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Will someone please check my math?

We are renting a car to drive through Austria/Germany; the rental agreement says a Skoda Octavia wagon, or thereabouts. The Great Internet says that vehicle gets about 48mpg, so I rounded down to 40. (I'd rather plan on too much and have extra for tsotchkes).) Google maps says our route is 1300km, which The Internet tells me is 808 miles. I figured our total gas need at 23 gallons. The Internet tells me that gasoline in Frankfurt is $5.57/gallon, making our total needed for gas money to be $130, or thereabouts. I am planning to budget $200. What say you?

Posted by
361 posts

What if there are detours or other impediments such as low tire inflation, headwinds, or a traffic snarl?

Posted by
96 posts

Your math is correct, & I endorse both your rounding down (mpg) & rounding up ($200). I think this is a reasonable plan, & you have done your due diligence. I, for one, wouldn't worry about the calamities you can't control (headwind- really?!?)

Posted by
95 posts

Thank you, Layni.
Jerry, I think that's why I rounded down for mileage and up for the final figure.

Posted by
4537 posts

Melody, the $5.57 per gallon seems very low. I did a search and see that price quoted in a CNN article that says in fine print that the prices are from March 2005. Try this site: http://gasoline-germany.com/statistik.phtml?changeto=EN This shows regular at 1,587 EUR per litre. I think that is going to put the price in the $8 to $9 per gallon range.

Posted by
95 posts

Thanks, Laura. That makes it abt $200, so I'll budget $300.

Posted by
2297 posts

Personally, I find your math difficult to follow. No gas station in Europe sells gas by the gallon, it's sold by the liter and priced by the liter. It is also sold in Euro not in $. And all signs show distances in km not in miles. So I would do a proper calculation with the metric measurements used in Europe - and convert into $ at the very end. google tells me the that kind of car uses about 7.3 l/100km so I'd round up to 8 l/100 km. That makes 104 l for 1300 km. At a cost of about 1.60 Euro/l at the moment (trend rising from what I heard). So your total for gas would be 167 Euro which today is around US$ 240. Possible variables for that calculation: - price of gas likely to go up
- exchange rate to change - don't know if your distance is calculated properly (we usually drive 2000 km on a vacation in Europe) Don't forget to add the cost for parking which I'd suggest to calculate at about 10 Euro/day. Austria also requires a vignette to drive on the Autobahn, about 10 Euro or so.

Posted by
2828 posts

to make conversions: 1 gallon = 3,785 liter
1 mile = 1,609 km 48mpg is not a reasonable assessment of consumption for a Skoda Octavia, as it would mean 4,9 liters/100km (the usual measure of consumption here). Current prices of fuel near Frankfurt are about $ 8,55/gallon. But they fluctuate less: much of it are fixed taxes and levies, so, proportionally to the total price, fluctuations are less than in US.

Posted by
95 posts

Hmmm...The plot thickens. I continued my figuring for the car we plan to rent in the UK, something like a Kia Sedona. The Internet tells me that it gets 17mpg. (What? My Chevrolet pickup gets about that!) I called a local Kia dealership, and they told me, no, it's more like 35mpg. I then e-mailed a friend who lives in Cardiff. She says that, in their area, they are paying about $5.15/USgallon. If I round down on the mileage to 28, figure my traveling miles at 2000, and use a price of $7a/gallon (she suggested that, because some areas will be more expensive) I come up with $500 exactly; I'll budget $900. Thanks, all.

Posted by
4537 posts

"I continued my figuring for the car we plan to rent in the UK, something like a Kia Sedona. The Internet tells me that it gets 17mpg. (What? My Chevrolet pickup gets about that!) I called a local Kia dealership, and they told me, no, it's more like 35mpg." Now you are getting me intrigued with math word problems and gas prices and mpg. I'm beginning to be quite happy that I normally take public transportation in Europe ... However, me thinks that Kia dealer was pulling your leg in the hope of a sale in these days of rising gas prices. If you look at the Kia website, it states that the EPA fuel economy is 18mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

Posted by
124 posts

Just back from Ireland. I presume the cars there get about the same milage as in Germany. We filled it 3 times, about 50 Euros each time, plus about 20 Euros to top off for return. Total 170 Euros($250.00) Pump price averaged 1.49/litre. We turned in our mid-size 4 door opel Vectra with 1407k total driven. Don't know how that figures in miles per gallon, but it gives you some idea of the cost per "k". By the way, I calculated it at $8.15/gallon. Hope this helps! Dan

Posted by
25592 posts

Cheap petrol today in the Birmingham area is £1.32, diesel is £1.39, per litre. I've seen it over £1.50. Stick those in your calculator.

Posted by
95 posts

$9.50 per US gallon; did I get my math correct? It's a lot like a country auction, I think. "5, 5, do I hear 5.50? 5.50, 5.50, do I hear 6?" Basically, what you all are telling me, is there is no correct figure, I can't plan ahead, don't even try.
Thanks for your help.

Posted by
2193 posts

No, you can plan ahead and come up with a decent estimate, but you seem to be trying too hard. Is there any particular reason you're going to drive versus using public transportation, like rail? As already mentioned, you need to factor in parking and the daily cost of your rental when you're not even using the car (i.e. when it's parked in Wien). I mostly use public transportation in Europe but have driven before when it made sense for a variety of reasons – I've never had such a problem estimating cost, and I plan quite well. My advice is to estimate and move on...you're going to drive yourself nuts this far down in the weeds. Tom or James or Jo or someone else can verify, but you're probably looking at USD 7.40 per gallon in Austria and USD 8.75 in Germany for gas or diesel. You already know it's sold per litre.

Posted by
25592 posts

Yup your math is right. I don't get the concern about fluctuation. Doesn't the price go up and down (ok mostly up) in Marengo? It certainly doesn't much go down in Europe at the moment, the trend in the last several months, probably down to Middle East instability, is certainly up, up, up. My crystal ball is very cloudy so I don't know how much it will be when you are here. One advantage of public transport is the fares rarely go up by much more than inflation.