Cost of Owning a Car Now Over $9,000

Broken Piggy Bank - High Cost of Owning Car
401(k) 2013, Flickr

If you’re a car owner, get ready to dig deeper into your pockets for the privilege. According to a recent report published by the AAA auto club, the cost of owning a car – not the cost of buying a car, but the cost of having and maintaining and operating that vehicle – just took another jump. If you drive about 15,000 miles a year, own and operate a sedan, you’re now paying 60.8 cents per mile or about $9,122 per year, on average.

The AAA study shows the costs involved with maintaining a vehicle had the largest increase over last year’s figures. The cost to maintain a vehicle grew to 4.97 cents per mile, an 11.26 percent increase. The study bases its estimates on the cost to maintain and repair a vehicle for five years and 75,000 miles. This includes labor expenses, replacement parts and extended warranty policies. Parts and labor costs have risen year over year, which is contributing to the increase on a cost per mile basis.

Before you freak out and list your car for sale through the local classifieds, here are a few things to take into consideration that might make you feel less taxed about the cost of owning a car.

  • Inflation is a big factor. The average 1.17 cent jump in cost per mile over last year doesn’t mean your car’s suddenly decided to get a lot more expensive. It just accounts for a rise in prices for everything from gas to the cost of maintenance.
  • It’s also what you drive. The statistics show that not everyone’s paying the same amount of money to keep their cars in operation throughout the year. For example, if you drive a small sedan you’re paying close to 30 cents less per mile and about $4500 less per year than someone who drives a large sedan. SUV drivers pay the most, averaging 77.3 cents per mile or $11,599 per year.
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Although maintenance costs took the biggest jump, you’ve still got options.  Start with Openbay. Compare pricing and book service from quality local shops with the click of a button. Openbay is car repair for today’s world.

Source: AAA