SALT LAKE CITY - New research from AAA finds that the average annual cost of owning and operating a new car has increased by 2 percent in the U.S.
The 2013 edition of AAA's annual Your Driving Costs study estimates the overall cost of owning and operating a new average sized sedan at 61 cents, a 1.96 percent increase from 2012. This increase amounts to an average of $9,122 in yearly costs, based upon 15,000 miles of annual driving.
"Many factors go into the cost calculation of owning and operating a vehicle," said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson. "This year, changes in maintenance, fuel and insurance costs resulted in the increase of just over 60 cents a mile."
AAA estimates driving costs based on an extensive list of factors including gasoline, tires, maintenance, financing, depreciation and insurance. Maintenance costs are up 11.26 percent, the highest percentage increase from 2012 to 2013. On average this represents 4.97 cents per mile for sedans. This significant increase is due to labor, auto parts, and extended warranty policies.
Gas prices are up 1.93 percent (14.45 cents per mile) and are relatively stable compared to 2012. The 2013 gas price study was calculated using the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline during the fourth quarter of 2012.
The cost of tires remains unchanged from 2012, at one cent per mile on average for sedan owners. Auto depreciation is up slightly by 0.78 percent from 2012, due to recovering new car sales, resulting in more used cars available in the marketplace. Although insurance costs vary widely depending on the driver, average insurance costs for a sedan are up 2.76 pecent ($28) an average of $1,029 a year.