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Miles driven
Old 01-28-2016, 11:53 AM   #1
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Miles driven

Something I really never looked too closely at until recently is mileage.

Apparently between my wife and I we put 52,000 miles on our two vehicles, Camry and Silverado since we purchased them.

I did the math, it looks like our gas bill is around .07cents/mile and if you add in insurance, registration, maintenance costs like oil, tires, rotation, wiper blades etc...it about doubles to .15cents/mile.

We put 2200+ miles on the Camry some months because she drives for work, I average about 1000miles/month on the truck.

We put a total of 39.500 miles on our vehicles in 2015. That seems like a lot when I type it out. That included a road trip down south that racked up a few thousand miles as well.

Hopefully we can reduce this in 2016 a bit as I know every mile we don't drive saves us .15c now. DH does get to claim mileage at .55c/mile when working so that certainly helps.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:01 PM   #2
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I bought my Toyota Venza 6 years ago and have put 23K miles on it since then, less than 4K miles/year. That includes only one hurricane evacuation to Eutaw, Alabama (whoopee?) and no other out-of-state road trips.

I live in a very urban inner suburb, and although I drive as much as I want to drive, honestly everything is close by. Most of my driving is going on short pleasure drives within my suburb.

I must admit that with advancing age and associated crankiness, I don't have as much patience with (other) crazy drivers any more. So, my pleasure drives have been getting shorter lately because they are less pleasurable. The main reason I continue them is to "exercise" my car a little.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:06 PM   #3
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Wow, that is a lot.
Combined we used to avg roughly 15K , when working as we lived close to work.

Once we retired it dropped to 8K until we started taking some trips.

In 2015 we did 17.5K but it was mostly 7 long trips, sometimes one of the cars does not even get used for a month, so I purposefully take it to pick up chinese food once a week.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgtest View Post
Something I really never looked too closely at until recently is mileage.

Apparently between my wife and I we put 52,000 miles on our two vehicles, Camry and Silverado since we purchased them.

I did the math, it looks like our gas bill is around .07cents/mile and if you add in insurance, registration, maintenance costs like oil, tires, rotation, wiper blades etc...it about doubles to .15cents/mile.

We put 2200+ miles on the Camry some months because she drives for work, I average about 1000miles/month on the truck.

We put a total of 39.500 miles on our vehicles in 2015. That seems like a lot when I type it out. That included a road trip down south that racked up a few thousand miles as well.

Hopefully we can reduce this in 2016 a bit as I know every mile we don't drive saves us .15c now. DH does get to claim mileage at .55c/mile when working so that certainly helps.
That actually sounds a bit cheap to me. My two main vehicles are a 2000 Park Ave Ultra and a 2012 Ram Hemi. The Park Ave gets about 17 mpg and the Ram, maybe 14, in the local type driving I mostly do. I just did a quick estimate, and it looks like the Park Ave costs about 15 cents per mile just in gas, while the Ram is about 17 cents. Part of my problem though, is the Buick calls for 93 octane, and the Ram calls for 89, and both are a lot more expensive than 87 octane, at least around these parts.

Also, keep in mind that things such as insurance, registration, and car payments, as well as some maintenance/repair items that are time based rather than mileage based, are fixed costs. You're going to have them whether you drive the car or not, so driving less won't automatically save you that 15 cents per mile.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgtest View Post
Something I really never looked too closely at until recently is mileage.

Apparently between my wife and I we put 52,000 miles on our two vehicles, Camry and Silverado since we purchased them.

I did the math, it looks like our gas bill is around .07cents/mile and if you add in insurance, registration, maintenance costs like oil, tires, rotation, wiper blades etc...it about doubles to .15cents/mile.

We put 2200+ miles on the Camry some months because she drives for work, I average about 1000miles/month on the truck.

We put a total of 39.500 miles on our vehicles in 2015. That seems like a lot when I type it out. That included a road trip down south that racked up a few thousand miles as well.

Hopefully we can reduce this in 2016 a bit as I know every mile we don't drive saves us .15c now. DH does get to claim mileage at .55c/mile when working so that certainly helps.
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Wow, that is a lot
of time spent doing math. And I question your 15 cents/mile, since a lot of those items (registration, insurance, oil, etc.) are going to cost the same whether the car is being driven or is sitting in the garage. I personally would prefer to go where I want to, do what I want to, and just make sure the overall costs fit in the budget. I like a good spreadsheet as well as the next geek, but seriously...
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
I personally would prefer to go where I want to, do what I want to, and just make sure the overall costs fit in the budget.
+1

Before RE'ing a decade ago, DW and I kept pretty good records on commuting expenses (dominated by auto expenses) and tried to minimize them. But now, our cars are used a small percentage of the time for necessary chores and a large percentage of the time for fun/travel. So, like any other discretionary entertainment expense, we drive as we please until the cost meets our budget/what we can afford.

