A cost comparison with car commuting

A cost comparison with my car commute

People who bike to work still need a car for leisure on the weekend, so they don’t sell out their car. Let’s think how much cost you can save by switching from car commute to “bike to work" with keeping your car.

Cost you can save by “bike to work"

  • Gas charge
  • Fee for replacing engine oil
  • Maintenance costs depending on the mileage or the abrasion of tires
  • Car insurance fee (by switching the use purpose form “for commute" to “for daily and leisure use"

For example, 1,500cc class compact cars cost like following.

Gas charge for my car commuting

Distance(one way) Daily Monthly Annually
3 miles
1.13 USD
22.50 USD
270.00 USD
6 miles
2.25 USD
45.00 USD
540.00 USD
9 miles
3.38 USD
67.50 USD
810.00 USD
12 miles
4.50 USD
90.00 USD
1,080.00 USD
(Calculation based on: Engine displacement: 1,500cc, Gasoline mileage: 28 miles/gal, Unit gas price: 5.00USD/gal Work days: 20 days/month)

Gas charge for my car commuting

Distance(one way) Daily Monthly Annually
3 miles
1.13 USD
22.50 USD
270.00 USD
6 miles
2.25 USD
45.00 USD
540.00 USD
9 miles
3.38 USD
67.50 USD
810.00 USD
12 miles
4.50 USD
90.00 USD
1,080.00 USD
(Calculation based on: Engine displacement: 1,500cc, Gasoline mileage: 28 miles/gal, Unit gas price: 5.00USD/gal Work days: 20 days/month)

On the other hand, the maintenance fee of a bicycle (e.g. repair and exchange of tires) costs less than 100 USD per a year only.

Considering traffic jams, above gas cost will actually be more. You also pay for maintenance such as exchange of tires.

If you bike to work for 6 miles one way, you can save 54 USD gas cost, 60 USD engine oil replacement fee (2 times, once by 1,900 mileages) and furthermore 50 to 100 USD car insurance fee by switching the purpose usage from “For commute” to “For daily/leisure use”.

As a result, you can save more than 600 USD per a year. You can cover expenses to buy a professional sport type bicycle (e.g. a cross bike) very soon.

Let’s see the actual cost you can save in consideration with above.

Cost you can save by “bike to work”

Distance to commute
(One way)
1st year 2nd year 3rd year 5th year 10th year
3 miles
350 USD
700 USD
1,050 USD
175 USD
3,500 USD
6 miles
650 USD
1,300 USD
1,950 USD
3,250 USD
6,500 USD
9 miles
920 USD
1,840 USD
2,760 USD
4,600 USD
9,200 USD
12 miles
1,220 USD
2,440 USD
3,660 USD
6,100 USD
12,200 USD
(Calculation based on: Engine displacement: 1,500cc, Gasoline mileage: 28 miles/gal, Unit gas price: 5 USD/gal, Work days: 20 days/month, Replacement of engine oil: 30 USD/1,900 miles), saving of insurance fee: 50 USD/year (Switching main use from “For commute” to “For daily/leisure use”), maintenance cost for a bike: 50 USD/year (Repairing flat tires, tire replacement, replacement of lamp battery etc.).
You can go to Hawaii if you start bicycle commuting

Even if you partially use your car to commute due to rain, you can save big money within 3 to 5 years period.

If you can't get your wife's permission to purchase 500 USD price range bicycle, how about to say, that we can save as much money as we can travel to Hawaii after 3 years if I buy this bicycle.