What is the real cost of being a driver?

Audi A6 Saloon Black Edition interior, steering wheel

For many, driving a vehicle is the easiest way to get from Point A to Point B. Most of us drive to work, to seek out exciting new places, to experience the outdoors, and to simply enjoy the sights that can fill our hearts with joy. While fuel prices are continuing to decline in the world market, there are a multitude of expenses to consider.

To determine the real cost of becoming a driver in this day and age, we need to consider the direct and indirect costs that contribute to the whole. This article will explore the expenses that you should encounter should you decide to become a bonafide driver.

The direct costs

Direct costs of driving include those fees and expenses that are being shelled out by drivers that directly relate to their vehicle. Direct costs can easily be computed by the fixed costs from obtaining a vehicle of your choice. Aside from the amount that you need to shell out to purchase the car of your dreams, you also have to consider insurance fees, license fees, registration fees, and taxes that are related to your vehicle purchase.

Over the years, the value of your car continues to depreciate with continuous use. The difference between what you paid for the vehicle and the amount that you can sell it at a certain period of time determines the cost of depreciation. Expenses for gas, maintenance, and repairs are also included in the direct costs of driving. Car maintenance can go upwards of $500 while changing your set of tires per year can go over $100.

If you borrowed money from the bank to pay for your vehicle, expect to pay finance charges which includes a hefty amount of interest depending on the amount that it would take for you to pay the full amount of your loan. Parking fees and toll fees also adds up a huge chunk of your direct expenses. Valet services can cost more and off-street parking is estimated to amount for up to $1000

The indirect costs

Indirect costs are fees and other charges that is being paid with the help of the government and the taxes that they collect. Travel time is a huge factor of these indirect costs as time and valuable money is also wasted if you find yourself spending hours stuck in traffic. Road accidents rarely occur, mainly the reason why drivers have a hard time estimating the money that they need to repair their vehicles and their health. Every year, highways and back roads are repaired constantly to ensure road safety and travel efficiency. Although drivers don’t usually pay these fees, they are included in the overall cost of driving in America.

Drivers should also consider the damage that vehicles can cause to the air. Even though fuels are improving and getting cleaner and more efficient, cars with high gas mileage still exist today. Air pollution not only damages the lives of people, it also has a direct effect on crops, livestock and it contributes to nitrogen emissions that causes acid rain.

The real cost of driving varies from place to place. The cost of driving in New York may not be the same to that in California, but knowing the value and cost of driving should be calculated and be taken in consideration.


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