Driving costs rose nearly 2% in U.S., says AAA

THE COST OF OWNING and driving a car in the United States rose nearly 2 percent this year, according to AAA's newest "Your Driving Costs" study.
Posted 4/16/13

PROVIDENCE – The cost of owning and operating a vehicle in the United States rose nearly 2 percent from last year, according to AAA’s annual “Your Driving Costs” study.

The study, released Tuesday, showed a 1.96 percent increase in the cost to own and operate a sedan in the U.S. Increased costs in maintenance, insurance and fuel drove the average cost for sedans to $9,122 yearly, or 60.8 cents per mile, according to AAA, which based its study on 15,000 miles of annual driving.

“Many factors go into the cost calculation of owning and operating a vehicle. This year, changes in maintenance, fuel and insurance costs resulted in the increase to just over 60 cents a mile,” John Paul, AAA Southern New England’s so-called “Car Doctor,” said in a AAA statement.

While the cost of the average sedan was $9,122 annually, drivers would pay more than the average for medium sedans ($9,151), large sedans ($11,248), minivans ($9,765) and four-wheel-drive SUVs ($11,599).

The AAA study also found that maintenance costs increased 11.26 percent year over year. AAA based this estimate on the cost to maintain a vehicle and perform needed repairs for five years and 75,000 miles, including labor expenses, replacement part prices and the purchase of an extended warranty policy.

Fuel costs, tire costs and depreciation costs were relatively stable over the year, with fuel costs rising 1.93 percent to 14.45 cents per mile for the average sedan owner, tire prices remaining unchanged and depreciation costs rising 0.78 percent.

This is the 63rd annual year of the “Your Driving Costs” study, which AAA has published since 1950. In 1950, driving a car 10,000 miles per year cost 9 cents per mile and gasoline sold for 27 cents per gallon.

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