a lower value than the situation that the OP states – biking is safer than walking):

Pedestrian fatalities/bike fatalities = (about 4).
So if the risk pool is the same number of people, and the same amount of time, bikers risk is 25% of that of walkers. But the risk pool for bikers is nowhere near the size of pedestrians. The assumption that only 1% of the population rides daily (2 times the amount that commute) means that the people in the bike risk pool are 1/100th of the number of walkers (bikers also walk). To account for the ratio of deaths, assuming equal risk time, 1/100th of the number of people have to generate 1/4th the number of deaths. That means that per unit of time, the biker’s risk would be actually 25 times the walkers. So for the risk over time to be equal to walkers, the bikers have to spend 25 times the time biking than the average person spends walking. That’s 125 minutes per day assuming everyone in the country only spends 5 minutes as a pedestrian each day. If the average daily pedestrian time is only 15 minutes for everyone, that jacks up the required time for bikers to 375 minutes, or over six hours. Sound reasonable? Then add in winter, where in large parts of the country it isn’t practical to ride a bike (try riding a bike on an unplowed road with just 4 inches of snow on it; it’s very hard, and gets harder with each extra inch), and you add even more time needed in the summer to make up for it. The claim just doesn’t pass the reasonable test.

• bjohns says 20 March 2012 at 11:12

Good idea if we were all city dwellers as I suspect you are. Unfortunately, if the large portion of our population that still lives in the rural areas moved into the cities the streets might get a bit crowded with all the additional bicycles, not to mention the fact that there would be no one left to grow your food, or mine the coal to burn in the power plants that power your cities and charge your ipods.

• MPH says 22 April 2014 at 19:46

I know it’s been a while since the original post was made, but the poster hasn’t considered that this isn’t practical everywhere and all the time. For example, a 2 mile bicycle commute in Marquette MI this last winter (2014) would probable have been fatal several times just due to the effects of cold. When the wind chill is -70, if you’re wearing enough to keep you alive, I’d bet you couldn’t ride a bike. Then there’s the impracticality of trying to ride to work with several inches of snow on the road/sidewalk.

It’s a great idea in the places where the weather cooperates and sidewalks exist to ride on (there’s no way I’d ride on some of the roads I’ve driven on to commute), but it puts restrictions on where you live relative to where you work (no 30+ mile commutes by bike), as well as shopping, etc. I’m glad you’re enthusiastic and able to do it, but your post clearly ignores these issues and asks us all to do it as if it were possible; it isn’t and hasn’t been for decades.

• ginna says 11 August 2018 at 14:04

Rock on! Me too. I switched to car-free 9 years ago and haven’t looked back.

Worst case (like distance or moving furniture), I take a Lyft or get a rental car. I spend maybe \$500 on this including vacation. My bike costs this year were ~\$500 (because I needed to buy a bike…), so max \$1k / year transportation. Compared to \$7900 I’m doing pretty great.

• T says 23 February 2019 at 21:11

Great if you live in NYC or somewhere warm. Try to do that in the winter region and see how your life is going to be.

5. Rick says 02 August 2006 at 18:57

Watch out with your Ford Focus. At 80K miles or so they have a tendency to throw a piston. You’ll need a complete rebuild.

6. Robin says 03 October 2006 at 17:19

I’ve kept a spreadsheet since I bought my 99 Jeep Cherokee. Including the initial purchase price, maintenance, insurance, fuel, and taxes, I calculate the cost has been 37c per mile.

7. Alice says 02 November 2006 at 07:55

I use my own car to make deliverys for work. I get reimbured for gas and tolls only. SHould I be getting per mile cost as well?
In 2 months I’ve gone 2400 miles for work. How much should that be?

• Ron says 30 October 2011 at 16:58

Yes! I would never drive my car for an employer without getting what the IRS allows them to deduct for my miles. Currently 55 cents per mile. Anything less and you are not getting reimbursed for all the things they talk about in this article. Think of it this way. If you drove for them over your career for 40,000 miles. You would have worn out a set of tires (not to mention everything else you wore out) and you would have paid for it yourself. I am a small business owner and I pay my employees whatever rate the IRS sets. If the employer does not want to pay you that, then borrow his car for these deliveries. Then you will have no gas that needs reimbursing, and he can just reimburse you for tolls.

