How Much Does My Car Really Cost?

Meet Our Certified Financial Counselor…and this week’s guest blogger, Eli Martin. My last post, sparked Eli’s interest and so we’d thought it would be a good time for him to take over the reigns this week and post his comments…definitely some food for thought. So without further a do, here’s Eli:



Hi I am Eli Martin, Certified Financial Counselor for Hopewell Federal Credit Union.  I was reading Ask Al and I got to thinking, “how much does it cost to drive a car?” 


According to the 2006 edition of AAA’s Your Driving Costs study, the overall average cost of owning and operating a passenger vehicle that is driven 15,000 miles in one year is $7,823, or 52.2 cents per mile. 


With that in mind you can then calculate how much it costs to cover your transportation.  Here is a formula: 


Number of miles driven each year X .522 cents per mile –

 Divide it by your hourly wage 


Example if you drive 12,000 miles per year and your hourly wage is $20 per hour, you are working 313.2 hours just to pay for your vehicle.  If you work a 40 hour work week, you are working close to two months out of the year just to pay for transportation. 


Borrowing to purchase a vehicle increases it’s cost. 


Driving is a significant part to a household’s budget. 


It is equally important to “keep up with the upkeep.”  Few things can destroy a budget faster than car repairs.  I have personally heard from members, “Everything was fine until my car died.”  For members’ without a spending plan, major car bills can force them to borrow or use credit cards.  Which can start a cycle of debt. 


If you are currently in this cycle of debt or want to ensure that you do not end up this cycle of debt, I can help.  Working alongside members’ is like a football game, we will collectively work as a team, to “make plays” or “ways” to make things work and help you get ahead financially.  You can contact me directly at the credit union for an appointment at 740-522-8311 or at


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