The price of owning a vehicle in the U.S. has decreased

May 12, 2014

AAA reports that the cost of owning a vehicle is down this year. In the company’s annual ‘Your Driving Costs’ Study: Owning and Operating Your Vehicle Just Got A Little Cheaper the cost of operating an average size sedan is shown to have decreased by 2.7% from 2013.

AAA Public Affairs Specialist in Western and Central New York Steve Pacer says the decreased cost of owning and operating a car is due to lower tire, insurance and depreciation expenses.

“It really does have to do a lot with gas prices. They’re down about 10% from last year nationally and for New York State, which was down in 2013 compared to 2012. So, we’re kind of going in the right direction where fuel isn’t eating up as much of a cost as it was in years past,” said Pacer.

4WD Vehicle.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News

The AAA report finds the average cost of owning a vehicle fell to 59.2 cents per mile or $8,876 per year based on 15,000 miles of driving annually on the average sedan.

Pacer says it’s not only the average size sedan that saw a reduction in operation costs, but the report also found a decrease in costs for small sedans, 4WD SUV’s and minivans.

“I think it’s a positive thing that we’re seeing motorists being able to save some money on things that are really out of our control. We really can’t control the price of tires. We really can’t control the price of gas. So, when we really do have the opportunity to see something cost a little less I think it just makes driving more enjoyable and it just makes people think positively towards getting in their car,” said Pacer.

The study did, however, find that vehicle maintenance costs are up nearly 2% or roughly 5.06 cents per mile on the average size sedan. The estimate is based on the cost of repairs for five years and 75,000 miles including labor expenses and the purchase of extended warranties.