How To Calculate Wear And Tear On Car? A Simple Guidance

When you have driven your vehicle for a long time, it cannot avoid being damaged by several factors, like potholes or road obstacles. So how to calculate wear and tear on car?

This article will present a concise method of measuring the damage extent of your automobile. Keep scrolling down for further information!

What Is The Calculation Of A Car’s Wear And Tear?


Wear and tear is the extent of damage exposed to your vehicle after a time of use.

Calculating the wear and tear determines your automobile’s value loss after each mile and the total expense of maintaining it during a specific period, often a month or a year.

In other words, the figure you have obtained from measuring the wear and tear helps form a comprehensive picture of your car’s condition, and it is necessary for you to undertake some prompt maintenance.

Yet, how could you get these statistics? In what way are you clear about your vehicle’s damage extent? The following section will help you out by presenting an all-inclusive calculation formula.

How To Calculate Wear And Tear On Car?

The method of calculating an average cost of wear and tear per mile is straightforward.

You only need to figure out the total cost of the following items per mile: fuel, oil changes, new tires, required repairs, and depreciation.

After gaining these figures, add up all of them and reach the entire cost of wear and tear on car per mile.

But how to track how much each of the above costs after driving a mile? Here are five possible approaches that you should pay close attention to.


To gain the fuel costs, you must divide the average amount of money paid for the mileage your car has traveled.

This figure is estimated in the manufacturer’s manual of some modern brands, but you can find the result yourself.

Below is a common formula that is widely used by numerous drivers:

The average fuel cost = The average fuel price/ miles per gallon.

A compulsory requirement for you to complete this formula is to track the gas mileage.

You can rely on many factors, such as tire rotations, pressure, fuel quality, street quality, and driving habits, to conclude.

Oil Changes

An oil change is necessary for the majority of automobiles. Changing the car’s fuel every 5,000 and 7,000 miles is highly recommended.

The reason is that motor oil cannot draw heat from the engine once it becomes sludge.

The consequence is the overheating problem, and the gasket’s blowing. Sometimes, you might notice the milky white exhaust from a blown head of a gasket.

Over time, this issue will devalue your vehicle.

To calculate the true cost of fuel changes, you should pinpoint the total miles you have driven and divide the oil change’s cost by this data. Following the formula:

The average cost of oil changes each mile = The total cost/ An amount of mileage.

New Tires

After around 60,000 miles, you are advised to replace your old tires. Low-tread tires are more susceptible to punctures, resulting in sudden blowouts.

Worn tires are also conducive to losing air pressure, diminishing your car’s fuel economy and steering capacities. You easily notice this problem via a womp womp tire noise.

Your car’s value is certainly reduced if you ignore the tires’ caring. And to acknowledge how much the tire change cost is, you should divide the total cost of tires by the number of miles.

Following this formula:

The tire cost = The cost of the tire’s change/ the number of miles.

Other Maintenance And Repairs

This category may vary greatly, depending on drivers’ driving habits, car conditions, age, etc. It includes some main non-warranty criteria as follows:

  • Tune-ups
  • Braking system’s replacement
  • The replacement of a drained battery
  • Spark plugs
  • The windshield wiper’s replacement‚Ķ

Most automobiles that drive over 100,000 miles often encounter many problems, so you must take close notice of their potential problems, as mentioned earlier.

And modern models, with state-of-the-art equipment, may require less maintenance than old-fashioned cars.

To calculate the wear and tear cost of this maintenance category, you must figure out the real cost of repairs during a year and divide this number by the total mileage. Following the formula:

The maintenance cost = The annual spending on vehicle repair/ the number of driving miles.


Many people don’t understand what the term “depreciation” means. To simply clarify, the vehicle depreciation value symbolizes the total money you have spent on your car over its lifespan.

And before reaching the actual cost, you should accomplish various requirements below:

  • Gain information about your car’s value, including purchase price, the compared exchange rate, or even a loan’s interest
  • Reach your vehicle’s trade-in value
  • Measure the expected mileage‚Ķ

When you have finished gaining these statistics, take your car’s trade-in value and related costs by the expected mileage. Following the formula:

The depreciation cost = The car’s trade-in value/ an expected amount of mileage.

What Does Normal Wear And Tear On A Car Include?


Here are common wear and tear that your car commonly faces.

The Replacement Of Tires, Brakes, And Lights

Driving your car for a while without routine maintenance could lead to many problems with its tires, brakes, and lights.

Several scenarios are enumerated, like worn tires, bad brakes (one of the primary culprits behind the brake pedal squeaking), and dimming lights.

In this case, you should replace your damaged tires after 25,000 and 80,000 miles. Yet, 10,000 to 20,000 miles is the ideal mileage for you to maintain your damaged brake pads.

For bad lights, you only need to change if they no longer illuminate.

Exterior Dings And Scratches

These are not strange to many people, induced by numerous culprits, like road obstacles, street debris, unintentional contact, vandalism, collision, or improper washing.

The prompt repair is essential under this circumstance, as delaying could expose the metal underneath and paint to the elements, degrading your car’s value.

Interior Stains

The value of your car will decrease if there are interior spills and stains. In most situations, drivers spill their coffee, soda, milk, lotion, sunscreen, or bodily fluids.

And only using some chemical detergents helps prevent damage to the interior.

Tires That Don’t Go Well With The Manufacturer’s Manual

Besides the problem of worn-out tires, you should look carefully and notice something wrong with your vehicle’s tread depth, tire feathering, exposed cords, linear texture, etc.

Doing so helps you avert worse scenarios with the tires.

Minor Cracks In Turn Signals And Lamps

Collision, temperature changes, UV lights are the primary culprits behind small cracks in these lights.

Though they look negligible, these small fractures will damage the whole light, which compromises your road safety.

Small Cuffs And Nicks On The Wheel’s Covers

The wheel’s cover or hubcap can be scratched due to external factors, including road hindrances, street obstacles, and grime build-ups.

Sometimes, collisions and accidents are direct causes of this issue.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Does The Cost Of Ownership Mean?

As its name suggests, the cost of ownership means the total money you have paid for your automobile since you first purchased it.

This cost will help drivers gain an overall picture of their car’s conditions and know whether regular maintenance comes in handy or not.

Does Driving My Car On A Road Trip Decrease Its Value?


Normally, a road trip only lasts a few days. So when driving your car during these days, you can rely on the maintenance records to mitigate the negative effects brought by high mileage.

However, suppose you get in an accident or make some collisions along the trip.

In this case, your car would be severely damaged, and some of its parts are dented badly, thereby reducing its value.

Is A Road Trip Worth The Wear And Tear On Car?

Yes. Most of the time, you will be capable of saving your mor money by driving your own automobile than the wear and tear cost.

But when your vehicle is near the end of its life, using it on a long distance is pretty risky, which outweighs the cost savings. Other cases when you should rent a car is:

  • Night or holiday driving (more prone to accidents)
  • Off-road trips
  • Long trips, and your vehicle has a poor fuel efficiency.

The Bottom Line

To calculate wear and tear on car, you can add all the cost of fuel, oil, depreciation, etc.

You should also be aware of the common damage types exposed to your automobile, which surely comes in handy some time.

Thank you for your genuine support, and have a nice day!

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