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Yearly Driving Costs Rise 3.4 Percent

By AutoWeek

By AutoWeek Apr 5, 2011 10:34AM

Yearly driving costs rose 3.4 percent, AAA says. (Image courtesy of Jeep.)

This won't be a surprise to anyone--it's costing more to own and drive a car.

Higher prices for fuel and tires, and a larger drop in the resale value of cars, pushed the average cost of owning a sedan to $8,776 a year, according to AAA of Heathrow, Fla. That's up 3.4 percent from a year ago.

The rise in fuel, tire and depreciation costs more than offset declines in maintenance and insurance costs for the year, AAA said. Based on 15,000 miles a year, AAA said it costs 58.5 cents per mile to operate the average sedan.

AAA published operating cost survey results for several categories:

-- Small sedan: $6,758 per year, 45.1 cents per mile

-- Medium sedan: $8,588 per year, 57.3 cents per mile

-- Large sedan: $10,982 per year, 73.2 cents per mile

-- Minivan: $9,489 per year, 63.3 cents per mile

-- Four-wheel-drive SUV: $11,239 per year, 74.9 cents per mile.

And those costs are growing. AAA conducted its study in December, when unleaded gasoline prices averaged $2.88 a gallon. That average now stands at about $3.69 a gallon, AAA said.

The cost of tires rose 15.7 percent from a year ago, AAA said. That was caused by a combination of higher tire prices and automakers equipping vehicles with more expensive premium tires as standard.

AAA said average insurance costs fell 6.1 percent to $968 a year--but it uses a low-risk driver with a clean record to make that calculation.

For the study, AAA cost five top-selling models for each vehicle category--and no European vehicles were in the mix. The vehicles used were:

-- Small sedan: Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla.

-- Medium sedan: Chevrolet Impala, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry.

-- Large sedan: Buick Lucerne, Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon.

-- Minivan: Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna.

-- SUV: Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner.

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Apr 6, 2011 9:23AM
Oil supply is up, demand is down. Ask yourself, Why is it so expensive? Goldman-Sachs knows. 
Apr 5, 2011 12:13PM
It's hard to believe you spend $8K on a midsize car throughout the year.  If most people added it all up as it accumulated, they'd be shocked.  I'm sure I would.
Apr 5, 2011 9:56PM
makes me want to stop driving a car altogether and just use my motorcycle.  Course living in socal its a totally viable option =)
Apr 8, 2011 5:37PM

I realize this is not a particularly popular topic, but --


I find it interesting that Medicare recipients received a letter earlier informing them that again this year they would not receive a Cost Of Living Adjustment, because the cost of living has not increased since 2008. This is getting laughable. When will the "powers that be" realize that the increases in the cost of basics like food, electricity, gas, etc. affect low income people much more than the cost of luxury items, real estate, etc. It's really pretty hard to defend the position that the cost of living has not gone up for lower and middle income Americans.

Apr 7, 2011 10:22PM
Yet Detroit keeps pushing the big gas guzzling trucks on us, the new breed of muscle cars. And we keep buying them. Go figure. And the higher cost of driving sure hasn't slowed anyone down, they're still blowing by you at 75-80 MPH. Most of them in their 4x4's & SUV's getting 10 MPG, complaining about those "*%#@% high gas prices.". For all of the new higher MPG cars being made today, you sure don't see many of them on the road. Summer is almost here and that means the huge "Titanic" motor homes will be hitting the roads. Wait I take that back. All the high MPG cars are being pulled my the motor homes. Except for the ones that tow the Jeeps and other SUV's, and the big "Queen Mary" boats. I don't get it.
Apr 6, 2011 2:31PM

Is funny math.

Gasoline price up over 30 %. so where is the 3.4% come from?

Like unemployment # we have 25 Million Unemployed in US.

This 8.8% so 100% employment is according this fuzy math 284 million LOL.

Of 300 Million population. Other government lie.

Only 3-4% Inflation if you don't drive and eat. LOL.

Apr 6, 2011 3:35PM
so if i drive my 1991 chevy suburban  (the old box body) that only gets about 8-9 mpgs how much does that cost? (of course put in larger tires into the equation)
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