Driving to UC - Transport Cost Calculator

This calculator works out the annual cost of driving to university, taking into account fuel prices, road user charges and parking fees. To use the calculator simply fill out the form below and click 'Calculate'. Note that the calculator only includes the direct costs of traveling to and from university, it does not account for additional vehicle costs such as Warrant of Fitness, registration, maintenance, insurance, deprecation or fuel and parking costs for other driving. See below for estimates of these other costs and technical information about the calculator.

Vehicle type: 
Vehicle fuel:   current price:  $/litre
available from Pricewatch
Do you know the fuel efficiency of your vehicle? 
if you do not, the calculator will try to estimate it (not very accurate). Click here for information about how to find or calculate efficiency for your vehicle.
Engine size:  cc
Distance from home to university:  km
available from Google Maps
Student or staff member? 
Annual cost of travel to university
 $   Fuel
 $   Road User Charges (Diesel vehicles only)
 $   Parking
 $   Total cost
kg  Annual CO2 emissions

Additional costs of owning a vehicle

  • Warrant of Fitness: $40-$50 per inspection (currently vehicles first registered before 1 January 2000 require an inspection every six months, newer vehicles only require one every twelve months).
  • Vehicle licensing (registration): $400-$600 per year, depending on vehicle, fuel type and engine size.
  • Insurance: up to $1,000 per year, depending on vehicle, driver age, claims history, coverage type and insurer.
  • Servicing, repairs and maintenance: up to $1,500 per year.
  • Depreciation: depends on vehicle value and age.
  • Additional fuel/parking costs.

Sources: Automobile Association, New Zealand Transport Agency.

Comparison to public transport

Taking the bus to university would cost approximately $1,000 per year if you travel within Christchurch to university and back 200 times per year using a Metrocard. As the Metrocard includes daily and weekly fare limits (two trips and ten trips, respectively), additional travel during university weeks is free.

Further information:

Fuel efficiency information

The following sites can be used to find fuel efficiency values for vehicles:

  • Cars (1984-present): fueleconomy.gov (US) find your vehicle, select the appropriate fuel efficiency value for your driving (typically City) then use this tool to convert it to litres/100km
  • Cars (limited; 2004-present): rightcar.govt.nz
  • Motorcycles/scooters: totalmotorcycle.com

Alternatively, you can calculate the fuel efficiency of your vehicle by doing the following:

  1. Next time you refuel completely fill the tank and reset the trip meter.
  2. When you refuel again completely fill the tank.
  3. Record the distance on the trip meter and the number of litres added to the tank.
  4. Divide the number of litres added to the tank by the kilometres traveled and multiply the result by 100; this gives the fuel efficiency in litres/100km.

Technical information

  • Fuel efficiency figures presented on the above websites are measured under test conditions. In reality, fuel consumption is likely to be greater than calculated as factors such as driving style, age of vehicle, congestion and time required to find a park all affect the amount of fuel consumed.
  • Default fuel efficiency values (used if you select 'No' to 'Do you know the fuel efficiency of your vehicle?' above) are averages for the type of vehicle selected (not very accurate).


  • 200 day university year (traveling to and from university 200 times)
  • Fuel cost remains constant over the year
  • Motorcycles and scooters do not pay for parking


Calculator developed by Advanced Energy and Material Systems Lab.