Thursday, June 12, 2008

Driving Adds Up

Driving Cost Estimates

Blah blah blah price of gas blah blah blah. You already've heard all that.

On the Road Again

Our Chevy 2007 Malibu gets roughly 24 MPG city, 30 MPG freeway. Given the cost of gas, the miles per gallon and a couple of quick lookups on Google Maps, I now know how much it's costing us to go places. Like, say, $0.48 to visit the inlaws ($0.24 each way).

I kept separate columns for City and Freeway miles, and we just have to think for ourselves which trip belongs where.

Run the Numbers

This is a stupidly simple spreadsheet, but you might as well see how much you're paying for yourself.
  1. Download it as ODS, XLS

  2. Enter your MPG and local price per gallon. Get your MPG estimate at if you don't know it

  3. Use the dollars per trip to estimate the value of using public transportation, ride sharing, getting a new car, quitting work (just kidding), etc.

View the whole thing online

Next Steps

I have no idea how many times we drive different places. We should start tracking that so we can see if we can cut out trips to the inlaws ($0.48!), to the grocery store ($0.12!), etc.

This week I will also be checking our tire's air pressure and getting those pumped up correctly. We are also working to drive more smoothly to improve our mileage.

Scooter Love?

Lots of people are getting scooters thinking that they're going to save a ton of money. At least for us, this wouldn't have been the case if we'd bought the scooter ourselves. My scooter is a 2006 Honda Helix which was $5,000 new. Since I only drive it in the city, the money saved per mile is $0.07. At that rate, I'll need to incur no other expenses for the scooter (oil, tires, insurance, etc.) and drive 71428.57 miles.

That's not going to happen, and so I don't think I can recommend getting a scooter (at least at this price) in addition to a car.

If we hadn't been given the scooter we would have needed a second car eventually. In the case of buying a scooter instead of a second car, it can make sense.

Don't forget to get a helmet.

1 comment:

Brack said...

I agree... In our particular situation, we might actually do well to go ahead and get a gas guzzler... If we buy a camping trailer, we'd have a vehicle to haul it, and right now, guzzlers are CHEAP. I drive 7 miles (3 to work, 4 from work) each day, so gas mileage isn't a huge factor. Good thoughts!