Driving Costs on the Rise, Study Finds
From gas to tires to insurance, it costs more to own and operate a car than it did last year.
While the increasing cost of fuel is the No. 1 reason it costs more to operate a vehicle this year than last, AAA’s annual driving cost study found that the cost of owning and operating a vehicle is also on the rise. For a sedan owner that number is up 4.8% this year to 56.6 cents per mile. That totals $8,487 a year. The study looks at vehicle ownership costs, including insurance, license and registration fees, taxes, depreciation and finance charges, and operation costs, such as gas, maintenance and tires.
This bump is mainly due to higher gas prices, but it’s not just the money that goes into the pump. High gas prices also negatively affect the resale value of cars with poor fuel economy. SUVs have taken a hit on the depreciation side, with the rate of loss rising 10.7% to $5,003 a year.
These trends are similar to when gas hit $4 briefly in summer 2008 and dramatically impacted the SUV market. Today, there are fewer traditional SUVs in automakers’ lineups and those that are still around sell at lower rates than before summer 2008.
When the AAA study was finished in December 2009, gas cost an average of $2.60 per gallon nationally. Today, it’s at $2.86. Insurance costs and the price of tires also rose last year.
Costs of driving shift up for 2010 (USA Today)