New tool helps drivers compute costs

Metro Wire Staff

How much do you pay in taxes and fees to drive your car in Wisconsin? How do these costs compare to neighboring states?

The Midwest Driver Fee Calculator, a new online tool offered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) lets users calculate the taxes and fees they pay to drive several popular models of personal motor vehicles. Residents can also compare that cost to the same vehicle in four other Midwestern states.

Users are asked to select the vehicle type, make, model, and year of the car, and to indicate how many miles a year they drive. There is also an option to include wheel tax in those counties and municipalities that have them. The calculator includes dozens of popular vehicles, and WisDOT will soon add additional models.

The tool then generates a colorful chart with the estimated annual cost of driving that car in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota. Users can tell at a glance how much of the total figure consists of various taxes and fees, which are the constitutionally protected funds used to build and maintain Wisconsin’s roads.

All calculations are estimates based on all known state excise, sales, and environmental taxes and fees levied on motor fuel, plus vehicle registration renewal fees as of May 1, 2020. Individual costs will vary based on conditions and driving habits. While the calculator contains a number of models and years, it is not yet comprehensive.

Motorists can find the Midwest Driver Fee Calculator on the WisDOT website:  https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/data-plan/cost-to-drive.aspx