How Much Does it Really Cost to Drive Your Car? | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

How Much Does it Really Cost to Drive Your Car?

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How Much Does it Really Cost to Drive Your CarWhen you think about the cost to drive your car, you probably start calculating gas prices and mileage. However, this is just one factor in the overall cost of vehicle ownership. Break down all your expenses to figure out how much you spend on your car each year.

Car Payments

First, there’s the cost to buy a car in the first place. You might decide to finance the purchase and make monthly payments over the next 36, 48, or 60 months. This means you’re not just paying for the car – you’re also making interest payments. If you can, make a larger down payment to decrease how much interest you pay by the end of the loan period.


Your fuel costs are directly related to your miles per gallon. To calculate fuel efficiency, fill up the gas tank and make a note of the odometer reading. The next time you fill up, check the gas pump to see how many gallons you added. Divide the number of miles you drove since you last filled up by the number of gallons you just put in the tank. This tells you the miles per gallon. You can also calculate fuel costs per mile by taking the cost to fill up your tank divided by the number of miles you drove since the last time you got gas.

Of course, your fuel costs will be much lower if you buy a hybrid vehicle. In the case of at-home charging stations for electric cars, don’t forget to account for increased electricity usage when considering the cost to drive your car.

Maintenance & Repairs

Vehicles require routine maintenance to avoid breakdowns and run efficiently. Keep track of the costs to maintain and repair your car each year. Scott’s Fort Collins Auto offers great prices on all the maintenance and repair services you need, including:

Fluids (engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield wiper fluid)


You probably don’t need to pay for new tires every year, but when the time comes to replace them, remember to figure this expensive into the cost to drive your car. You also need to maintain your tires with rotation, balancing, and wheel alignment services. These tasks can only be performed by a mechanic in a professional auto shop like Scott’s.


Driving without car insurance isn’t just dangerous – it’s against the law. Fortunately, many competing companies offer coverage, so you can shop around to find the best deal. Take your monthly insurance payment into account when figuring out the cost to drive your car.

License, Registration & Taxes

When you purchase a new or used car, you owe taxes to the city. You also pay license and registration fees each year, which vary based on your vehicle’s make, model, value, and registration period.


You don’t actually pay depreciation costs, but the fact that your car loses value as time goes by affects its trade-in value. Keep this in mind if you decide to upgrade to a new car in the future.

Other Costs

A few miscellaneous expenditures apply only to people who own cars, including parking, tolls, washing, and detailing. Keep track of these expenses for your records.

Lower the Cost to Drive Your Car with Maintenance at Scott’s Fort Collins Auto

Maintenance is a major expense that comes with owning a car. Let the experienced, ASE-certified technicians at Scott’s Fort Collins Auto provide the service you need at an affordable price. You’ll be pleased to learn that regular maintenance also improves fuel efficiency, cutting the costs of car ownership even more. We offer tires, tire maintenance, and auto repairs as well, making us your one-stop-shop for all your vehicle service needs.

To schedule your next visit, please contact us online or call (970) 682-4202 and let us know when you’ll be stopping by.

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