The Basics

When calculating the cost of a car it may be useful to estimate the useful life for the vehicle in miles. It's also a good to know how much driving you expect to do on a yearly basis. Using these assumptions, along with the current mileage and price of a car, you can estimate how many useful months remain for the car and how much each of these months will cost you.

Months Remaining

This is calculated by taking the total useful life (in miles) and subtracting the current miles. You then divide this by how many miles you expect to drive per month.

Cost Per Remaining Month

This is calculated by dividing a vehicle's price by how many months are remaining.

Default Values

The default values used for "useful life" is 150,000 miles. The default value for "expected miles driven" in a year is 15,000. These values can be customized by visiting your settings.

These are Rough Approximations

Understand these metrics are very simplied approximations to better compare vehicles assuming all else is equal.

All Else Equal

All else equal is impossible as no two cars are exactly the same. Some vehicles are more expensive for a reason. Also, vehicles typically have a resale or residual value, at the end of it's useful life.

Residual Value

Residual value is not considered in the "cost per remaining months" metric. Keep in mind that many vehicles will likely have a residual value and certain vehicles "retain their value" better than others.

Use These Metrics as a Guide.

Despite the difficulties in comparing different vehicles as it relates to features, resale value, etc., these metrics can be helpful in comparing vehicles.

Register for a free account.