The cost of owning and operating a vehicle in the US is increasing, according to a AAA Driving Costs Report released this week. Anyone who has filled up their gas tank recently will not find the data in this report a big surprise. The Driving Costs Report said the cost to own and operate a sedan in the U.S. has risen 3.4 percent the past 12 months to 58.6 cents a mile for a small sedan, 73.9 cents a mile for a medium sedan and 96.4 cents a mile for a large sedan, assuming 10,000 miles driven per year.
It is important to note that gas prices were much lower at the time this report was being put together. Today the costs to own and operate a vehicle are actually much higher than the AAA Report indicates.
The AAA Driving Costs Report also says drivers are paying 1.9 percent more than last year to keep their cars on the road. The average yearly price tag is now up to $8,776, which works out to 58.5 cents per mile based on a 15,000 miles per year average. AAA calculates the cost of a year of ownership at 58.5 cents per mile for 15,000 miles. Owning a small car costs an estimated $6,758, while owning a large sedan costs $10,982. A mid-size sport utility vehicle costs an estimated $11,239.
The increase in driving costs is primarily due to large increases in fuel, tire and depreciation costs. Additionally there have been moderate increases in other areas. The average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gas in the US is currently $3.70 according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. averaging over In many parts of the country, drivers are likely paying even more than that. In Califnornia gas is averaging $4.09.
The cost of tires had the largest percentage increase, rising 15.7 percent to 0.96 cents per mile on average for sedan owners. The rise in costs of raw materials, energy and transportation has led to notable tire price increases in recent years and 2011 is no exception. Also contributing to higher average tire costs is a trend by automakers to equip their sedans with premium grade tires as
AAA has published the survey since 1950, when driving a car 10,000 miles cost 9 cents per mile and gas was 27 cents per gallon.