8. gary miller says 17 February 2007 at 15:29

I teach a class called Financial Independence for Women at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA. Am going to recommend your excellent analysis on total car costs-this is one of those stealth cost items that can sabotage a person’s financial goals . If you know of a web site or study that shows depreciation curves or table for a variety of new cars, would love to know about this, as I’m a big believer in buying after a car is about two years old to avoid the “drive off the lot” price collapse.

9. walk0080 says 23 September 2007 at 00:18

Re: Commend #1.
I think the author’s car is a 2000 Ford Focus… he would be lucky to sell it for \$4,500… very poor resale – I should know, I own one myself (2000 Focus ZX3). :-/

Although I have not done the calculations myself, I do keep the cost/mile in mind when using the car. If it’s probably cheaper by transit, I take the bus/subway. If it’s more convenient or significantly faster than transit, I drive.

10. Alex says 21 November 2007 at 11:01

My previous car was an 1987 Audi 5000S Wagon, which I bought in 2006 for \$875. I sold it in 2007 for \$800. Taxes and liability insurance ran at about \$300/year. I also had to pay about \$400 during that year for repairs. It did about 17-18 mpg in the city. I drove about 300 miles in 2 weeks. I think it beat all other cars I knew in terms of cost of driving a mile.

The author is missing one important thing in his/her economic analysis: the psychological cost of NOT owning a car. If people keep buying new, expensive cars even though it’s expensive, it means that they value the opportunity to drive such cars more than the money they have to spend (or waste, depending on your point of view). Also, think about the point of this website. Get rich slowly? What for? What’s the point of having a million dollars when I am 75? I completely sympathize with John Wagnitz. I believe that driving less and walking or biking more is a great idea, but unfortunately, that’s not what most people think (especially if you’re in Texas).

11. Brad says 16 December 2007 at 12:43

Drive the car to San Fran. Your costs included fixed and variable costs but you’re still paying the interest and insurance and taxes either way… A 7 year old car with 80,000 or 81,200 miles on it is worth basically the same amount. The true cost is really gas, 1/3rd the cost of an oil change, 1/30th the cost of a new set of tires and a few pennies for misc. repairs per mi. The best way to get your cost per mi. down is to drive it more miles.

12. Greg says 21 December 2007 at 05:05

Great article. The biking comment would not work for most in Texas. I drive 62 miles round trip from work in a state where the weather changes hourly on some days. Im glad that you can boast about biking it, but take the seat out of your ass and realize that this is not a possibility for all. If you want to get a low cost of operations, buy a used Corolla or Civic and drive it until it rusts away. Personally I would rather pay for the enjoyment of driving my car and for the peace of mind that my pregnant wife is driving a tank of a Tahoe. Flame on….

Oh yea, this blog is about getting rich slowly? WTH?

13. ruth pennoyer says 03 January 2008 at 14:13

I do not see where the actual cost of the car spread over 5 years (60 months) is factored into these cost per mile or cost per year figures. I do see the finance charges.

What am I missing?

14. Kate Kamper says 31 March 2008 at 14:47

Worried about resale, don’t sell it, drive the wheels off, and worried about finance charges, don’t finance it, buy it out right, there are many things you can do to drop these prices significantly.Our 2000 Dodge stratus costs us less every day, its been paid off for years, the insurance is liablilty only and even that goes down every 6 months. The very thought of replacing it when the wheels still move is just unthinkable, even with all he scratches dings and dents. Yeah our neighbors are trading up fast and furiously… but we don’t care. Its all but FREE! Also, I don’t see a lot of commuting in here….. My ultra safe ultra expensive minivan… barely moves… thanks to car pooling and walking the kids to dance class and soccer practice.

15. Tpr76 says 07 May 2008 at 16:01

Great article!

Ive never done the math on the cost of car ownership but my ex-GF (whom Im still good friends with) found out the hard way how costs go up sharply once you move from a budget car to a luxury brand. After going from an econocar to a BMW 3-Series her maintenance, insurance, and fuel cost increased exponentially but because she loves it so much she refuses to get rid of it.

