OGDEN -- Gas prices are higher than they were a year ago, that's for certain. But fuel isn't the only reason driving in 2012 is so expensive.
Overall, the annual average cost to own and operate a medium-sized sedan in the United States rose 1.9 percent, according to AAA's 2012 "Your Driving Costs" study.
The average cost to drive a medium-sized sedan is now 59.6 cents per mile, which represents a 1.1 cent per mile increase from 2011.
That number might not seem like a lot at first glance, said AAA Utah spokeswoman Rolayne Fairclough, but over the course of an entire year of driving, which is 15,000 miles for the typical motorist, the costs add up fast.
"That (1.1 cent per mile) increase (to 59.6 cents) amounts to an average of $8,946 in yearly costs," Fairclough said. "That's quite a dent to drivers' wallets."
AAA's research shows the annual, average cost for SUV owners is $11,360 and $9,504 for minivan owners.
Fairclough said the 2012 increases are the result of relatively large increases in fuel and tire costs, but costs have increased in a number of other areas as well, including maintenance, financing, depreciation and insurance.
Fuel had the highest percentage increase from 2011 to 2012, rising by an average of 14.8 percent per mile for sedan owners.
The price of tires increased by 4.2 percent, maintenance costs are up 0.67 percent and, while insurance costs vary widely depending on the driver, average insurance costs for a sedan are up 3.4 percent to an average of $1,001 a year.
Fairclough said all these costs should be considered when purchasing a new vehicle.
"If you plan on purchasing a new car or truck, make sure to double check what the driving costs will be before you make your decision," she said. "It might end up costing you a lot more than you think."
On the positive side, Fairclough said, auto depreciation dropped 4.9 percent from 2011, due to reduced new car sales over the past five years.
West Haven resident Marty Backner filled up his gas tank Thursday in Harrisville and said he knew gas was on the rise, but was unaware of the other cost increases.
"Gas is so highly publicized that you can't miss that," he said. "But with all this other stuff going up, we might all be walking soon."