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Use These Tools to Estimate the Cost of a Road Trip

by Staff

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Summer is the perfect time to plan road trips to nearby town, cities, beaches, and national parks. However, depending on where you live, what car you drive, and your route, you can end up paying a lot more than you bargained for on gas and tolls, especially with the current hikes in gas prices. Luckily, there are user-friendly and accurate tools that can tell you exactly how much you’ll spend on your next road trip—right down to the last cent.

How to calculate your roadtrip’s cost

Gone are the days when you had to keep money in your car for tolls, hoping you’ll have enough or looking for your car’s miles-per-gallon (MPG) on the user’s manual to calculate your gas use. Online calculators can do that for you now, and all you need to know is your starting location and destination. Here are the two best tools for your next road trip.

Best tool to calculate gas prices on your road trip

GasBuddy is a website that helps people save money on gas by finding the cheapest gas station in your area to saving 25 cents per gallon with their GasBuddy card. But their best tool is their Trip Cost Calculator.

For trips anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, you can calculate exactly how much you’ll spend on gas and which gas stations you should use (and how many gallons to fill up on at each) so you save up the most money on gas without detouring from your route. Here’s how to use it:

  • Input your starting address and destination

  • Select if you’re doing a one-way or round trip

  • Select your car’s year, make, and model (you can edit the MPGs, gallons your car takes, and fuel type)

Once you do, it’ll tell you which gas stations to fill up, the total you’ll spend down to the last cent, and how much you saved using their instructions. You’ll be able to see how much each gas station is charging for gas as well. I recently used the calculator to measure how much I would spend in gas driving a U-Haul from New York City to Atlanta for a recent move and it was surprisingly accurate. You can also use their app if you’re on the go.

Best tool to calculate toll prices on your road trip

The missing piece is knowing how much you’ll spend on tolls. TollGuru is your best tool for that. The website has been around for a long time, but it has improved a lot over the year expanding to cover much of the world. Like GasBuddy, it’s meant to help you save money on road trips. Their best tool is called the Trip Calculator. The calculator takes into account tolls, fuel (although GasBuddy’s tool is better for this) and other charges like your E-ZPass, SunPass, FasTrak, TxTag – toll plaza, and toll discounts.

You simply input your starting location and destination to see all the tolls you’ll hit on your route. This part is accurate, but there is something to be aware of: While it shows you all the tolls and their prices on your route, the total it calculates for all of them may not be accurate. I noticed that the total was missing one of the tolls on my route, despite being included in the list. To be safe, you should double-check the math by adding them all up yourself before you head out.

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