Lifeonfour’s Car Cost Calculator: Total Monthly Car Expenses

Did you ever wonder how much your car really costs you on a monthly or a yearly basis? Well, I certainly have.

To help you understand exactly how much you’re spending on your car each month or year, I’ve put together a simple, yet thorough calculator that allows you to get a sense of those costs.

If some categories in the calculator do not apply to you or your country, simply enter a 0 (zero). You can do the same if you don’t know the exact number for a certain category.

To better understand what I want you to include in each category, simply hover above each category name to get help.

Car Cost Calculator

Result Interpretation

Congrats! You’ve successfully used our Car Cost Calculator! We hope the results provided valuble insights. If you’re feeling confused about things like “depreciation”, I completely understand. Here’s an explanation.

  1. Depreciation
    Depreciation is nothing but a fancy word for loss of value. Due to age, mileage and wear and tear, your car loses value each month. This decrease in resell value is called depreciation.
  2. Depreciation per Month
    Based on the time you own the car and the difference between the price at purchase and the estimate of current value, our calculator provided you with a result on how much money you’re losing each month by simply losing value.
  3. Total Yearly Costs
    This figure tells you exactly how much your car costs you each year, excluding the depreciation.
  4. Monthly Costs With and Without Depreciation
    This reflects the total monthly cost of your vehicle. With this figur you can approximate your car costs for future periods.

How to Optimize and Reduce the Cost of Car Ownership

While it is true that you cannot expenses such registration, road tax and tolls, it is also true that as a car owner you can exploit several ways that can help you reduce the total monthly and yearly cost of car ownership.

Here are just some of my suggestions.

Regular Maintenance

Unless it’s your first time here at Lifeonfour, than you know I’m obsessed with engine and transmission problems. And while regular and meticulous maintenance can seem like a big expense factor, it actually saves you money in the long run.

Especially with transmissions where every problem you choose to ignore only develops into a giant money consuming repair down the road. The same goes for engine.

As soon as you detect issues, get them fixed. Regular check-ups can help identify potential issues early, preventing costly repairs down the road.

DIY Maintenance

If you’re not an expert mechanic then I do not recommend doing a DIY job when changing your brakes or something other that can be potentially dangerous if done incorrectly.

However, there are plenty of things that you can do on your own, without having to dish out money to a mechanic. You can replace your own windshield wipers for instance! Or maybe rotate your tires.

YouTube and the internet is full of DIY car maintenance videos, start learning and save some cash!

Consider Depreciation When Buying a Car

Luxury car brands like Range Rover lose value significantly faster than say a Toyota or a Honda. So if you’re trying to save money, depreciation is major factor and I recommend you take this into account.

Another great tip I can give you is to buy slightly used cars. New cars lose the majority of their value in the first three years. After that, the depreciation rate drops significantly and if you’re able to buy a low-milage 3 year old car with preferrably an extended warranty, you’re golden!

Drive & Park Strategically

We all like to “launch it” sometimes, right? Well, it’s not the best idea for two reasons. It puts additional stress on the car and your fuel consumption goes through the roof.

Talking about through the roof costs, it’s parking. Nowdays, parking is more expensive than ever and if you want to play it low-cost I suggest you do a little research on free parking or low-cost parking before going to your destination. If it’s a bit further from where you normally park, good, use those legs!

Furthermore, I know we all like to drive or commute alone, listening to our podcasts of choice, music of choice or whatever. But carpooling with a person you can tolerate, isn’t that bed, trust me. Oh, and it’s super economical as well!

Plan for Long-Term Expenses

To make sure bigger repairs in the future do not hit you like a truck, set aside a small amount for unexpected car repairs each month. If you drive a high-mileage or older car, bigger repairs are always a possibility.

Setting aside small amounts of money will take away the major feeling of burden once that repair bills flies in, if it ever does, let’s be positive here!

Final Thoughts

Would you add anything to our calculator? Please let me know by using the contact form on our contact page.

If you like the calculator, please share it with your friends and family, thanks!

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