Sure, if money is the object you’ll likely find a dealer offering a $149 lease special on some slow-selling model. But just because you get off cheap up front doesn’t mean you’re in for a bargain the rest of the way. The fact is, buying, owning and operating a car is expensive – and getting more so every year.
And that’s not just because of the cost of fuel, which have risen an average 14.8% over the last year. The cost of replacement tires have jumped 4.2%, according to the 62nd annual “Your Driving Costs” survey from AAA. And insurance has gone up an average 3.4%.
Overall, there’s been a less extreme 1.9% increase in the cost of auto ownership since last year, reports the AAA, which works out to $8,946 per annum when you work in that monthly payment, fuel, maintenance and insurance fees.
“The average driving cost for 2012 is up due to relatively large increases in fuel and tire costs, and more moderate increases in other areas,” said John Nielsen, AAA director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Those increases were offset by a decrease in depreciation.”