How much gasoline do you use?

  1. jtbell

    Staff: Mentor

    In one of their frequent reports about the rising price of gasoline, ABC's "World News Tonight" recently cited a survey claiming that the average American family used $4000 worth of gasoline last year. I'm one of those people who writes down every gasoline purchase in a little notebook, to keep track of gas mileage, so I added up everything for my car (a 12-year old Chevy Prizm, basically a Toyota Corolla in disguise) last year:

    9253 miles
    252.63 gallons
    Total cost $876.47

    About a third of that was during a road trip last summer from South Carolina to New England and back. We live within walking distance of where we work, so I seldom drive to work. I do many of my local errands by walking from home or work; occasionally I drive in town (a few miles). About 4-5 times per month, I drive to the next town (about 20 miles round trip) or to the nearest cities (usually 70-100 miles round trip, occasionally as much as 200 miles).

    My wife uses her tiny car only for local grocery shopping etc. Whenever we go anywhere together (usually out of town), we use my car. She probably buys gas no more than once every two months, for a total of maybe 60 gallons a year, about $200-$210 last year.

    So we spent about $1000 total on gasoline last year. Omitting the New England trip brings it down to about $650.
  2. jcsd
  3. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    hmmm I fill up about twice a month on my 12.5 gallon Civic. That puts me just under $1000 a year.
  4. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,483
    Gold Member

    $2000 (assuming 30-40 a week, but we sometimes go every other week)

    reasons mine is so high:

    -bad gas mileage (old SUV)
    -Alaska prices
    -I drive to work/class in the winter when it's cold (it's only a block away)
    -have to let the car warm up when subzero.
    -trips to the lake to go sailing (packing the sail boat) all summer
  5. My rough estimate is filling up once a month, <$50 per fill, so $600 a year for me. Could have been higher during the summer, so maybe more like $800 maximum.

    I bike or bus to school, so most of my mileage is longer trips out of town.
  6. I fill up about once a month for about $65 (petrol is about $1.30 per litre). This is in a standard school-going month because I catch the train to uni. Sometimes I go for a trip and use a little more. Probably another $200 per year, so I'm on about $1000(AUD) a year. This is just me by the way, no family and my car is a 4 cylinder.
  7. In Australia at the moment, it's about $1.40 a litre which works out to roughly $5.30 a gallon

    You americans have it so easy.
  8. jtbell

    Staff: Mentor

    According to my notebook, the most I've ever paid in the US was $4.10 per gallon, in Nebraska in June 2008, during the last big run-up in gasoline prices. Then the Great Recession started, and on December 26 of that same year I paid $1.42 in South Carolina.

    The only time I've had to buy gasoline abroad was when we rented a car in Finland more than 20 years ago. (Usually we use trains and buses when we travel abroad.) Back then it was about $4-$5 per gallon. I remember thinking, "wow, I just spent $50 to fill the tank!"

    I haven't had a $50 tankful yet in this country. Maybe this summer.
  9. Integral

    Integral 7,288
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I am filling up about every 8 days, driving a bit over 200mi a week . Would sure like to see the price of electric cars get down to where I could just change this gas bill into a car payment. More likely the price of gas will going up that will get me there.
  10. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I do less driving now than ever in my adult life. Last year I only drove about 5000 miles - that's one oil change per year! At that rate, my Toyota should last at least another 20-30 years. :rofl: In years past I typically averaged about 30K miles per year.

    My current car gets ~35 mpg, so that comes out to about 140 gallons of gas last year. I have never gotten less than 30 mpg in the last 25 years less the occasional trip to Home Depot, or to the dump, with the old pickup truck.

    Tsu now drives a hot rod so I don't know kind of mileage she gets these days.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  11. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    My office is about 6.5 miles from work. I fill up the tank of my Civic every third week, or sooner if I drive more. I drive various airports that each represent about a 200 mile round trip. I probably spend around $1000/yr on gasoline. My wife probably a bit more because she drives an Odyssey.

    The gasoline in our area is now about $3.95/gal. I could buy cheaper stuff, but I prefer to buy Mobil gasoline, espeically from the station at the intersection closest to my home.

    The most I've paid in the US is $5+/gal, but I've paid more in Europe.
  12. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    I drive about 20,000 miles a year and my car gets about 29 mpg. Assuming $3.50 gas, that's $2400/yr.
  13. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    I paid $1.8 per liter on Monday :grumpy:
  14. Borg

    Borg 1,391
    Gold Member

    For the last year, I used 214.842 gallons to travel 9851 miles which is about 45.9 MPG. Total cost @ $3.50 per gallon is about $750.
  15. What a coincidence. My house is about 6.5 miles from where I live.
  16. cristo

    cristo 8,386
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    In the uk at the minute it's £1.30 a litre, which works out at over $9 a gallon. You aussies have it easy!
  17. turbo

    turbo 7,063
    Gold Member

    I have a Honda Ridgeline that is very expensive to fill up, but I hardly ever go anywhere. When I bought that truck, I spent a couple of hours negotiating and successfully chiseled the price down in part because it was one year removed from the current model-year (though new). In fact, model year doesn't matter to me because years from now that truck is going to be low-mileage anyway.

    I'm getting around 18 mpg in that truck, which is good for a 3/4 ton truck with 5000# towing capacity. You can't possibly get that kind of fuel efficiency in a Chevy or Ford.
  18. Slightly off topic, the USA has a massive budget deficit, petrol (gas) is relatively cheap; why doesn't the federal government introduce a say 25 cents / gallon tax?
  19. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    I changed my thought in the middle of a sentence, or there was a momentary disconnect between fingers and brain. Or it's just the usual cerebral malfunction.

    My home is 6.5 miles from my office, or reflexively (congruently) my office is 6.5 miles from home.
  20. turbo

    turbo 7,063
    Gold Member

    As much time as you spend working, which one is "home"? :tongue:
  21. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,044
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Gas is relatively cheap, compared to other countries. But most Americans are not constantly driving in other countries, to then get home and feel the relief of lower gas prices. As far as the voting public is concerned, gas prices are nearly twice what they were a few years ago, and expected to keep rising. It might take nothing more than $5 gas to sink a Democrat's election/re-election campaign (especially a Presidential run). The only people with the political capital to raise gas taxes in the US are Republicans, and most of them probably find the idea abhorrent. In short, there will not be a gas tax increase during a time of high unemployment, especially under a Democrat administration.
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