Vehicle Operating Cost Calculator

This calculator will help you to estimate the cost of owning and operating your car.

Total vehicle price including options:
Applicable sales-tax (%):
Annual cost of licensing:
Extended warranty cost, if applicable:
Financing this vehicle?:
Loan interest rate (APR %) GET TODAY'S RATE:
Loan term (years):
Annual insurance premium:
Annual mileage:
Estimated MPG rating:
Local cost of gasoline per gallon:
How old is the automobile? (in years):
Estimated monthly maintenance & repair cost:
How many years do you expect to own this car?:
Residual value at end of ownership period (you can estimate used car values using a tool like this one from Consumer Reports. If you leave these blank we will use the following annual depreciation % by year: 28, 20, 16, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, & 1 for all subsequent years after the nineth year):
Tax, License, and Extended Warranty Costs:
Depreciation costs:
Finance costs:
Insurance costs:
Fuel costs:
Maintenance & Repair Costs:
Total cost of buying and owning the car:
Annual cost to own and operate this vehicle:
Cost per mile:

Current Auto Loan Rates

We publish current auto loan rates for new & used vehicles. Car buyers can use these quotes to estimate competitive loan rates before dealing with an auto dealership in a negotation where the dealer has the upper hand and charges too high of an interest rate or tries to require unneeded extended warrany programs as a condition for extending funding.

Operating Costs for Your Auto Needs

Purchasing a New Car.

The first step toward free-wheeling independence is made by acquiring a vehicle to drive.  Some budget conscious consumers stay true to the best method for keeping car-buying costs low; they buy exactly what they can afford, without the need for financing.  Others seek vehicles beyond their immediate means, entering into lending arrangements that accommodate purchases exceeding cash on hand.

Regardless of which approach is preferred for getting on the road, staying mobile presents its own unique set of considerations.  Operating cost calculator helps drivers estimate the amount of money required to keep cars on the road, accounting for several expense categories related to vehicle purchase and operation.

Financing Expenses

Purchase price and financing charges represent the opening volley for car owners, who continue to rack up charges over the life spans of their vehicles.  Several factors influence the cost of buying cars, including principal and interest.

Even if you pay cash for your vehicle, the purchase price must be amortized, to determine monthly operating costs associated with the original purchase. True loan amortization is easy to follow, illustrated by schedules governing your loan.  Each monthly principal payment provides the first building block for evaluating monthly vehicle operating expenses.  Fees and charges associated with loan origination and commitment are also included in the overall cost of buying your car, so they must also be accounted for when calculating total operating costs. Don't forget to include any down payment amounts you make in your comprehensive evaluation of operating costs.

Interest is another major influence on vehicle operating costs, representing the additional expenses associated with term repayment.  Installment loans like those used to buy cars are figured-in to monthly operating costs using the same number for each month; a benefit of this type of financing alternative.

Extended warranties are also offered by car dealerships, covering automobile purchases against unanticipated vehicle problems and repairs. When this optional coverage is selected, it must also be accounted for in total operating cost calculations.

Associated Costs

Once purchase prices and financing costs are considered, other expenses associated with driving are plugged-in. Sales tax and licensing are some of the first add-ons taxing car-buyers' budgets. Whether paid at dealerships or submitted directly to motor vehicle departments, sales tax and annual licensing fees must be broken down for accuracy.

Insurance is an oft-forgotten vehicle expense, surprising some car buyers who fail to assess it in advance.  Vehicle make and model, as well as the area where it is housed, each impact the total annual insurance payment required.  Performance and luxury vehicle owners expect to pay the highest premiums.

Specific mechanical considerations also influence the total operating cost of a vehicle. Mileage, for example, is an important add-on expense, estimated by dividing the average number of miles driven, by the mean fuel requirements during the evaluation period.  The prevailing cost of gas is then used to tabulate dollar-amount totals representing the gasoline costs added by your driving regimen.

Though they are harder to predict than other automobile operating costs, repair and maintenance expenses place an operating burden on vehicles too.  For the most accurate assessment, estimate anticipated costs, to plug-in to operating cost calculator.