Wear & Tear Estimate?

The link below has some numbers from AAA for 2019:

Maintenance, repair and tires 9.18 cents/mile
Depreciation medium 3,169/15000 = .211 /mile = 21.1 cents/mile
(15,000 miles annually)
Total = 30.28 cents/mile
Total for 1k miles = $302.8

I didn’t think operating costs or ins or reg and relevant. Is there anything else I should add?

Updated the calculation

This is the US of A . Very few places that a person can function with out a vehicle . Operating costs is just one more thing I don’t stress over unless the vehicle starts having problems requiring work.

Why don’t you think registration and insurance are not relevant ? They add to your annual cost of ownership don’t they.


Maintenance is a broad category, what does it include coolant change, trans fluid change, alignments brakes etc.? I don’t think you can pin down a specific number. I have seen on this board people needing tires and brakes after 35k miles, where as my car it might be 85k miles. Calculated our 2003 windstar after 11 years of ownership, no major repairs, it came out to $218 a month, average 12k miles per year, not including insurance and license fees and gas.

You must add in insurance and registration into the mix. They are mostly fixed costs since they don’t care if you drive 3000 or 30000 miles a year. Yes, insurance increases with the higher mileage but it is usually a step function.

You should also include depreciation as well as the cost of money. If you paid cash, there is a loss in investment income from the price of the car. If you borrow, there is the lost investment for the down payment and the interest.

If you total all that up, you might decide to move to the city and rent one when you need a car.


21.8 cents/mile (Thanks @Nevada_545 for correcting)

For 1k mile, $218 - I guess, it include depreciation from brand new so on the high end
So a range might be $220 - $300 just for wear and tear.
1/3 of AAA estimate is for Maintenance, repair and tires - Depre is 2/3

Wear & Tear is depreciation and repair - nothing else is wear as far as I see.

Not sure what this is for but why not just use the IRS numbers? I always did better with my Riviera because it had many hundreds of thousands of miles and I did my own work. So when I would get paid the 30 cents a mile or whatever it was, I considered it a profit center.

The goal was to calculate wear & tear
So can not use IRS - IRS includes everything.

This equals 0.21 dollars per mile or 21.1 cents per mile.


If you’re just looking for “general interest” AAA or IRS give a good general idea but if you’re using it for a “business decision” you need to work with your own specific situation.

For example, depreciation is made up of 3 components, the cost of purchase, time and usage, and the time depreciation component for a car is much higher in the early years for a new luxury car than for an older car.
Same for maintenance/repairs except reversed, where the likelihood of expensive repairs increases with time and usage.

So if someone is paying you to use your car, start by calculation the decrease in value (depreciation) with something like Kelly Blue book for a similar car and then include everything.

Wear and tear ? That can be so much different from one vehicle to another that there will be no accurate numbers. And since the IRS only allows so much per mile for those who have a tax deduction for business the rest of us don’t need it .
I guess you could take the amount of what you paid for a vehicle and subtract what it might be worth now using an online value site . Divide that number by the time you have had the vehicle and then you will have a number .

I don’t see how anyone can put a number on things like this as there are so many variables which make the spectrum so wide.
Gasoline in CA is what? Three or four bucks a gallon? Here in OK in the 1.70s.
Insurance costs vary widely based on locale. Even homeowners insurance is far cheaper.
Labor rates vary widely from area to area and even in the same cities. A shop in one city may have a labor rate 50% higher than the guy across town because his business model demands it.
State licensing and registration fees vary a lot.

Gas price, Insurace are not part Wear & Tear
Labor rate is yes

Thanks @Barkydog for your data - it seems to validate AAA calculation as you did the repairs.

So if u bought the car used with 50% already depreciated, then perhaps half of what AAA quoted might be the value - ie $150 for wear & tear for 1k usage!

Are you saying 150.00 for 1000 miles (1K usage ) . Maybe it would be better to just keep track of fuel costs - registration fees - tire replacement - oil changes - repair bills and divide the total by the miles you have driven and you will an operating cost . That will be more useful then some arbitrary wear and tear vague number .

I guess I just don’t get it. Wear and tear is not a cost per mile. It is what is expected with the use of a vehicle. A car with an “excellent” condition value would have less wear and tear and a car with a “poor” condition rating would have more than normal wear and tear.

Really the only time I ever encountered this was when we turned in ten leased cars at work. The lease provided for normal wear and tear over the year but they charged us for excess wear and tear on one. That was for a tire with abnormal wear, a small tear in the seat, and a windshield chip. Cost us dearly but that was the only time an actual price was put on wear and tear. Oh yeah, by the way we went to court to fight it and lost.

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After buying the Windstar, if u put in $218 into a savings a/c monthly at 1%, at the end of 11yrs you will have $30k:

$30k could be used for a new car and/or also tapped for major repairs on the Windstar.

Is there another financial product that will give better but stable return (so stock mkt is not included)?

Sure what then would you drive?

What does that have to do with 'Wear and Tear ’ . So I guess you are going to walk every where ?

We’ve had this discussion before and I understand the reluctance to invest in other products besides the bank, but gee whiz, what is the rate of inflation? That will eat away that 1% in a hurry so you end up worse off. I’m not talking IPO’s but just stable balanced mutual funds with a low maintenance cost.

What kind of return can u expect? Steady returns like interest?
Could you give a few examples pls?