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How much per mile does it cost to drive a car?


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How much per mile does it cost to drive a car? It is important to know how much money it really cost to drive a car especially the depreciation and the cost of petrol or gasoline needed to drive per miles (See also gasoline price history). From there you can judge how much money you will get back when you sell off or trade in the car for any new cars. This information also helps to calculate your personal financial in a better way, such as your car loan (GMAC car loan account), how much money you need to allocate to spend on the car. Let’s begin the calculation.

In some country in Asia, cars are a huge cost for a salary worker and anytime take away 1/3 or even half of their salary. This is because of the high taxation to buy a car especially in Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore…etc. Therefore, to know better of how much does my car cost is much more important then to know how much does my car weigh.

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6 Major things to know about the cost to drive a car

Let’s start your calculation now, take an example that you traveled 10,000miles in a year. Every car give different cost to drive, it depends on the car you drive, you may check out the list of car names.

1. Fuel consumption cost to a car

Fuel consumption is a main calculation about cost to drive a car. The easiest way to calculate cost per mile to drive a car is using the formula “Total fuel cost for full tank/Total miles traveled”. To know what the size of your petrol tank is, you can check out your car owner’s manual, or find the free user manuals. Let say’s a full tank of fuel/gasoline cost $100 to your car, you are able to travel 200miles and you need to refill your fuel again, your cost per mile will be:

$100/200 miles = $0.5 cost per mile on the fuel

2. Depreciation of the car value

This is quite hard to calculate, but you can only judge it base on the current market price. Let’s say a car depreciates $1000 a year, and you are traveling 10,000 miles in a year, the cost to drive this car per mile will be calculated as:

$1000/10,000 = $0.1 cost per mile on the depreciation value

A good choice for people who just start to have a car with low budget is to look for cars under 500 dollars as first car which has a very low depreciation to the car value. $500 dollars for a car, how much it can depreciate again?

3. Tax to drive a car

Do not forget that government tax, road tax, highway tax that we paid every year is another cost to include. If you are paying $300 a year for your car road tax, the cost per mile will be:

$300/10,000 = $0.03 per mile on road tax

4. Car maintenance cost

Car maintenance is another invisible cost to calculate. It depends on what kind of your you drive, either is cars under 1000 dollars or brand new car. Car problems can be very tedious, new car usually no problem at all or with very less problem. The maintenance is including the cost to tune up the car, engine oil, tires…etc. It is said that the maintenance for very old car or classic cars can anytime higher than new car.

5. Car insurance cost

It depends on what type of insurance you are buying. A comprehensive car insurance will cost you more depends on your car, off course it is a lot on a Ferrari or Lamborghini if compare to a normal Ford. You might want to know what is comprehensive car insurance. Back to the calculation, if you are paying $1500 a year for your insurance, cost per mile will calculated as:

$1500/10,000 = $0.15 per mile on car insurance

6. Indirect cost to drive a car

  • Car park cost. Some people are staying in Condominium and apartment, thus a cost to pay a car park monthly to the condominium management has to consider as well
  • Driver’s license yearly renewal fee
  • Parking in some shopping mall or tolls to pay if you are using highway
  • Accident cost (personal injury or property damage or compensation to others)

All these indirect cost will lead some people go for carpooling, vanpooling, riding the bus, walking, or public transport. But some people who love cars very much will still find the way to pay for all this cost, you may want to know why people love cars?

Therefore, your total cost to drive a car per mile has to sum up 1 to 6, then you will know how much per mile does it cost to drive a car.


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