Auto Fuel Consumption Calculations

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Fuel GaugeI recently had a brief conversation with a friend of mine about our car’s fuel efficiency. He drives a Jetta that gets approximately 20-22 mpg “regular driving” (whatever mix of highway/city we manage to get) and my car gets approximately 29-31 mpg “regular driving.” We all realize that fuel efficiency matters, but how much does it matter in actual dollars? It’s really an arithmetic exersize but it’s always fun to stretch your Excel skills and learn some useful statistics.

Assuming that the annual mileage is 15,000 miles, this is the table:

Fuel Cost:
mpg $2/gal $2.25/gal $2.50/gal $3/gal
10 $3,000 $3,375 $3,750 $4,500
15 $2,000 $2,250 $2,500 $3,000
20 $1,500 $1,687.50 $1,875 $2,250
25 $1,200 $1,350 $1,500 $1,800
30 $1,000 $1,125 $1,250 $1,500
35 $857.14 $937.50 $1,071.43 $1,285.71
40 $750 $843.75 $937.50 $1,125
50 $600 $675 $750 $900
60 $500 $562.50 $625 $750

My girlfriend’s manual Honda Civic gets around 40 mpg (!!!) and I know a lot of folks with sub-15 mpg trucks, the difference in what they pay in gasoline a year, assuming $2/gal gasoline (if you can find it!), is $1,250! At $2.25 (still low around here), the difference is $1406.25. I can think of a lot of really nice things to buy with $1,250 a year.

(Photo: chego101)

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4 Responses to “Auto Fuel Consumption Calculations”

  1. Not only that, but the bigger cars/SUVs tend to need more expensive tires and take more time in the repair shop, thus increasing your maintenance budget. Those little Honda Civics just keep on going forever.

  2. Caitlin says:

    4 or 6 cylinder Jetta? I’ve got a VR6 and have been thinking about getting serious about measuring. I know that as a 6 cyl it does get pretty decent mileage…a tank will last for quite a long road trip. I was attached to the 6cyl because it makes me feel safe (as in i can get out of the way quickly etc)

  3. Jose says:

    Love this table. It makes great reference. I wish it was published on national magazines and newspapers so that people understood the cost of driving a huge SUV.

  4. […] responsible investments may be very risky for your investment portfolio.This article from Jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity quantifies the differences between fuel efficiency in cars over the course of a year. The […]

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