In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

VW diesel report: 2010

I use Fuelly.com to track my fuel consumption. I just discovered that the site also generates annual statistics. Here’s the dope on my 2010 driving:

  • I refueled 19 times.
  • The average distance I drove between fill-ups was 877.9 km (545.5 miles).
  • The average price I paid per litre of diesel was $1.01 ($3.83 per US gallon).
  • The total distance tracked in 2010 was 16,680 km (10,364 miles).
  • To drive that distance, I used 1,017.46 litres of fuel (268.79 US gallons).
  • I spent an average of $54.11 for each refuel.
  • I spent a total of $1028.07 on fuel.
  • That works out to 6¢ per kilometre (10¢ per mile).
  • My average fuel economy for the year was 6.1 litres/100 km (38.6 MPG).

Taking it a bit further, 19 fill-ups in 52 weeks averages out to a fill-up every 2¾ weeks, or 19 days, give or take.

I’m disappointed with the 2010 fuel economy average. Traffic is getting heavier and my route to work has changed a bit, leading to worse fuel economy over the years. The average over the lifetime of the car is 5.9 litres/100 km and I do not want to see it slip to 6 so I need to see what I can do.

I’m surprised I didn’t drive farther. I’ve seen the annual distance the average person drives quoted as either 20,000 km or 25,000 km, and I’m not even close to that. Even more surprising to me is my 2010 total includes two trips to visit my family, which total more than 2,000 km.

I’m also surprised that I spent $1000 on fuel. Paying $50 every three weeks doesn’t seem like a lot, but seeing the total for the year puts it in a very different perspective. Given that my daily commute is almost exactly 50 km, I spend just a bit more than $3 a day to get to and from work. That doesn’t seem like very much. What I need to do is calculate the maintenance costs and also include insurance and the purchase price of the car. I wonder what the real cost is.

You can see my Fuelly numbers for yourself.

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4 Comments

  1. Wizie

    Yes, it is all those “other” costs that add up. I remember a comparative ad from the 90’s that read ‘It costs, on average, $6000 a year to drive a car while the bus costs $600.’ [It’s $1098 now.] Not that I am trying to convince you to take a bus, as it may not be an effective or convinient; but there is an advantage to getting an eco pass + a virtue car membership. Ideally, I am waiting for my car to die and then do bike/bus/virtue car thing.

    • Rick

      The convenience is certainly a big factor, but doesn’t your spouse have a vehicle? That would make a big difference in how workable it would be to give up one’s car. I can think of all kinds of factors that would make the idea more of less palatable, depending on one’s circumstances.

  2. Shawn

    It will take a pine box to separate me from my car. I hope to never ride mismanaged OC transpo with the great unwashed. Have you ever driven behind a virtu car driver? Keep in mind these people don’t drive on a regular basis and don’t know the roads or traffic patterns as well. They are down right dangerous. Worse than some of the elderly on the roads. Just remember gasoline is meant to be burnt. It has no other use. Live long, drive hard!

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