A new study has showed a 3.4 percent rise in the yearly costs to own and operate a sedan in the United States, due to relatively large increases in fuel, tire and depreciation costs.
The average costs rose 1.9 cents per mile to 58.5 cents per mile, or $8,776 per year, based upon 15,000 miles of annual driving, the study by American Automobile Association (AAA) showed.
Despite seeing reduced costs for maintenance and insurance this year, there is an overall increase in the costs to own and operate a vehicle in the U.S. this year, said John Nielsen, AAA National Director of Auto Repair, Buying and Consumer Programs. The 2011 rise in costs is due to relatively large increases in fuel, tire and depreciation costs as well as more moderate increases in other areas.
The cost of tires had the largest percentage increase, rising 15.7 percent to 0.96 cents per mile on average for sedan owners, AAA said. Also contributing to higher average tire costs is a trend by automakers to equip their sedans with premium grade tires as original equipment.
The 2011 ‘Your Driving Costs’ study began in December 2010 and calculated fuel costs when the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $2.88 per gallon at that time.
The study is meant to provide an overview of the yearly costs involved in owning and operating a vehicle. Some of those costs can fluctuate greatly at different points during the year, such as what we have experienced since the middle of February with the price of fuel, however these figures can still be used to compare categories of vehicles, Nielsen said.
The 2011 AAA study found a 4.9 percent increase depreciation costs, averaging $3,728 yearly for sedans driving 15,000 miles annually.