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What is a Gas Mileage Calculator?

By Benjamin Sirois
Updated Jan 26, 2024
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A gas mileage calculator can be used to determine a particular vehicle’s fuel economy performance. Using a simple mathematical formula of miles driven and gallons used, a driver can quickly and easily verify how efficient his or her vehicle is. Most online versions of a gas mileage calculator will allow drivers to enter the necessary information, which will result in the calculation of the vehicle’s gas mileage data.

In order to determine a vehicle’s gas mileage for a given trip, the fuel tank typically should be filled prior to travel. Once the tank has been filled, total trip mileage will also need to be documented; this can be done by recording the odometer reading prior to the trip, and once again at the end of the trip. Vehicles that allow the driver to reset a trip function of the odometer could easily view their trip miles once arriving to his or her destination. Upon completion of the trip, the vehicle should be fueled once again, this time taking note of the gallons being added, which is the amount used for the trip. Taking the total miles traveled and dividing it by the gallons used will result in the vehicle’s current fuel economy.

A quick Internet search for gas mileage calculator or fuel consumption calculator will reveal a variety of free, easy-to-use calculators, as well as downloadable gas calculator software for a personal computer (PC). Most calculators default to the United States (US) standard measurement of miles and gallons; however, they usually will allow metric system conversions. Additionally, several online gas mileage calculators will verify price-per-gallon information. This feature helps determine how much money per mile it costs to operate the vehicle rather than the mileage it is getting per gallon.

Several factors should be taken into consideration with regards to the accuracy of the gas mileage calculator results. Driving at a constant speed, rather than heavy acceleration and breaking, will improve results. In addition, averaging highway speeds of 30 to 60 miles per hour (about 48.3 to 96.6 kilometers per hour) will yield a better performance than a trip taken in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Highway winds, rough terrain, poor weather conditions, and added cargo will all result in decreased performance as well.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Feryll — On Jan 25, 2015

Many of the newer cars will have digital displays that will tell you exactly how many miles to the gallon you are getting as you drive. My girlfriend and I rented a car a couple of weeks ago to drive across country and visit one of her roommates from when they were in college. Driving was a good way to get to see some of the states I had not visited before.

The rental car was great. It could tell you how many miles per gallon of gas you were averaging since you began the trip, and it could tell you how many miles to the gallon you would get based on the last mile you drove. The numbers were constantly updating. I actually made a game of trying to get as many miles to the gallon as possible. Turning in the rental car, and having to go back to driving my car was a bit of a let down.

By Animandel — On Jan 24, 2015

When gas gets really expensive more people start to take notice of how well their vehicles are doing with gas mileage, and they start to think about gas mileage calculators. I am no exception. There are so many little things you can do to help with gas mileage, so I think it is a good idea to be able to check my gas mileage regularly, so I can see whether I need to be concerned.

If my gas mileage is low then improving it might mean doing something as simple as getting my tires at the right air pressure, having my engine serviced or some other simple measure that I can easily take.

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