If we get a break in the weather that lets us get out of town (no blizzard!), we're hitchin' up our little camper and heading from Chicago down to Everglades National Park for a few weeks shortly. The trip will likely put 4k miles on the truck. And so be it, we're going to have a ball and budgeted for this expense.
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:00 PM   #7
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In 2015 I put on a total of 10,694 miles. Only 2,276 of those are personal miles. The rest are business miles. If I didn't have to work any more and could talk myself out of going to Florida for the winter then my total miles would be around 2000/yr.
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:25 PM   #8
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A while back I did a similar analysis while covering my budget and concluded that I was ignoring (like almost everyone) many of the hidden costs involved in driving. It's not just gas... gas is only 25-50% of the cost of driving.

(everyone will have different numbers depending on car they drive and number of miles driven. I've always chosen to take care of a car with regular maintenance because they last me 10 years and 200K miles if I do)

Here was my equation at the time:
Car: 2006 Honda Accord
Cost New: $25,000
Life Expectancy: 200,000 miles
MPH: 27 average I found over time
Miles per year: 20,000
Maintenance Items:
Tires replaced every 3-4 years ($250/yr average)
Oil change every 3 mo ($200/yr average cost)
Alignment ($75/yr average)
Misc Car care ($500/yr average) - minimal or close to $0 in earlier years, but higher in later years... after this goes above $1000 a year I start to look at retiring the vehicle


Assuming I could sell the car for $1,000 at the end when it's got that many miles the cost of the car itself for 200,000 miles of driving is $24,000 or about 12 cents a mile. The gas comes out to 11.1 cents a mile (I chose $3 a gallon as a rough guess about the average I've paid since 2006). Maintenance comes out to 5.1 cents per mile.

Add those all together and I've spent 28.2 cents per mile driven, or about $5,640 a year for the privilege to drive 20,000 mile a year. Now most of that mileage is vacations and road trips, which I am willing to accept, because I LOVE it.


What I concluded was that gas isn't as big of a concern to me as it once was. The cost of the car and the maintenance have always been a higher per mile cost than the gas. This number also helps me to represent trips in a cost to drive. So if I'm driving on a road trip that'll take me 2,000 round trip, I know it's costing me about $564 to do so... in total car transportation cost... maybe I should fly more. Haha

Babbling at this point, not sure if it helps anyone else.
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
of time spent doing math. And I question your 15 cents/mile, since a lot of those items (registration, insurance, oil, etc.) are going to cost the same whether the car is being driven or is sitting in the garage. I personally would prefer to go where I want to, do what I want to, and just make sure the overall costs fit in the budget. I like a good spreadsheet as well as the next geek, but seriously...
I came to this math using todays current gas prices. I usually save $5 a tank of gas when I fill up double coupon Wednesday.

I thought I drove a lot but I am still working and have kids so that might have something to do with it.
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FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by EvrClrx311 View Post
A while back I did a similar analysis while covering my budget and concluded that I was ignoring (like almost everyone) many of the hidden costs involved in driving. It's not just gas... gas is only 25-50% of the cost of driving.

(everyone will have different numbers depending on car they drive and number of miles driven. I've always chosen to really take car of a car with maintenance because they last me 10 years and 200K miles if I do)

Here was my equation at the time:
Car: 2006 Honda Accord
Cost New: $25,000
Life Expectancy: 200,000 miles
MPH: 27 average I found over time
Miles per year: 20,000
Maintenance Items:
Tires replaced every 3 years ($250/yr average)
Oil change every 3 mo ($200/yr average cost)
Alignment ($75/yr average)
Misc Car care ($500/yr average) - minimal or clse to $0 in earlier years, but higher in later years... after this goes above $1000 a year I start to look at retiring the vehicle


Assuming I could sell the car for $1,000 at the end when it's got that many miles the cost of the car itself for 200,000 miles of driving is $24,000 or about 12 cents a mile. The gas comes out to 11.1 cents a mile (I chose $3 a gallon as a rough guess about the average I've paid since 2006). Maintenance comes out to 5.1 cents per mile

Add those all together and I've spent 28.2 cents per mile driven, or about $5,640 a year for the privileged to drive 20,000 mile a year. Now most of that mileage is vacations and road trips, which I am willing to accept.


