Why Drive Less?

Leetsdale traffic 2When considering the cost of driving, most people think only about how much they pay for gas. But consider these other “costs” that come with driving alone to work everyday:

  • Air Quality
  • Health – Stress and Activity
  • Traffic Congestion
  • Time

Use the educational tool below to calculate BOTH your Direct Driver’s Expenses and the Indirect Costs of your driving habits.

Once you consider the true cost of driving alone, other transportation options such as carpooling, vanpooling, riding the bus, walking, riding a bike or telecommuting may look more attractive. Find more information about these alternative modes in our Resources For Residents section.

To calculate your true cost of driving…

  • Enter information about your commute and driving habits.
  • Use the driver costs provided or change amounts to reflect your own expenses.
  • The calculator gives you your annual vehicle mileage and calculates your true cost of driving.
This information is provided by commutesolutions.org, and updated with Denver, Colorado information.  *this table does not provide automatic calculations

Your daily MILES TO AND FROM WORK (please round to the nearest mile)
Add in your average daily NON-WORK MILES
Your Annual Vehicle Mileage is:
1. Determine your Annual Vehicle Mileage
   (number of miles you drive in one year)
2. Your Direct Driver’s Expenses


Fixed costs (insurance, registration, motor vehicle taxes)  ¢ per mile
Finance Charge  ¢ per mile
Depreciation  ¢ per mile
Fuel  ¢ per mile
Maintenance and Tires  ¢ per mile
Residential Parking  ¢ per mile
Parking and Tolls: user paid (if applicable)  ¢ per mile
Travel Time (with average delays)  ¢ per mile
Accidents (personal costs of injury and property damage)  ¢ per mile
  Total Direct Drivers Expense per mile
3. Your Indirect Costs 


Accidents (government-paid cleanup, lost economic activity, etc.)   ¢ per mile
State and Local Construction, Improvements and Repair  ¢ per mile
State and Local Highway Maintenance and Operations  ¢ per mile
Parking (commercial and employer-paid, including government tax)  ¢ per mile
Waste Disposal (highway cleanup, tire and oil removal)  ¢ per mile
Air Pollution Damage (health costs, crops, trees, materials, etc.)  ¢ per mile
External Resource Consumption Costs (economic trade and natural resource use)  ¢ per mile
Road Noise (property value decrease and abatement)  ¢ per mile
CO2 Reduction (motor vehicles only)  ¢ per mile
Water Pollution and Hydrologic Impacts  ¢ per mile
Transportation Diversity and Equity  ¢ per mile
Barrier Effects on Pedestrians and Bicycles  ¢ per mile
Land Use Impact Costs  ¢ per mile
Roadway Land Value  ¢ per mile
Congestion Cost  ¢ per mile
  Total Indirect Costs per mile associated with driving
  The Total Dollar Cost per mile (Direct Driver’s Expenses plus Indirect Costs)
4. The Actual Cost of Your Driving per year (Annual Mileage times Cost/Mile)
  • Gas prices are updated the first Tuesday of every month, from the Fuel Gauge Report for the Denver, Colorado area. Most recent update: $3.65/gal, June 20, 2012.
  • A list of resources and basic assumptions used to create this calculator can be found here
Transportation Solutions Foundation

425 South Cherry St, Suite 750
Denver, CO 80246



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