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# How to calculate wear and tear on car

edited 3:32PM
I'm considering taking a job driving two kids to and from school each day. It's about 90 miles extra each school day. How much would I need to be compensated for wear and tear to make this worth it?
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• edited January 2008
There's no way to accurately answer this, but you can do some math do get somewhere in the ballpark.

I'm assuming gas is paid, so we'll ignore that. Actual wear-and-tear on drivetrain components doing an extra 90 miles of highway driving per day is probably pretty negligable, but you should factor in increased mileage-depreciation. I'd say it'd be fair to look up how much your vehicle's value slips per mile at the kelly blue book.com or similar. Look at your maintinence schedule and divide the cost of basic services by the service interval-- the result will be how much those things cost per mile theoretically. Same thing with tires-- treadlife divided by cost.

That's how I'd start out, anyways. Actually quantifying the cost of miles used on your car is difficult, since you don't just get X miles and when they're up they're up. But at the same time, if you're puting an extra 20,000 miles on your car per year, it is going to get worn out a lot faster and you're going to have to get a new one sooner. I suppose you could take however much you bought your car for and divide it by however many miles you think you'll get out of it, but it'd be little more than a guess.
• edited January 2008
There are several ways to go about it. First way is to ask pepole who work for large companies or school boards what they get paid for driving their own vehicles. One large US company I know pays 38 cents per mile for the first 5000 miles traveled each year. Then it drops to 25 cents per mile. That gives you some idea. So, for 200 school days, you would get 5000X0.38=\$1900 plus 13,000X0.25=\$3250, for a total of \$5150.00, or \$25.75 per trip.

Another way is to ask the IRS what mileage they allow as a tax deduction on the tax return. They will have some figure, higher than the company scale, since many self-employed people charge for their vehicles that way.

A third way, which is more subject to dispute, is to take your gas cost per mile, add the projected maintenance and repairs per miles, usually about 7.5-10 cents, add any extra insurance you may have to pay, and allow for the more rapid wear out and depreciation of your car.

A better way is to add up all your current car expenses, including depreciation (make it level, say \$15000 over 10 years=\$1500/year), insurance, gas, washes, maintenance & repairs, and divide by your miles driven per year to get what it is costing you now per mile. Then charge that, so make sure you don't lose!

Under no circumstances should you accept only "out of pocket" expenses, such as gas and oil, as compensation. You would really be losing out on that method. A quick way to settle any argument will be to go to a AAA office and get their pamphlet on car ownership costs. They have a very high number, but showing it will convince your client how good a deal they are getting.

Whatever you charge will be less than a taxi ride.

There is also the wear and tear on yourself; I would charge the time , say 2 hours and multiply this by what you would normally be expexted to be paid. If that is \$15 per hour that's, say \$30 for each day.

If you add \$25.75 and \$30 you should be paid \$55.75 per day.

Don't let somone try to low ball you, because there are a lot of hidden cost and risks in transporting kids to school.

• edited January 2008
Just figure the IRS reimbursement rate of somewhere aroung 50 cents a mile. That'll include wear and tear, fuel, insurance, and so on for the average car. That's a lot of miles.
• edited January 2008

One of the risks (and related expenses) is the issue of having appropriate liability insurance since you will be transporting passengers and being paid for it.

Don't believe anyone who says something like, "Oh, I wouldn't sue you!". In reality, in the event of an accident, they will sue you for everything that you own and if you don't have insurance appropriate for this type of business, you could be financially ruined.

I would strongly suggest that you consult an attorney prior to embarking on this business venture.
• edited January 2008
VDC; very good advice, and something I should have stressed.
• edited January 2008
About \$170 each way. It isn't worth it at any price. It's worth \$120 for just your time.
• edited January 2008
On the local news here tonight it was reported that a local cop had given a few firefighters a ride across town in the cruiser while they were attending a conference or something. The cruiser crashed and one of the guys was hurt pretty bad.
The city had to cough up 175k dollars (the limit allowed by law) to settle their end of the suit and the remainder is still being squabbled over.

That also brings up another point. This means you're carrying passengers for hire so your state may require a CDL of some sort.
As VDCdriver mentions, get involved in even a minor wreck (even if someone else is at fault) and they may go after you anyway.

Is this in Montana or something? 45 miles seems like a bit much for a 1-way trip to school.
• edited January 2008
That also brings up another point. This means you're carrying passengers for hire so your state may require a CDL of some sort.

Bingo! That's the point I was going to make. The government sets a mileage reimbursement amount that accounts for fuel and vehicle maintenance etc. Last I looked it was \$0.52. Easy enough for you to check and use that as a guide for your transportation costs. Insurance and all the other business expenses will have to be weighed in too. Once you accept money, you're operating a business and therefore subject to all that goes along with it. People are always nice until something goes wrong and the lawyers start bending their ears (I can get you the money you DESERVE...)
• edited January 2008
Excellent point VDC. I have friends who are realtors and no longer take prospective buyers in their cars to see homes because of the liability concerns and added insurance expense.
• edited January 2008
Thank you all. We had already gotten similar figures and were leaning away from it. We just wanted some other opinions. To answer a question, this person's kids go to a Catholic school on the other side of the metro area. Thanks again.
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