2020Q1 Driving Stats

The First Quarterly Update

For the last two years I’ve put together a post detailing the costs associated with vehicle ownership. Here is 2018, and here is 2019. I had a major life event at the end of 2019 where I moved two-thirds across the USA, and as noted in the 2019 data my driving expenses plummeted. Here’s a look at the graph for the cost per gallon at each fill up in 2019 again.

Figure 1: 2019 Fill Up Prices

Because of this significant drop, I thought it’d be interesting to track my 2020 Driving data more frequently but not to the level of detail as the year end post.

Quarter 1

2019

  • 3,811 miles
  • $572.17 on gasoline
  • $1,200 on maintenance

Total 2019Q1 Expense: $1,772.17 or 46.5¢ per mile (gas/miles = 15.01¢)

2020

  • 1,548.61 miles
  • $164.51 on gasoline
  • $210.00 on maintenance

Total 2020Q1 Expense: $374.51 or 24.18¢ per mile (gas/miles = 10.62¢)

Final Thoughts

The drop in costs is staggering. Mostly due to maintenance, but even if we remove maintenance costs altogether, I’m spent roughly 3.5x lower for gas than 2019Q1, for roughly 4¢ cheaper per mile driven; both of which are ~30% lower than their 2019 data points.

If we continue to look at gas & distance, I traveled 2.46x more miles in 2019.

To extrapolate that a bit, if I drove the same amount of miles this quarter as I did in 2019Q1, I’d have paid $426.79 for gas in 2020Q1 for a difference of $145.38 over 2019Q1.

On the other end, if I spent as much money in gas during 2019Q1 for this quarter, I would have driven 5,109.22 miles in 2020Q1 for a difference of 1,298.22 miles over 2019Q1.

Penny Pinching

Another change I’m taking advantage of is gas discounts. I can earn gas rewards by shopping at a local grocery store and filling up at their gas station. It’s great because the gas rewards aren’t capped and I can earn drastic savings on my cost per gallon.

Figure 2: Cost Per Fill Up

Above in Figure 2 is my cost per gallon at fill up, the lighter blue line is the advertised price while the darker line is my cost after savings. I’ve only had 6 fill ups in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the 13 for the same period in 2019, meaning the savings is the obvious combination of filling up less often and cheaper fuel. My last fill up is dated March 7th, 2020.

Fun Updates

Figure 3, 4, 5: Swapping out my Winter tires

We had some great weather yesterday so I decided to swap out my Winter tires for my Summer. I took off one wheel just fine but when I removed the second, there was a red ring around the rotor. I had not seen this before but carried on. My Summer rim would not fit on the axle and the tools I had would not get this off. I eventually got it off and my 4 Summer rims mounted on and was able to fit the red ring back into the Winter rim.

Turns out these are added because aftermarket rims are built as universally as possible, so spacers/inserts are added so there’s a snug fit between rim and axle. Additionally, we can see the additional holes for various bolt patterns. Lesson learned and I do not plan to buy aftermarket rims when the time comes again.

I was unable to get a car wash prior as the car wash locations were closed and I lack the space and facilities to wash my car at the apartment complex. Why were they closed? Continue reading below…

Closing Remarks

As I wrap this up on March 31st, 2020. We are about 3 weeks into a world wide pandemic due to a coronavirus dubbed COVID-19 which affects the respiratory system. The impacts on my driving will be felt for the foreseeable future as I have been working from home for the last two weeks, and will continue to for the foreseeable future; lots of business also remain closed for visitors and guests. This means I won’t put as many miles on my vehicle and subsequently buy gasoline. Additionally, gas prices have dropped dramatically; it’s now around $1.749 for Regular.

Figure 6: Mileage by Day for Q1

Our first Work from Home day was Wednesday, March 18th. I had to run back to the office (twice) on the 19th to grab some stuff and again on the 20th to drop something off for maintenance after running some related errands. But if we ignore those two days, we can see just how much less driving I’ve done as a result.

On the 29th I got tired of looking at my walls and went for a short cruise around.

Gas prices have been impacted not only because people have been directed to stay home and avoid contact through a method called “social distancing” but mostly because around March 7th Russia and Saudi Arabia got into a tiff, causing the price of oil to fall to a 17 year low.

It’ll be fascinating to see how this changes the numbers over the course of the year.

Photography & Technology is my thing.