Study Shows Chicago-Area Drivers Spend More On Gas, Maintenance During Their Lifetime

Bernie Tafoya
December 04, 2018 - 1:00 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A new study shows people who drive to and from work in the Chicago area spend higher-than-average costs for gas and maintenance during their lifetimes.

Educated Driver said the average Chicago area car commuter will spend about $143,000, ($142,880), over the course of his or her lifetime driving 225,000 miles to and from work. The average round trip commute is 20 miles.

"That’s a lot of money. That’s way too much money," said car dealership porter Brian Hoffmann. 

Therapist Mary Clare Graff said she works random hours each day and said driving back and forth to work is just the cost of making a living.

"Gas is just something I have to do. It’s annoying so I don’t even think about it. I just put it out of my head," she said.

Levi Hill said some people like to spend money on clothes. Others on jewelry….and he said he does not mind paying for the gas guzzling pick-up truck that gets him to and from work each day.

"I got to go to work. I got to get home. I can’t do Uber and all that kind of thing. I’ve driven lesser vehicles, economical vehicles most of my life. Now, at this point in my life, it’s about enjoyment for me," Hill said.

Alexander Masterton said the Educated Driver study "is something that really makes you think."

The national average is $109,000 in gas and maintenance costs going 173,203 miles. 

As for costs in other cities around the region and the country:

  • Madison, WI: $97,000 to travel 153,000 miles (average round trip commute 14 mi)
  • Indianapolis, IN: $131,450 to travel 207,000 (average commute 18 mi)
  • Detroit, MI: $148,595 to go 234,000 miles (average commute 21 mi)
  • Atlanta, GA:  $183,000 to travel 288,000 miles (average commute 26 mi)
  • Houston, TX: $174,000 to go 274,500 miles (average commute 24 mi)
  • Milwaukee, WI: $105,731 to go 166,500 miles (average commute 15 mi)