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How Much Will I Spend On Gas This Year?

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I’m in the mood for some calculations. I paid $2.47 per gallon for gasoline last night. What will it cost me to drive to work this year, assuming $2.50 is the average I’ll pay?

I drive 80 miles to and from work (combined) each day. To make the calculation easy, let’s say each year I work 5 days a week 50 weeks a year. The total work-related miles driven in a year is 20,000.

A full tank of gas, if I ran the car (Honda Civic LX) all the way to an empty tank, will get me 375-400 miles at the very most. (Of course, I fill up well before I completely run out, but that shouldn’t matter for the calculation.) My gas tank fits 13.2 gallons of gasoline. Using the more realistic estimate of 375 miles per tank (400 would be stretching it), that’s 28.4 miles per gallon.

20,000 miles at 28.4 miles per gallon is a little over 700 gallons of gasoline a year. At the average price of $2.50 per gallon, that’s $1,750 spent this year on work-related driving.

Despite the relatively high cost of gasoline, AAA thinks people will still travel for Labor Day, and most of the world still pays more than we do in the United States.

Update: Frank over at Hello, Dollar! responded to this article with his own including tips for saving a few bucks including checking the tires, emptying the tunk, slowing down, driving sensibly, and using the air conditioner sparingly. These are good tips; in fact over this past weekend I cleaned out my entire car and inflated the tires to their optimal pressure.

Here are some more tips:
* Combine errands so you don’t have to go out as much, especially if it would mean going back and forth into “town,” similar to where I live.

* Buy the lowest grade fuel that your car will handle. Some people swear their car won’t run if they don’t buy super. It’s possible, but it’s probably worth it to test the theory if the decision was made based on someone else’s experience.

* Get a cash back credit card that rewards you for your gasoline purchases. The Citibank Dividend Platinum Select card has no fees and 5% cash back on purchases at gasoline station among other things.

* Keep your engine tuned with regular check-ups from a reputable mechanic. (But don’t waste money on dealership maintenance like I did earlier this year.)

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published August 23, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 3 comments }

avatar Greg

Most people in the world pay more, but I would think they do not need to rely on a car as much as most Americans do.

avatar TheDividendGuy

Increasing gas prices hurt…but I agree with the AAA that people will continue to drive. I know I will…I still need to get around with my kids etc.

avatar OL

Just posted the fuel economy for my 2004 Honda Civic LX Automatic over the last year.

http://www.optimizedliving.com/2005/08/27/fuel-economy-of-2004-honda-civic-lx-automatic/

Lines up fairly well with your numbers.

–OL

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