Your Driving Costs Calculator

If you are considering purchasing a vehicle, it’s important to know that the real cost of owning a car is more than just the monthly payment. The AAA Your Driving Costs calculator provides customized estimates of the total cost to own and drive a vehicle, as well as a categorical cost breakdown.
55/45%

This tool provides generalized information about vehicle ownership costs intended for comparative purposes. Actual ownership costs will vary. All numbers provided are estimates based on the selections made by the user.

Scroll down for information about how driving costs are calculated.


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How Vehicle Ownership Costs Are Calculated

AAA’s estimates of the cost to own a vehicle are based on financing a vehicle, owning and driving it for five years, and trading in that vehicle at the end of those five years. The total cost of ownership is the sum of the following six cost categories.
  • Depreciation: The difference between what the vehicle was purchased for and eventually sold/traded in for. It is the amount of money lost as the vehicle’s value diminishes with time.
  • Financing: The amount paid in interest on the loan used to purchase a vehicle.
  • Fuel: The cost of fueling a vehicle, whether that be gasoline, diesel, or electricity. Fuel prices, fuel economy, miles driven, and the type of driving you do (city versus highway) will affect this cost.
  • Insurance: The cost of a full-coverage policy for a driver with at least six years of driving experience.
  • Fees: Includes all government taxes and fees due upon purchase as well as fees due each year, such as registration.
  • Maintenance: This includes routine maintenance, unexpected repairs, and tire replacements.

Customizable to You

  • State: Choose your state of residence to customize the various cost categories for your location, or choose “United States” for an estimate based on national averages.
  • Annual Miles Driven: Select 10-, 15-, or 20-thousand miles per year depending on how much driving you expect to do.
  • City/Driveway Driving Ratio: Drag to the left if you drive more in the city and to the right if you drive more on the highway. The default value of 55/45% is based on EPA fuel economy estimations.
  • Vehicle: Select the specific vehicle you are interested in by choosing the year, make, model, and trim. Choose new vehicles or used vehicles back at least five years.
  • Fuel Price: After you hit “calculate” to view your cost estimate, you can customize further by adjusting the fuel or electricity price.

©2022 Vincentric, LLC. The data provided by Vincentric is provided AS IS without warranty or guarantee of any kind, and Vincentric disclaims all warranties or conditions of any kind, expressed or implied, with respect to such data, including the implied warranties of merchantable quality and fitness for a particular purpose.

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Your Car is a Big Investment...
and maintenance is key to keeping it running well and on the road for many miles to come. AAA recommends timely service checkups to ensure that your engine runs smoothly and efficiently, all systems perform optimally and that all parts, from spark plugs to windshield wipers, work effectively.

To know more about the services your car needs and when they should be completed, refer to your vehicle owner’s manual. It will include a routine maintenance checklist and the time points for completing recommended services. Note that maintenance schedules do differ depending on the make and model of the car, so it is important to follow the manual specific to your vehicle.

While timely maintenance is important and a way to avert unnecessary auto repairs down the road, as an informed vehicle owner, you should also be aware of over maintenance. See the Avoid over Maintenance article.
An auto repair facility recommending additional non-scheduled maintenance services without completing a professional diagnostic inspection and validating why the work should be done may be selling you something your car does not necessarily need.

AAA recommends taking your vehicle to a reliable auto repair shop with skilled technicians qualified to perform all the needed services your owner’s manual recommends. For trusted service, use the search feature to find a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility near you. Each of the more than 7,000 auto repair shops in the AAA network undergoes a comprehensive investigation and meets AAA’s stringent standards. Skilled mechanics will evaluate and service your vehicle with quality auto parts and products, and AAA members receive money-saving benefits.

Even when the unexpected happens on the road and you need a tow truck, do not go to just any garage. Direct the driver to tow your vehicle to a nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair shop.

For more tips about car maintenance and care, read the articles available on this site and view the videos posted to the AAA YouTube channel.

To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago. The AAA Car Guide is part of AAA's ongoing efforts to help you better understand and make use of your vehicle. For more information, check out AAA.com/carguide.