The cost of using a car

Cost of operating a small car and a 750 Honda VFR 1994 motorcycle compared to a bicycle.

Keywords: price, car, cost, km, kilometer, year, extra cost, pollution, comparative, bike


Here is a small study inspired by the site which I particularly appreciated because the approach is interesting in particular for the cost of a km by bike.

Indeed, in the year 2000 (5 years already!), I proposed to the transport manager of the Urban Community of Strasbourg, to reward, via financial assistance or tax reduction, the citizens choosing to take their bikes to the place of their car when possible. Obviously I had been "sent for a ride" ... but the idea was not so stupid, taking into account the social cost of pollution ... This all the more so as Strasbourg had developed an exemplary cycle track network (for a big city ).

I then estimated the cost per km of my 750 VFR (I specify, for those who treat bikers as polluters, that I have no car and that drives exclusively with my VFR which consumes 5L / 100)

Learn more download Ledconsommation software and calculating the actual cost per kilometer of your vehicle

Calculating the cost price of a small car

I have tried to estimate the cost per kilometer of a car from my personal experience, and thanks to the maintenance / repair invoices carefully kept.
The figure below shows the cost price per km (in euro cents) as a function of the number of kilometers.

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The purple curve is the cost of maintenance and repairs.

The yellow curve is the difference (purchase price - eventual resale price), divided by the number of kilometers.

The pink curve shows the total of the previous 2s. We can see that this curve does not seem to be able to go below 0.14 € / km.

Details of calculations:

1) Purchase: Renault Clio bought in July 99 (price around 10000 euros).

2) Maintenance: to date (August 2005), the total cost of maintenance has been around 2000 euros for 63000 km, or around 0,03 € / km

3) Resale. I assumed the resale price is divided by 2 every 30000 km.

4) Use. To these 0,14 € / km, we must obviously add the cost of gasoline. For a consumption of 7L / 100 km and 1,08 € / L, this still gives 0.08 € / km, a total cost after resale of 0,22 € / km for a small car.

Before resale this cost would be 0,27 € per km.

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Please note, the goal here is to estimate the additional cost per km of the excessive use of the car for short journeys. I therefore did not take into account the insurance, the technical control… because I suppose that these are paid in all cases.

I also did not take into account the cost of tolls (not very frequent on short trips). On the other hand, if you pay for parking, you can add it to the cost price of your car ... as well as your PV or the price of your car loan ...

Calculation of the cost price of a VFR 750 motorcycle with the same calculation assumptions

1) Moto VFR 750 bought with 33000 km for 5300 €.

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2) Maintenance costs for 15240 km traveled: battery change, oil filter, air filter, regulator and drain: 239 € parts (made by me) and change of 2 tires: 390 € is 629 € in total.

3) Cost of use, total fuel consumed for 5,1 L / 100: 777 L for an average price of 1,08 € / L over the period concerned, i.e. 839 €.

There comes a cost of use before resale of (5300 + 629 + 839) / 15240 = 0,44 € / km.

If resale at 4000 € "today", the cost of use would be 0,18 € / km.

The cost of using a “big” motorbike purchased second-hand is therefore lower after resale and only 15 km traveled than that of a “small” car purchased new… and the phenomenon is even accentuated when the mileage increases. .


- Calculate the cost of using a bicycle
- Use the Ledconsommation software calculating the actual cost per kilometer of your vehicle to make a very accurate estimate of your costs!

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