How to Calculate Wear & Tear

by Kelvin HayesUpdated July 17, 2023
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As commuters, driving thousands of miles each year to and from work, the primary number we think about is the price of gas -- an ever-growing number. However, a whole slew of other cost considerations are relevant when calculating the true cost of your commute, the largest being the wear and tear. Also known as depreciation, wear and tear defines how much resale value your vehicle loses with each passing mile.

Depreciation Definition

Depreciation is the loss in value of an automobile over time.

Establish the type of vehicle you drive as either a small, medium or large sedan, SUV or minivan. Use the following dollar amounts to complete the wear-and-tear calculation. Small sedan: $2,560 Medium sedan: $3,534 Large sedan: $5,091 SUV: $5,052 Minivan: $4,108

Divide your specific vehicle type's cost number by 15,000, the average number of miles driven each year according to AAA. For example, if you drive a large sedan, divide 5,091 by 15,000 to get 0.3394. This tells you that your wear and tear cost is 33.94 cents per mile.

Multiply your per-mile number based on your vehicle type by the actual number of miles your drove over the last year to determine your exact wear and tear cost. Using the same example from above, if you actually drove 17,500 miles over the last year, multiply .3394 by 17,500, resulting in an annual wear and tear cost of $5939.50.

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