What I concluded was that gas isn't as big of a concern to me as it once was. The cost of the car and the maintenance have always been a higher per mile cost than the actual car. This number also helps me to represent trips in a cost to drive. So if I'm driving on a road trip that'll take me 2,000 round trip, I know it's costing me about $564 to do so... in total car transportation cost.

Babbling at this point, not sure if it helps anyone else.

I like the analysis. I was curious to know how much these road trips ACTUALLY cost as I can see you were as well. I need to stop driving so much. I think I will try to plan these quick trips around town better so I'm not doubling back as much. No more running home on lunch or running errands on lunch, I will do these on my drive home and when its convenient.

I would take the bus but I value my time more than I value sitting around waiting for a bus.
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FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:20 PM   #11
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Right now, I live in a suburban/rural area that is fairly hilly. Some things are close but most are not. I think I could avoid more car miles if I lived in a more urban/flat area. But, even here, I avoid about 1500 miles per year by riding my bike to the store, gym, doctor, etc.
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Old 01-28-2016, 07:35 PM   #12
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I drive about 11,000 miles/year. It varies a lot depending on vacations.

My wife puts about 300 miles/year on her car.

That's not a typo -- three hundred miles per yer.
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:04 PM   #13
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I drive about 11,000 miles/year. It varies a lot depending on vacations.

My wife puts about 300 miles/year on her car.

That's not a typo -- three hundred miles per yer.
We're not quite that skewed - but still pretty skewed.

I put about 7k miles/year. It would drop dramatically if I didn't drive the kids home from school (they take the bus in the morning but the schedule doesn't work as well in the afternoon. School is 10 miles away - so 20 miles r/t each school day.) My car is also used for family road trips and DH takes it, often, to run errands. I drove about 9k when working.

His truck has about 1k miles/year.

My car is 10.5 years old - and less than 5k miles from hitting the big 100k rollover.
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:06 PM   #14
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In 8 years and 1 month, I've put 212,102 miles on my car (2008 Honda Civic Hybrid)

Edit to add: when considering the all-in cost of driving, don't forget annual taxes, registration, emissions test, insurance and interest costs (if purchase was financed)
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:15 PM   #15
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DW has a 25 mile (round trip) commute. Her car was mine originally, bought in March 2013, has 33,000 miles on it. I drove it for a year before handing it off to her and bought an SUV for me. April will be 2 years for that SUV, and it currently has 25,000 miles on it.
We use DW's car for as much driving as we can to try to even out the mileage. But often, while she is at w*rk, I'm driving relatively far distances to go to a new bike rail-trail, hence the reason my car accumulates the mileage it does.
That's why we bought the cars, to use 'em.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:26 AM   #16
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We own 2 cars and put 8000 per year on each of them.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by EvrClrx311 View Post
........This number also helps me to represent trips in a cost to drive. So if I'm driving on a road trip that'll take me 2,000 round trip, I know it's costing me about $564 to do so... in total car transportation cost... maybe I should fly more. .....
I do a similar comparison and on a trip like that I include:
hotel 1 night each way: $100
food stops extra day: $50

However some of this is balanced out by rental cost if I flew: $160/wk.

I prefer to drive as the flexibility to stop along the way to view sites/tourist sites as well as the avoidance of TSA hassle and limited baggage means driving wins out every time.
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:50 PM   #18
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Last summer I bought a new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. It had 80 miles on it and I figured I'd probably only put a couple thousand miles on it the first year since I no longer have to drive to the office every day.

Last week it broke past 13,000 miles. It's just been too much fun to drive.
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Old 01-29-2016, 03:04 PM   #19
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When I was working I averaged 14,000 miles a year.
The last two years I put 50,000 miles on the car plus 8,000 miles on the RV.
I hope the Camry holds up as well as everyone says. I'll probably get tired of long distance road tripping in another 20 years or so.
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Old 01-29-2016, 03:31 PM   #20
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I did the math, it looks like our gas bill is around .07cents/mile and if you add in insurance, registration, maintenance costs like oil, tires, rotation, wiper blades etc...it about doubles to .15cents/mile.
By reducing miles, you also extend the life of your vehicle a LOT, so deferring a new car for 3 or 5 years is probably another huge chunk to put in the math.

When commuting I was 18k-20k per year, (40 miles each way). The only route to get there in just barely an hour was all tolls, so during the height of the gas prices (08/09) I was clocking $20 a day round trip just to get to the office and back, just gas & tolls.

Now I mostly work virtual as I get close to ER, I run about 7k per year as mine is our weekend around town/errands car. DH has always had a 3 mile commute, and a stick that I can't drive, so barely hits 50k by 10 years.
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