Written By: Jeffrey JohnsonReviewed By: Sara RouthierUPDATED: Aug 2, 2012Fact Checked

Before you buy a vehicle, you should estimate the full cost to own it. That means that you should know more than just the monthly cost of the car in question- including the payment that you will be making. There are other expenses that you need to keep in mind as well. Your vehicle’s monthly expenses will include:


  • The monthly payment. To estimate this amount, take the purchase price and then divide it by five. Take that number and divide it by twelve to get a rough estimate of payment. This is a very rough estimate that will give you an idea of how much car you might be able to afford and will allow you to look for a price range.
  • The amount of gas that you will need. Look for different car models and their estimated gas mileage and then use an online calculator to figure out the average price of gas in your area.
  • Miscellaneous expenses You will incur various expenses during the month such as oil, window washing fluid or car washes.
  • Your insurance. The car insurance estimate calculator will allow you to get an idea on the cost of your coverage, which can help you figure out the best car value for your budget.

Keep in mind that these are all estimates and the amount that you really must pay may be substantially more or less than what the estimate shows.

Using the Car Insurance Estimate Calculator

If you are interested in getting your insurance estimate, you need to start with the right online calculator. Use a trusted and secure website and watch out for sites that want way too much information right up front. You should only need to give a minimal amount of information to get started. The easiest to use sites will only ask a few questions to give you an estimate. Those questions should include:


  • The make and model of the car (If you are estimating for a car before you buy, just use the information from cars you have looked at.)
  • The mileage that is on the car
  • The mileage that you will put on the car during a year (Again, it is fine to estimate this number.)
  • Your age
  • Your marital status
  • Your general location (city, zip code and state only at this time)

Some estimate calculators will ask for information such as your email address or phone number so that an agent can contact you with a more comprehensive quote, while other calculators will simply generate three or four estimates for you to follow up on when you are ready.

Again, these are only estimates and might not reflect the actual cost of insurance once you factor in additional coverage and other factors. Discounts can lower your insurance cost, while other factors can increase the rate that you would be paying.

Car Insurance Quotes and Calculations

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Reviewed by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier