Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Some Conceptual and Methodological Issues in the Analysis of the Social Cost of Motor-Vehicle Use. Report #2 in the series: The Annualized Social Cost of Motor-Vehicle Use in the United States, based on 1990-1991 Data


The author of this report, one in a series documenting the social cost of motor-vehicle use in the U.S., examines the costs of motor vehicle goods and services priced in the private sector. This includes the cost of the vehicles themselves, fuel and oil, parts and maintenance. He concludes that the total estimated cost of motor vehicle-related goods and services priced in the private sector in 1991 ranged from approximately $830 to $940 billion. The most costly items are the vehicles themselves, their maintenance and repair, and travel time. The author’s estimates include costs of private commercial and residential parking, travel time that displaces paid work, costs of motor-vehicle accidents, and the deduction of taxes and fees. The author notes that most of the cost items considered show up in estimates by other analysts of the cost of owning and operating motor vehicles. However, his analysis also includes several items that are not usually included. These include compensated work travel time, the overhead expenses of business, commercial and government fleets, and accident costs paid for by a responsible party.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View