General Question

hug_of_war's avatar

How much should I give for gas money?

Asked by hug_of_war (10351 points ) May 25th, 2014 from iPhone

My sister will be driving around quite a bit in June. One week to and from some work sites, and one trip to my grad school to look at apartments, that is a 5 hour round trip.

How do I figure out a reasonable amount of gas money? If I just ask her, she’ll give some ridiculous amount, trust me.

I don’t drive, and never will so I don’t know how to do this.

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13 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

What kind of car and what kind of gas mileage does it get?

A five-hour drive is about 280 miles depending on stop-and-go. If you figure the car gets c. 28 mpg/ that’s about 10 gallons of gas. If gas is $3.60/galllon, that’s 36. Call it $40. Is she doing this driving to convenience you? Then it’s simple. Pay to fill the tank when she stops for gas.

GloPro's avatar

It’s customary to fill a tank. Don’t be a dick and fill it when it’s almost full.

she is also giving her time.

hearkat's avatar

If all this driving is only for your benefit and she is driving you as a favor, then the ideal would be for you to foot the whole bill. Fill the tank at the outset, along the way, and at the end of the trip. Even though this will exceed the amount of gas you’re using on the actual journey, she is also incurring the expense of other wear-and-tear on the car, such as tires, oil, and brakes for which you are not being charged.

hug_of_war's avatar

I’m already buying her dinner on our trip so I’m not filling up her tank full 2x.

elbanditoroso's avatar

$150. And be grateful for her doing this.

hug_of_war's avatar

Sorry I asked this damn question. You guys are asses. I am disabled and doing my best.

hearkat's avatar

The dinner (and any food and beverage en route) is in gratitude for the time she is investing in this task for you. I still think it is appropriate for you to fill the tank at the outset, during (if needed) and at the end of the trip. As I said before, this would be the “ideal”.

The reality is that if you were able to drive yourself, you would incur those costs yourself. If you were paying a livery service to transport you or bus fare, those fees would cover the cost of the fuel for the trip and the wear and tear on the vehicle and the salary of the driver and may well exceed the cost of covering all her expenses as I noted (in addition to probably taking more of your own time in the process). I raised my son to cover his own expenses in such situations and to negotiate how such things would be handled before the trip commences in order to avoid conflict along the way.

On the other hand, if I had someone I was close to that relied on me for transportation, I probably wouldn’t ask for any reimbursement, unless I was pretty broke to begin with. I don’t know the nature of your relationship with your sister, and that seems to be a big part of the issue here, since you state that she’d suggest a very high amount, it seems she may harbor some resentments about feeling imposed upon or under-appreciated. Perhaps you could provide more details in that regard to help us help you figure out what would be a compromise.

GloPro's avatar

@hearkat agreed, but sometimes it’s what sisters do. Depending on the financial situation of both, there is room for flexibility. It’s the genuine thought that counts.

jca's avatar

Ok then one tank full plus the meals. No less. You’re getting off easy with that.

jca's avatar

A tank is about $40 to fill. Meal, maybe$20. By my estimation, $60 is getting you a lot.

chyna's avatar

@hug_of_war How much can you afford?

filmfann's avatar

Start with the tank full, then you pay for the fill up when you end each day.
And we are not asses. You asked.
Plus, saying you are disabled means you want to pay less than you owe, which is fine if it is fine with your sister, but she should know that before starting.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You’re taking this the wrong way. The unanimous consensus here should tell you that the solutions proposed are not unreasonable. After all, what are the chances that all of us are asses? Your disability aside, we have no knowledge of the relative financial situation regarding you and your sister. There are in addition facts which remain unclear. When you state that your sister will be driving a lot, do you mean that she will be driving YOU a lot? And “she’ll just give some ridiculous amount” can mean either she won’t charge you enough or that she will mercilessly gouge you. Either way, the issue is solved by simply filling the tank. As you already know, the cost of filling your sister’s tank is a joke when compared to alternative transportation. If you can’t afford to fill her tank, and she is generous enough to haul you around regardless, accept her generosity, buy her a nice dinner and count your blessings for her kindness.

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