I’m very very fortunate in having a work car that I get to drive for personal use. No fuel, insurance, or maintanence costs and I even get free car washes! I cant even imagine how much money this saves me a year but I certainly appreciate it. Once I got the work car I sold my Mazda and I havent owned a car for the past 3 years. 😀

16. RossABQ says 21 July 2008 at 18:13

I’ve tracked all of my cars to answer the question of true cost of ownership, comparing relatively new cars vs sub-\$1,000 cars with high mileage. I do all my repairs myself, and I might add, I make all repairs required (people who swear they haven’t put in a penny’s worth of maintenance are rolling the dice, with their safety and the longevity of the car.

The most cost effective cars (at the gas prices in effect when I owned them) were the perennial bad-boys, rear-wheel drive V8 American cars, purchased with about 50-60k miles. Parts are cheap when needed, value doesn’t change significantly from purchase to sale, and frankly I enjoyed them much more than econo-boxes. Now that gas has goine up, they are not likely to still be lowest, but likewise their purchase prices have plummeted.

The absolute worst cars? VW and BMW. Mediocre gas mileage, sky-high parts prices, and extremely poor reliability.

• Stephane Thierry says 14 December 2011 at 11:42

Not necessarly true.
I’m driving a ’99 BMW m3 convertible that I bought 3 years ago. KBB value indicated a drop of \$800 for value for the 3 years owned.
I’m driving an amount of 10kmiles a year.
I do the maintenance myself.
The car cost me (including depreciation, maintenance, gas (ok..25mpg..), insurance, parts…) \$4100 a year – much less than what a new chevvy econo-box would cost me…

17. Gary says 22 July 2008 at 21:35

The statement below doesn’t add up

My Ford Focus gets roughly 310 miles on eleven gallons of fuel, for an average of 28.2 mpg. If fuel is at \$3.00/gallon instead of \$2.00/gallon, I’m paying 10.3% more – \$725/year – to run my car.
* Fuel: \$1,646.37 (\$0.0812 per mile)
* Insurance: \$762.93 (\$0.0376 per mile)
* Service: \$507.07 (\$0.0250 per mile)

If your fuel cost is 1,646.37 10% more is an additional 164.63 you say \$725?

If your currently paying \$2.00 and the price goes 3.00 per gallon. That would be a 50% increase in fuel cost per year or \$823

18. The 2008 AAA Driving cost study says 20 October 2008 at 16:06

The links in the original article no longer work. This one does!

http://www.aaaexchange.com/Main/Default.asp?CategoryID=16&SubCategoryID=76&ContentID=353

19. Drew says 25 February 2009 at 20:27

1) as for your trip to SF the number 36.1 is misleading b/c the Insurance and the total costs (+interest) are fixed. Therefor the cost/mile is much lower ~\$0.11/mile. It would be much cheaper to drive!

2) The AAA number does not include the total cost of the car. It is only the interest that you are paying on the downpayment. So actually your cost is much lower than the EPA your cost should then be ~\$.16/mile. Much cheaper than the AAA value!

This number of is very misleading…

Most of

* Fuel: \$1,646.37 (\$0.0812 per mile)
* Insurance: \$762.93 (\$0.0376 per mile)
* Service: \$507.07 (\$0.0250 per mile)

20. Roger says 23 July 2009 at 15:10

Re: Biking vs Driving

I agree biking is not possible for all, but living closer to work is often not even considered. For those who live close enough to work to bike, most consider it to be far more difficult (or impossible) or dangerous than it really is, if they consider it at all. Something like 80% of all car trips are less than 2 miles. In some cases we still save time by driving, but the necessity of such time-slicing is brought on by our tendency to overcommit ourselves and our kids.

I own cars but bike to work as often as possible. “Car Free” is possible for some but not many. I live in a midwestern suburb, and I enjoy cars as well as bikes.

As for “Get Rich Slowly,” I think I get it. First off, “get rich quick” schemes are risky, at best. Secondly, you can get wealthy with patience, frugality, and by “slowing down” and getting out of the consumerist rat-race.

