AAA released the results of its annual “Your Driving Costs” study, which revealed a 3.4-percent rise in the yearly costs to own and operate a sedan in the U.S. The average costs rose 1.9 cents per mile to 58.5 cents per mile, or $8,776 per year, based upon 15,000 miles of annual driving.
“Despite seeing reduced costs for maintenance and insurance this year, there is an overall increase in the costs to own and operate a vehicle in the U.S. this year,” said John Nielsen, AAA National Director of Auto Repair, Buying and Consumer Programs. “The 2011 rise in costs is due to relatively large increases in fuel, tire, and depreciation costs as well as more moderate increases in other areas.”
The cost of tires had the largest percentage increase, rising 15.7 percent to 0.96 cents per mile on average for sedan owners, according to AAA. Although several vehicles included in the ‘Your Driving Costs’ study had increases in fuel economy, it was not enough to offset the rise in gas prices which caused fuel costs to increase 8.6 percent to 12.34 cents per mile on average for sedans.
The 2011 AAA study also found a 4.9 percent increase depreciation costs, averaging $3,728 yearly for sedans driving 15,000 miles annually.
Maintenance costs dropped 2.2 percent to 4.44 cents per mile on average for sedans, which reflects a trend by automakers to include some portion of scheduled maintenance in the purchase price and extending recommended maintenance intervals. All categories had lower costs for maintenance, but the minivan category had the largest drop with a 7.4 percent decline to 4.5 cents per mile. Average insurance costs for sedans fell 6.1 percent (or $63) to $968 yearly.
In-depth findings of this year’s study, including a breakdown of specific costs for each category of vehicle and costs at different annual mileages are available at select local AAA branch offices or may be downloaded at AAA.com/PublicAffairs.
[via Business Fleet]
Photo courtesy of Sushiina and re-used under the Creative Commons license.