Surprise! Car Ownership Costs on the Rise
Given today’s economy, the rising costs of the products we consume and the cars we drive, it’s really no surprise that the price for operating a vehicle have also increased. According to AAA’s 2011 report, "Your Driving Costs," it now costs an additional 3.4 percent to operate a sedan. The costs point mostly to increases in the price of gas and tires, and depreciation factors that contribute to this. In hard numbers, that translates to just under two cents per mile. If you drive 15,000 miles per year, your costs average:
Small sedan: 45.1 cents/mile = $6,758/year
Medium sedan: 57.3 cents/mile = $8,588/year
Large sedan: 73.2 cents/mile = $10,982/year
SUV: 74.9 cents/mile = $11,239/year
4WD/Minivan: 63.3 cents/mile = $9,489/year
One of the factors in calculating these is the cost of tires, which has increased by nearly 16 percent. For the average sedan owner, that translates to 0.96 cents per mile. In today’s market, there are several vehicles with better gas mileage, but as of now, it’s not enough to compensate for the increased price of gas. One of the most overlooked costs of vehicle ownership is depreciation. The AAA 2011 study found that the average depreciation costs for a sedan increased just under five percent, which averages $3,728 for 15,000 miles driven annually.
Now for a little good news! The same study also found that the cost of maintaining your vehicle fell 2.2 percent, or 4.44 cents per mile for sedans. Part of this is attributed to owners following the recommended guidelines for such things as oil changes, tire rotations, and so forth. The insurance costs also dropped, with the average sedan, for example, dropping 6.1 percent ($968 annually). Those figures are based on a low-risk driver with excellent records. So it does pay to be a safe driver who maintains your vehicle!
Johnny Nocera has been on the radio airwaves in Southwest Florida with “Dr. Johnny’s Car Clinic” WGUF New Radio 98.9 FM every Saturday morning from 9-10 for over 27 years. He also owns, along with his sons Jr. and Jimmy, Supreme Auto and Collision located in downtown Naples, and has been in business for more than 38 years.