How to Calculate Mileage Within a City


Achieving the best gas mileage possible, no matter what type of vehicle you own, is more important than ever. Not only will better gas mileage help you save your hard-earned money, it also contributes to a cleaner environment with less air pollution and a reduced reliance on foreign oil, which increases national security. Most all vehicles' fuel economy is diminished in city driving. If you want to increase gas mileage of your car or truck, you need to first understand how many miles per gallon it gets in the city.

  • Go to a gas station and completely fill your vehicle's gas tank with gas. As soon as the pump clicks off, stop.

  • Write your vehicle's odometer reading down on a piece of paper. Drive in the city until you've used approximately 1/4 to 1/2 tank of gas.

  • Go to a gas station and fill your gas tank again. As soon as you've filled the tank, look at the gas pump and write down how many gallons it took to fill your vehicle. Then get back in your car and write down your new odometer reading.

  • Use a calculator or your pen and paper to subtract your original odometer reading from the new odometer reading. For example, if your original reading was 77,500 and the new reading was 77,650, you would subtract 77,500 from 77,650 in order to get 150 miles.

  • Use your pen and paper or calculator to divide the total number of miles you drove in the city by the number of gallons it took to refill your vehicle's tank. When you're done dividing, you will have your city mileage. For example, if it took 11 gallons to fill your tank, divide 150 by 11, which gives you a total of 13.6 miles per gallon in city driving.

Tips & Warnings

  • Because you want to calculate only the vehicle's city gas mileage, you will need to drive the vehicle primarily in the city. City gas mileage is affected by a number of factors, including heavy traffic, frequent stops and acceleration and overall speed.
  • Do not try to top off your tank, as this may skew your calculations.

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  • Photo Credit city contrasts image by John Fatuzzo from
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