The Cost of Driving in 2018

By Bridget Brown; Posted Nov 19, 2018

The Canadian Automobile Association has created a driving costs calculator to help drivers determine how much they’re paying to operate their vehicles.


You can plug in almost any make and model of vehicle, and with a bit of additional information on where you live and how you drive, you’ll find out how much you’re paying.


What Are You Paying To Drive?


The results are eye opening. For illustration purposes, the CAA chose a common midsize sedan and pickup to use as examples, the Nissan Altima and the Ford F-150.


They based their calculations on an average of 20,000 kms per year, and added in fuel, insurance, license and registration, depreciation and maintenance.


Here is what they came up with:


Nissan Altima (mid-size)

Average consumption: 8.34 L/100km

Fuel cost per year: $1,575

Total annual driving cost: $9,985

Total cost per kilometre: $0.50


Ford F150 (pickup truck)

Average consumption: 12.66 L/100km

Fuel cost per year: $2,681

Total annual driving cost: $12,998

Total cost per kilometre: $0.65


We’re living that Model 3 life lately, so we wanted to see how an electric vehicle compares with the combustion engine vehicles CAA chose to examine. However, the driving costs calculator doesn’t include the Model 3, so we chose an EV that’s more readily available to compare.


We plugged in the numbers for a 2019 Nissan Leaf S 5-door hatchback BEV.


Nissan Leaf (BEV)

Average electricity consumption: 19.36 kWh/ 100 km

Fuel cost per year: $360

Total annual driving cost: $8,461

Total cost per kilometre: $0.42


The driving calculator is great, because it really underscores how depreciation adds to the cost of driving your vehicle. For most people, it’s the single biggest cost of owning a car. However, because it’s a cost and not an expense, i.e., it isn’t paid out and measured against your income, it’s easy to forget that cost exists. It does exist of course, but you can’t do much about it if you need a car.


From that perspective, the total annual driving cost figure somewhat masks the expenses of car ownership you can control by switching to a model that is cheaper to operate.


For example, fuel costs.


If you compare these three models, you’ll see the cost to fuel them is strikingly different. The battery powered Leaf is just $360 /year in Alberta, where we pay a maximum for electricity of 6.8 cents per kWh. To fuel an Altima sedan costs four times that, at $1,575. The Ford F-150 is substantially more expensive to fuel, at $2,681.


Depreciation Does Matter


While drivers may not feel the hit of depreciation the way they do fuel costs, it’s a huge factor in the savings you’ll realize if you choose not to own a car at all. For example, if you decide to ride with us at InOrbis, and you book a same day trip, you’ll pay $0.52/km. If you were to use our service exclusively, under the same circumstances as the calculations above, your costs would be as follows:


InOrbis Rideshare Fare

Total distance driven: 20,000 km

Total annual driving cost: $10,400

Total cost per kilometre: $0.52


So basically, you could have your own chauffeured Tesla for less than it would cost you to run an F150.


Luxury car AND DRIVER or really nice truck you have to drive (not to mention maintain) yourself.


Most people don’t need us to take them 20,000 kms in a year, that’s like driving from Calgary to Edmonton 67 times. (We would, of course, be happy to do that). But if your household currently runs two vehicles, think abou it. Could you transition down to one, and use rideshare services to fill the gap?


It’s worth considering.


It could save you money, and the CAA driving costs calculator is a great tool to find out.



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