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AAA: Average driving costs rise by a penny per mile
By Insure.com staff

The average cost to own and operate a sedan rose by 1.2 cents per mile in the last year to 60.8 cents per mile, according to AAA's latest annual "Your Driving Costs" study.

The annual cost to own and drive a sedan is $9,122, based on 15,000 miles of driving a year.

"Many factors go into the cost calculation of owning and operating a vehicle," John Nielsen, AAA director of automotive engineering and repair, said in a press statement. "This year, changes in maintenance, fuel and insurance costs resulted in the increase to just over 60 cents a mile."

Costs vary according to the size of the vehicle. AAA's findings include:

  • Small sedan: 46.4 cents per mile, $6,967 per year.
  • Medium sedan: 61 cents per mile, $9,151 per year.
  • Large sedan: 75 cents per mile, $11,248 per year.
  • SUV four-wheel drive: 77.3 cents per mile, $11,599 per year.
  • Minivan: 65.3 cents per mile; $9,795 per year.
AAA offers a brochure with more details and a worksheet for consumers to calculate their own annual driving costs.

In its study, AAA found that maintenance costs rose 11.3 percent to almost 5 cents per mile on average for sedan owners. A rise in labor and parts costs for some models as well as a hike in extended warranty policies drove the price increase.

Fuel costs increased by almost 2 percent to 14.5 cents per mile on average for sedan owners. The average cost of regular grade fuel actually rose 3.8 percent to $3.49 from $3.36 per gallon, but that was partly offset by improvements in fuel economy ratings for several vehicles in the study.

While the cost of tires remained the same, insurance costs rose 2.8 percent, or $28, to $1,029 a year. Insurance rates vary widely by driver, driving record, insurance company and location. Depreciation costs, meanwhile, rose 0.8 percent.

 

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