Source: Litman, T. (2006) "Transportation Market Distortions", Berkeley Planning Journal, Volume 19, p.23.
Estimated Automobile Costs, 2005
The costs of using the automobile can be divided in three categories:
  • Internal variable costs. These costs vary according to the amount of travel. They include vehicle operation, fuel and travel time.
  • Internal fixed costs. Mainly related to the vehicle ownership and parking fees. Also include depreciation, insurance, finance charge, license fee, etc.
  • External costs. Not assumed by individual users but by the collectivity. They mainly involve road provision costs.
The cost of owning and operating a car was estimated to be around 40 cents per passenger-km in 1996. Of these 40 cents, 25 cents are related to internal variable costs, while 15 cents to internal fixed costs. External costs were about 20 cents per passenger-km (32% of total costs).