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Cost of Ownership Rises 2%, Now Over $9,100 a Year

Average motorists will spend over 60 cents a mile.

by on Apr.16, 2013

It will cost you more than $9,000 to own and operate the typical sedan this year, says a new AAA study.

Now that you’ve got your taxes done, perhaps it’s time to sit down and work out your automotive budget.  But a quick estimate by AAA suggests you’ll spend an average $9,122 on your car this year – an increase of nearly 2% over 2012.

Costs vary widely, of course, depending upon factors such as what and where you drive, along with the ups-and-downs of fuel prices. But the typical sedan owner who clocks 15,000 miles a year should budget 60.8 cents a mile, according to the latest annual “Your Driving Costs” study from AAA.

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“Many factors go into the cost calculation of owning and operating a vehicle,” said John Nielsen, AAA Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “This year, changes in maintenance, fuel and insurance costs resulted in the increase” of about 1.17 cents a mile compared to the 2012 study.

Now in its 63rd year, the study did have some good news.  After rising sharply in recent years due to increased raw material prices, the cost of replacement tires was unchanged from 2012 to 2013. Depreciation costs, meanwhile, rose by just 0.78%. But considering the price for a new vehicle that still adds up to $3,571 for your average sedan.

As you’ve likely noticed at the pump, fuel costs have been leveling off and even dropping in recent weeks. The AAA study meanwhile factors in steadily improving fuel economy and comes up with a gas  price estimate of 14.45 cents a mile for your typical sedan.  That’s a modest 1.93% increase.

Insurance costs are expected to rise 2.76%, to an average $1,029 annually – though that can “vary widely vary widely by driver and driving record, issuing company and geographical region,” AAA warns.

(Check out the 10 Most, Least Expensive States for Car Insurance. Click Here for the story.)

The biggest increase, according to the Your Driving Costs study? Maintenance and repairs, which are expected to jump by 11.26% from last year, to 4.97 cents a mile. Expect big increases in both parts and labor – and you’ll likely pay a lot more this year for extended warranty policies, as well.

(For more on the big rise in auto repair and maintenance costs, Click Here.)

What are you likely to spend to own and operate other types of vehicles?

  • Small sedans will average 46.4 cents a mile, or $6,967 for all of 2013;
  • Midsize sedans jump to 61.0 cents a mile, or $9,151;
  • Large sedans will average 75.0 cents a mile, or $11,248;
  • An AWD SUV will cost 77.3 cents a mile, or $11,599; and
  • Minivans will average 65.3 cents a mile, or $9,795 this year.

The AAA has been compiling its driving costs study since 1950 – when gasoline averaged 27 cents a gallon.  That year, motorists were likely to drive just 10,000 miles, on average, at 9 cents a mile – for a total annual car of ownership of just $900.

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