• Alex says 23 April 2014 at 12:57

Where we live (Houston suburbs), you have to drive almost everywhere. And if you have kids, the only place you can walk or bike to is the neighborhood playground. My commute is 11 miles one way on very busy streets – I would not want to ride a bike, especially not in Houston heat. I recently bought a used 2008 Mazda 3 for \$9200 and am enjoying the infrequent fill-ups of 10 gallons each. I don’t care what my costs per mile are – I know I am not spending a lot on the car and I absolutely need a car.

21. MilnairNxtDoor says 12 September 2009 at 21:20

What I would really like to find is a source of maintenance cost averages for cars more than say 5 yrs old. Edmunds.com has a great true-cost-to-own tool, but it only goes back to 2004 or 2005. I’m looking at some 2001 models and am curious. I know people here have bashed BMW but I was looking at a large sampling of prices sorted by odo mileage and found that once they get past 100k mi. they go down in price very very slowly. Basically, advert. prices for a 100k example 3-series AWD (the AWD is why I’m looking to replace the TL I bought with 50k on it) are about \$10k. Those with 200k mi. are about \$7k. So other than going with a lesser car for someone who loves to drive, drive fast, take corners hard etc. or a much more expensive Porsche with I believe even higher maintenance, I think this is a good choice. The only other make that seems to be on my radar is Suburu which is very reliable, but I’m 6’2″ and every Suburu I’ve ever been in felt very cramped.

So…. does anyone know where to find a good cost of ownership info source, pref. internet, for older cars. It is the only part of this purchase I’m wary of.

22. Dustin LaBarge says 21 November 2009 at 16:46

I drive a 1991 Honda Accord (2.2L 4cyl 5-spd manual), which gets about 30 city / 34 highway miles per gallon. It has 265,000 miles on it, so the registration costs about 15 dollars per year, and insurance costs about \$250/year. I paid \$1 for the vehicle.

I heard someone say something the other day that betrays a critical viewpoint upon our vehicles which way too many people hold. The man said to consider a vehicle as something which gets you from point A to point B, NOT as an investment. Financial decisions are not so easy to qualify as “right” or “wrong”, but a vehicle should be considered a financial decision. Anything which can give us all a little more literal (and financial) oxygen should be considered an opportunity to make the best choice.

Hands down, purchasing a used vehicle is the better financial decision. The older the vehicle, the less you lose to depreciation. If you absolutely must have a new vehicle, some buys are deceitfully terrible ideas. The very efficient Toyota Prius hybrid can be bought for around \$22,000, but its hybrid system is extremely expensive to replace. The Honda Civic, with its \$15,500 starting price and good efficiency and reliability, ends up becoming a better overall value.

I also applaud the person who talked about the car myth. If you live within 15 miles of work or school, then biking is an effective method of saving money, and even time. Some regions are better-equipped for bicycling than others, but this is a great option that should really be considered.

The major issue, however, is probably outside of the scope of this forum. The increased mobility that cars offered led to the creation of the SUBURBS, which in essence decentralized society and dissociated home and school from work. Perhaps this complete perversion of the idea of urban planning is the primary reason Americans spend so much more time driving and pumping gas than other societies. If we can refocus our society to centralize our urban models, we can do more with a smaller space. Hong Kong and Tokyo are perfect examples. Perhaps Manifest Destiny spoiled us with so much land that we are now reaping the consequences of it. More should be done with less.

Obviously, I have gone beyond the literal question of what is the best and cheapest mode of transport, but we should be willing to re-think transportation. What is so wrong with mass-transportation? Why can’t we create condensed urban centers where we can work, play, eat, and sleep within a 15-minute bike ride? Why should we spend 20,000-40,000 miles and countless hours driving when we can spend infinitely less time and energy propelling ourselves to our destinations? The benefits of a planned society are numerous, and we should be willing to dream.

But for those of you who have money to burn and no time to dream, you should buy the BMW Z4, or maybe go nuts and get a Motor Sport Elise, a Porsche Boxster, a Saleen S7, or a Lamborghini Diablo. After all, it will build your own kids character if they have to pay their own way to college.

23. Kenny says 16 January 2010 at 18:13

Guys, I believe in doing this computation and based on variables that change over the life of the car, I computed it using a Car Cost model that I have built and refined over the years.

