Is Your Gasoline Usage Similar to Most Americans?

ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!! Summer’s coming and with it comes a lot of road trips, which means a lot of miles on your car and a lot of gas.  Depending on how much driving you do, what you drive and where you live, you could be spending thousands per year on gas.

According to the Department of Energy’s independent Energy Information Administration on average, Americans burn about 4% of their pretax income on gasoline for their cars. Obviously, a lot depends on the car you drive, the miles you have to drive, and the area you live in (meaning the price per gallon where you live).  The current 4% average is the highest it’s been in nearly 30 years, as the rate is usually about 3% of pretax income.

You would be well within “normal” consumption rates if your total household gas consumption was between 3-4% of pretax household income. Why do I keep repeating the word household: because a single person generally has one car. A household can have 2 or more cars and each could put 15,000 miles/year on one household budget.  Remember to calculate ALL cars in your household.

Let’s do some math, shall we?  Here’s the calculation for ONE CAR.  Do the calculation again for your second car, and add the percentages together for a household total.

Average price per gallon of gas in my city (Wash DC)                       $3.80 (find your city)
Average miles driven per year PER CAR 1                                           10,000
Miles per gallon for your car (find yours here)                                     22
Pretax Household Income                                                                 $150,000
Percentage of Pretax Household Income Spent on GAS                     1.15%

Math = ((10,000/22)*3.80)/150,000= 1.15% of PRETAX HOUSEHOLD INCOME on GASOLINE.

If you’re number is higher than 4%, consider getting a car that gets better mileage, or trying to drive less.  You can also hunt for better gas prices in your area.