Variable, Semi-Variable and Fixed Cost


  • Fixed cost: a cost that does not vary according to the number of units produced or the sales.

  • Variable cost: a cost which varies in the same proportion as the units produced.

  • Semi-variable cost: a cost that is fixed in part and variable in part. It remains fixed up to a certain level of production and changes with the change in the volume of production beyond this level.

Semi-variable cost is the kind of cost that we are going to encounter most often.

Semi-variable cost

The semi-variable costs can be separated into two parts: the fixed cost part and the variable cost part.

Semi-variable cost = Fixed cost + Variable cost

Let’s see an example:

Fixed cost: Rs. x minimum fare of a taxi upto 2 km ride.

Variable cost: In case the customer rides more than 2 km, extra charge will be proportional to the extra distance travelled. Let this extra charge be ‘y’ rupees per unit of extra distance travelled.

So, the final bill = x + Dy; where ‘D’ is the extra distance travelled apart from the 2 km travelled initially.

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