So, based on my brother buying a Ford Windstar in 07/1996 with 4 miles on it and selling it around 120K miles, I computed all elements of it including the fluctuations in gas prices (99c per gallon to \$4 per gallon) as well as maintenance, insurance etc (ALL elements) and I came to \$0.35 per mile.

I have the same identical van also (bought 2 the same day), and I am still running it so, I will give ‘actuals’ such as above, once I sell it or run it into the ground. If I run it into the ground, the salvage guy will give me \$125 and I will plug that as a Sales Price of the Van. My current running computation based on a fictitous sales price (not sold yet) shows it at \$0.41 per mile since I have less miles on it today. So, numbers can change ‘drastically’ (15%+) on a little variance.

So, I do not about your cars or vans, but that is my real world example. My Lexus is going to be much higher in price per mile, cause of a higher initial cost, but that is just the nature of what you feed in as variables.

AAA’s 50c+ is a bogus number for the future unless you go to dealers for fixing everything, and have bad practices (like changing oil at 3K miles when the manual says 7500 miles) or run the car on idle for too long (when you go into a store with your car running outside to keep it at comfortable temp) etc.

Kenny

• bjohns says 20 March 2012 at 11:48

It would be great if we could all walk to work but the problem that some people don’t understand is that every ounce of sustenance any animal, including man, requires comes from the land. Do the cities have enough coal, water, timber, oil, flora, or fauna to sustain all of the residents? The answer is clearly no. Until they do, people will be required to live and work in remote places to subsidize the harvesting of resources for the city dwellers. Urbanites like to think they are doing good for the world when they walk to work but they forget that their clothes, food, and shelter all came in from some far off place, most likely on trucks.

24. Jim says 05 February 2010 at 12:11

I drive a 2003 Mercury Sable that I purchased new with no money down and 0% interest for a 5 year note. It has 200,000 miles on it. I have been pondering buying another car but am hesitating because I really like the Merc and it is paid for. I did some rough calculations and have come up with .30 to .35 cents per mile including every expense I could think of including depreciation, insurance, repairs, fuel cost,license fees, regular maintenance, etc.

I cannot justify the expense of a new car except for the desire factor. It is nice to drive a new car especially the number of miles I drive per year. I am also thinking of waiting until next year to buy the Lincoln MKX my wife leases. Not much of a point here just felt like rambling.

25. Tom says 09 February 2010 at 19:38

I bought a 2002 PT Cruiser in may of ’05 with 52,000 on it. Paid \$9,000. The first three years I kept track of every penny spent. After that I estimated – with pretty good figures to go on.

It’s cost me .29 per mile. I had no finance charges since I paid cash.
I wonder though – should I count what I would have earned on the 9,000 had I invested it? Well, I guess not because then I would have had to finance the car – at a higher rate.

So I’m happy with 29 cents per mile. I’ve previously done better with older cars – especially the one with which I was in two minor accidents that paid me much more than I spent to repair them. But they were also junkers from the start – not much fun to drive. I’m now looking at a two-yr-old Prius.

26. Steven says 16 April 2010 at 16:22

You need to learn the difference between variable cost and overhead cost, and apparently the AAA does too.

This provides a false idea of the cost to drive.

27. Doug says 08 March 2011 at 21:02

But you will be driving a Ford Focus! And the hours you spend in that car you will never get back. Thank-you for showing me in black and white why driving a BMW is such an incredible bargain.

28. Tim Thompson says 27 February 2013 at 09:24

Depreciation is a huge factor in why I only buy used vehicles. I’m paying like 3.75 per gallon right now, so needless to say I only drive places I absolutely have to.

29. AntÃ³nio LourenÃ§o says 24 January 2017 at 11:41

The average British for example spends totally with its car around 70Â£ per week, 280Â£ per month and 3400Â£ per year, just for its automobile. These costs are insurance, fuel, vehicle inspection, vehicle excise duty, car finance, depreciation, maintenance, repairs and improvements, parking, tolls, traffic tickets and washing. This total cost might reach 500Â£ per month but most people disregard it because they pay such expenditures during different periods within the year.
source: autocosts.info