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# What is the average cost per mile to operate a car including depreciation maintenance gasoline and insurance?

Wiki User

2010-04-16 16:12:18

From the AAAIn the US, according to the AAA, the cost of operation is an average of 56 cents per mile. AAA includes the cost of depreciation of a new car, more than \$3,500 per year. The actual cost can be much higher or lower depending on type of car, new or used, and miles driven. The more miles you drive, the lower the cost per mile.

AAA estimates by car size (gasoline \$2.30 per gallon, 60% city driving)

Small car : 50.5 cents (10,000 miles) to 35.4 cents (20,000 miles)

Medium car : 70.2 cents (10,000 miles) to 45.5 cents (20,000 miles)

Large car : 86.8 cents (10,000 miles) to 54.9 cents (20,000 miles)

*The IRS in 2010 allows 50 cents per mile in computing expense deductions.

Cost Per Mile vs. Service Costs

*There is a long explanation that a WikiAnswers contributor had published in Mortgage magazine in March of 2005 under their copyright. Keep in mind insurance, gasoline and depreciation are relative to the vehicle.

Here are excerpts:

As a service writer, I am continually asked, "When should I get rid of my car?" Or I am faced with a distressed customer who has spent \$600.00 on a car that they think they could buy for \$500.00, clamoring that "It's time to get rid of this thing and buy a new one." There were times of internal stress that was felt because our customer was possibly putting money into a vehicle that they thought they shouldn't be, giving the illusion of "ripping off the customer". While we never have a crystal ball to know what will happen in the future, giving the best advice possible is paramount.

For years I fought with doing the right thing for my customer as well as the right thing for my employer. There had to be a better way of answering these questions based on more than what I would do if it was mine or what I felt was right for them. After all, what is their financial obligation compared to mine? That is part of the equation for whoever's car it is. What I needed to know was how it could be answered with a common denominator. We had a customer that came in and needed \$600.00 worth of work on their 1994 Hyundai. They were customers that kept up on the maintenance we recommended and did repairs as required. Being a loyal customer, it seemed reasonable that they would be a good customer to use for number crunching. I added all of their invoices from 36,000 miles to the present mileage. I used these numbers because this is the mileage that the majority of the manufacturers' warranties expire. The current mileage is subtracted from the 36,000-mile warranty expiration point. I then divided the dollars spent by this to get a dollars-per-mile figure. It came out to about \$.08/mile. This didn't mean much at this point. So to get a better comparison to what new car is going to be costing the customer; the purchase price is divided by the first 36,000 miles that it is under warranty. Since a new car owner is getting "problem free driving" for 36,000 miles, the purchase price should not be extended beyond this. Using a purchase price of \$15,500 plus the sales tax, tags, title brings it to about \$17,000 yielding about \$.47/mile. This figure does not include oil changes, tire rotation, interest on a loan or an insurance premium increase. Now that means something! I went back to other loyal customers in our database and found they generally pay \$.07 to \$.13 per mile to run their vehicles. So they save a minimum of \$5,100.00 more annually if they drive 15,000 miles.

Wiki User

2010-04-16 16:12:18
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Anonymous

Lvl 1
2020-06-21 20:15:24

50 cents per mile.