# How Do You Use a Fuel Calculator to Estimate Trip Costs? Credit: Peter Samuels/Stone/Getty Images

To get the estimated costs of a road trip, individuals must enter the travel distance, fuel efficiency and gas price information into a fuel calculator. The calculator does not consider incidental costs, such as road tolls.

The estimated driving costs of a trip are given by multiplying the total trip distance in miles by the cost of gas per gallon, and then dividing the total by the amount of miles the vehicle covers on a single gallon of gas [trip cost = (distance * gas price) / fuel efficiency]. A fuel calculator performs this calculation automatically.

Alternatively, fuel calculators estimate other parts of the equation. To find out how far a vehicle can travel on a specific budget, a person simply inputs the total budget for the trip, the gas price and fuel efficiency of the vehicle.

Road tolls, vehicle maintenance and driving efficiency all contribute to the final costs of the trip. Combining the results from both a fuel and a toll road calculator gives more accurate estimates of trips that involve toll roads. Additionally, an individual can maximize a vehicle's gas mileage and lower his total estimated costs with optimally inflated tires, usage of the correct motor oil and a properly tuned engine.

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