It would be easy if the only cost of commuting to and from work was the cost of the fuel itself. You could just look back over a year’s worth of receipts at gas stations and determine how much you spent in gas during that time period and … voila … there’s the cost of getting to and from work each day.
The reality, though, is that the true cost goes well beyond your average daily fuel expense.
Want to calculate your commuting cost?
*Tool calculates based on AAA’s 2018 estimate for owning and operating a vehicle.
How are these figures determined, you might wonder?
In 2018, AAA estimated that to best understand the true cost of owning and operating a vehicle you had to factor in that average fuel cost as well as the following:
You have to buy a vehicle first, right?
Depreciation is the difference between the new-vehicle purchase price and the estimated trade-in value at the end of five years and 75,000 miles.
Costs are based on a five-year loan, with 10 percent down, at the national average interest rate for five credit rating categories weighted by market share. The loan amount includes taxes and the first year’s license fees, both computed on a national average basis.
Granted this can go up and down with the market.
Costs based on a full-coverage policy for personal use of a vehicle by a driver who is younger than 65 years of age, has more than six years of driving experience, no accidents and lives in a suburban/urban location.
License, Registration and Taxes
Pretty self explanatory.
Maintenance, Repair and Tires
Costs include retail parts and labor for routine maintenance specified by vehicle manufacturers, a comprehensive extended warranty, repairs to wear-and-tear items that require service during five years of operation and one set of replacement tires of the same quality, size and rating as those that came with the car. Sales tax included on a national average basis.
Want to keep reading and get even further details on your specific vehicle type?
See AAA’s Your Driving Costs.