Got to wondering about the cost of that trip to Haymarket. The trip is about 15 miles round trip and I get about 20 miles to the gallon on that drive.
Let’s do this per day. The typical American drives about 30 miles per day. If I’m getting 20 miles per gallon overall then at $2.60/gallon that’s $3.90/day. The insurance is about $1.25/day. The car’s maintenance is about $2.50/day (for example the new tires will cost me $260 over the internet). I estimated the 5$/day depreciation using kbb.com. If capital costs me 5% a year and the car is worth $12K; then the cost of capital is about $1.60 day.
$3.90 -- gas $5.00 -- depreciation $2.50 -- maintenance $1.60 -- cost of capital $1.25 -- insurance --------- $12.65 -- Total/day $.42 -- cost/mile assuming 30 miles/day
The 15 file trip to Haymarket included a dollar for parking so the trip to Haymarket cost about $7.33.
Taking a cab would have cost about 4-5 times that much. The cost of the bus/subway combo pass is $2.34 per day. One reason I got to thinking about this was that we just shipped my son’s junk off to college and UPS charged a “fuel” surcharge; which let me to wonder what percentage of their costs actually are fuel. Shipping him, i.e. his plane flight, is amazingly cheap. 7.1 cents a mile.
So far I’ve updated this a few times. First because I had the wrong #s for the insurance; particularly because we just dropped my daughter off the insurance. Secondly because I’d forgotten the cost of capital (thanks Martin). Then we decided that the car’s trip computer is very confusing and I had the wrong distance to Haymarket. A few people have argued that my original $1.50/day for maintainance was too low, so I raised that. I originally estimated the depreciation by just playing with the milage; which got about ten cents a mile. I’ve now played with the age of the car and that adds another 7 cents a mile. Mark Denovich provided the autoclub data for new car cost of ownership. 9/13/05: IRS raises the milage rate to 48.5 cents per mile.
And then we have this poor guy.