Lower gas prices are the main reason the cost to drive your car is at a six-year low according to the latest AAA Your Driving Costs study. The study pegs the average annual cost of driving a vehicle at $8,558, down 1.6 percent from last year. The study is a based on a car owner driving 15,000 miles for the year.
“Owning a car costs a lot more than just that monthly loan payment you might make, or putting gas in the tank,” says Elizabeth Carey, public affairs manager for AAA of Western and Central New York. “If you break it down per month, that’s about $713 per month to cover costs associated with owning and operating that car. That’s everything from gas to maintenance, insurance, and more.”
In the study, average fuel costs are down 25 percent, and offset increases in other ownership costs mainly insurance, where the average cost is up 9 percent for the year. Maintenance costs are up 3.3 percent for the year, but many owners put off maintenance costs, which can become more costly later on.
“A recent AAA study found that 35 percent of Americans have skipped or delayed service,” Carey mentioned. “But if you continue to skip that regular service, you’re going to end up paying more in the long run for costly repairs. So it’s a good idea to keep up on those regular maintenance checks.”
AAA has released the Your Driving Costs study every year since 1950, when gas was 27 cents per gallon and the average cost of driving a car 10,000 miles was 9 cents per mile. In 2016, the cost is 57 cents per mile.