Track your car’s MPG
Your car is a big annual expense – use Numbers to stay on top of things
Your car is a big expense – use Numbers to stay on top of things and calculate its cost
After rent or mortgage payments, a car is most people’s biggest annual expense. The problem is that tracking how much it’s costing you, and whether you might be able to save money, is tricky. Computing the number of miles per gallon your car costs is hard enough, but the various other expenses – repairs, replacement parts, insurance, tax and so on, adds up over a year and all make a real difference to the bottom line: in this case, what your car costs for every mile you drive it.
The answer, of course, is a spreadsheet. Data geeks have spreadsheets for all kinds of things, but because of the sheer number of data points driving produces – miles driven, parts and so on – spending a little while creating a document that you can quickly bash a few new numbers into will help you keep track more effectively.
Having this kind of data is really helpful. Not only will a detailed spreadsheet reveal the facts about what your car costs to drive, which might prompt you to drive it more or less, it can also help guide you when it comes to buying a new car. You may also be able to head off breakdowns. A sharp drop in fuel economy may hint at mechanical problems.
Here, we’ll show you how to create a spreadsheet with a few simple formulas. Update it each time you spend money on your car and you’ll have a comprehensive document that shows you exactly how much it’s costing you to get around. Dave Stevenson
A spreadsheet is easy to make and can keep you much better informed about what your car costs to run.