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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A very cool new Planning Tool

    The CostToDrive Crew has created a new free road trip planning tool that allows one to calculate the driving cost between two places. The starting & ending places can be identified by zip code or city and state. The application uses mapping and distance algorithms together with the EPA mileage data (all you need to do is enter your car model and year) to calculate the driving cost.

    The results also include fuel station locations, flight costs (for comparison shopping) and some other fun stuff.

    Check it out here and post some reviews below!

    It is similar in ways to RTA's Fuel Cost Calculator -- do you like it better? No matter what, it's a cool application.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Some fun/flaws

    Its a neat tool. My favorite feature is how it estimates where you will need to refuel and bases the fuel costs on that specific location. The numbers for fuel cost are seem accurate too. It says I'll be paying $2.10 to fill up before I leave, and the station down the street from my house is charging $2.099.

    The one thing that makes it a little less practical, I'm going to know my actual mpg better than an EPA estimate. For example, on my SUV, I usually get 21 mpg on the highway, but it uses a figure of 24, and on my wife's car, it acutally uses the wrong estimate. Her car with a 5 speed transmission gets an estimated 37 mpg from the epa, and gets about 34 in real world conditions, but the program uses a figure of 31 mpg (I assume this is based on auto transmission). Those numbers throw off both how much fuel I'll need and when Ill need to refuel, an override option would be nice, although that makes it closer to the RTA program.

    I was also able to "stump" the program by building a route that would include a refuel stop in Canada (cutting from Michigan to New York). It knew a fuel stop was needed, but didn't have a price, so it skipped that stop in the date.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Yep, cool and flawed.

    I just fed it a cross country route, which you can see Here.

    The problem is that if they have no data on gas prices at your estimated stop they use a $0 costing instead of taking an average price. As you can see it has estimated the total cost at $181 because of this [average of $1.59 per gallon] whereas the overall cost in reality would be in the region of
    $235. [$2 per gallon]

    [Is gas really that cheap at the moment ?]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default finally free falling

    Yeah, gas really is that cheap now. It just dropped below $2 for the first time since at least February 07 around my house, and we tend to be just on the high side of the national average. I'm sure you can find it for $1.70ish in some of the cheaper parts of the country.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default The U.K. doesn't do free fall

    They are so quick to put the prices up over here but when you see the barrel prices drop they are not so quick to react in reducing them. When I was over last Oct it was around a $3 gallon on average with talk of over a $4 gallon. The look of disbelief when chatting on the forecourts whilst filling up and telling them to think $10 a gallon here in the U.K was amusing. Our price has fallen slightly but has still only dropped to approx £4.60 a gallon from near £5 a gallon. :-(

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default hmm

    I wonder how much the rising dollar vs. the pound is having on the lack of change. According to the US government, the price of gas in the UK has fallen from US$9 per gallon in July to near $5 now. But if that's true, then even with the change in dollar value you should only be paying £3.50/gallon or just under a pound/litre.

    The look of disbelief when chatting on the forecourts whilst filling up and telling them to think $10 a gallon here in the U.K was amusing.
    Are you sure the look of disbelief wasn't just from using terms like "forecourts" and "whilst?"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Imperial gallon.

    Here in the South of England where the cost of living is normally dearer than the national average, regular is just under the £1 per litre and premium is about £1.10 per litre. To add to the confusion our [proper ;-) ]gallon is approx 4.5 litres compared to your 3.8, so yes the true comparison is closer than I first thought. [not close enough though].

    Are you sure the look of disbelief wasn't just from using terms like "forecourts" and "whilst?"
    Along with fact that I was still calling "Gas" petrol at the time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Along with fact that I was still calling "Gas" petrol at the time.
    We often get folk from US here, asking for gas stations, and that is exactly where they end up. Some sell only gas (LPG).

  9. #9

    Default

    The reason that the cost of our gas hasn't fallen as sharply as elsewhere isn't just the value of Sterling collapsing -- it is the ludicruous amount of tax that we pay per gallon. In the US it is not uncommon to see little stickers on the pump indicating what percentage of what you are paying is going to the fuel companies and what percentage is going to the goverment. If we had those in the UK I think it would open a few eyes...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default I'm howling!

    Quote:
    Are you sure the look of disbelief wasn't just from using terms like "forecourts" and "whilst?"
    Along with fact that I was still calling "Gas" petrol at the time.
    This is a real hoot! I'm now imagining SW Dave like Alister Cooke (sp?).

    Re the new tool...looks interesting but not really helpful without tweaking ability. My car isn't even listed. The only New Beetle for my model year is a diesel. Funny since diesels have always been made in such limited numbers. If I go to a different model year, I can find my car...but it estimates my MPG at 25 when I average about 31.5 on the highway. And I had two locations with no data which made my average fuel cost only $0.83/gallon. Yeah, in my dreams.

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