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Driving Costs Plunge to Six-Year Low

Low fuel costs offset rises in every other category.

by on Apr.07, 2016

Lower fuel prices are providing a bonanza for American motorists, according to the AAA study.

You may be paying more for food and housing, but that trip to work is likely costing you less these days. In fact, driving costs have fallen to their lowest level in six years, according to an annual study by AAA.

The travel and road service firm estimates the average driver will spend $8,858 to own and operate the typical vehicle this year, a figure that works out to around 57 cents per mile. Credit goes to one particular factor, said AAA managing director John Nielsen.

Watching Your Money!

“Thanks to lower gas prices, American drivers can expect to save hundreds of dollars in fuel costs in 2016,” said Nielsen. “Fortunately, this annual savings more than offsets the moderate increases in maintenance, insurance, finance charges and other costs associated with owning and operating a vehicle.”

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Drivers Get Break on Cost of Ownership

Lower fuel and insurance costs give U.S. car owners a break.

by on May.05, 2015

AAA says vehicle ownership costs are going to fall this year by 2% due in part to low fuel prices.

If you’ve gotten used to the idea that you’ll always be paying more – for housing, food, clothing – you may be in for a pleasant surprise when it comes to driving, as you can expect to pay about 2% less to operate your car this year.

Credit lower fuel costs and cut-rate car loans, according to the AAA’s annual “Your Driving Costs” study. Unfortunately, the survey also found that some other automotive expenses are expected to rise this year, notably including auto insurance, maintenance and tires. And if you’re planning to buy this year, AAA cautions that you’ll likely be getting less for that trade-in, which translates into higher depreciation costs.

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Nontheless, “Car owners can look forward to saving approximately $178 this year,” explained John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, and the savings will be even greater for those driving large, fuel-hungry vehicles such as minivans, pickups and SUVs, the AAA reported. (more…)

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.

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Average Car Now Costs Nearly $9,000 Annually to Keep Running

But not everything is going up in price, finds new study.

by on May.04, 2012

That midsize sedan will cost you nearly $9,000 a year to keep fueled, licensed, insured and maintained.

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%.

The Last Word!

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.”

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New Study Names Most Affordable Cars to Own

Kia tops mainstream marques, Audi leads in luxury segment.

by on Feb.08, 2012

Kia was named best mainstream brand in terms of 5-year total ownership costs, with the Soul winning in the Compact segment.

There are plenty of bargain-priced cars, trucks and crossovers, but that doesn’t always mean they add up to a good deal.  Smart shoppers know that there are lots of ways costs can quickly get out of control when you own a car, from insurance to fuel economy to maintenance and repairs.

And that’s why a new study from Kelly Blue Book is focusing on what really matters: the total cost of ownership.  And there, the data-tracking website concludes, Kia is the clear stand-out, as the top brand among all manufacturers when the entire ownership experience is tallied up.  Audi, meanwhile, was the number one luxury brand in terms of total cost of ownership.

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“Car shoppers should take the time to compare vehicles on their consideration lists to fully understand the financial implications involved with cost of ownership,” said Juan Flores, director of vehicle valuation for Kelley Blue Book. “While a vehicle might be less expensive up front, the cost of fuel for that model, insurance and other expenditures could make it the less appealing choice for their wallet in the long run.”

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The Worst Cars on the Road?

Mercedes, Smart and Nissan cited, but Detroit offerings dominate Forbes’ list.

by on Apr.28, 2011

The worst car on the road? The Mercedes-Benz S550 takes its lumps in a new study.

By just about any metric you choose – from fuel economy to long-term reliability – today’s automotive offerings continue to get better and better.  But there are still a few clunkers.

And Forbes magazine has come up with a list of what it claims are the worst cars on the road, using data from six key studies – covering matters such as safety and cost-of-ownership.

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The list includes a few surprises, such as the vaunted Mercedes-Benz S-Class, as well as some poorly-reviewed offerings, notably the Smart fortwo.  But Forbes reserves the brunt of its wrath for Detroit, which overwhelmingly dominates the list with models like the Cadillac Escalade.

The significant exception is Ford, which didn’t place a single model on the list of dubious honor.

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