New research from AAA finds that the average annual cost of owning and operating a new car has decreased by 2.7% in the United States for 2014.
The 2014 edition of AAA’s annual Your Driving Costs study estimates the overall cost of owning and operating a new average sized sedan fell to 59.2 cents per mile, a 1.64 cent per mile decrease from 2013. This decrease amounts to an average of $8,876 in yearly costs, based upon 15,000 miles of annual driving.
“Despite increases in maintenance and registration fees, there is an overall decrease in the cost of owning and operating a vehicle,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “This year’s decrease is caused by a drop in fourth quarter gas prices and lower tire, insurance and depreciation expenses. Owners are saving more than one and a half cents on every mile they drive.”
Before making any vehicle purchase, it is important to determine ownership and operational costs and compare them to current and future vehicle costs. To assist consumers in determining individual driving costs, the AAA Your Driving Costs brochure contains a worksheet that can be filled out and personalized for a specific area, driver and vehicle.
AAA estimates driving costs based on an extensive list of factors including gasoline, tires, maintenance, financing, depreciation and insurance.
Maintenance costs are up in 2014 by two percent to $5.06 per mile on average for sedan owners. This increase is due to labor expenses, auto replacement parts, and extended warranty policies.
Nationwide, fuel costs had the single largest percentage decrease from 2013. This represents 13 cents per mile expense for 2014. The average cost of regular grade fuel fell 5.96 percent, from $3,486 to $3,278 per gallon per year. The 2014 gas price study was calculated using the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline during the fourth quarter of 2013.
The cost of tires in 2014 has decreased three percent, to $0.97 cents per mile on average for sedan owners. Auto depreciation decreased for 2014 to $3,510 from $3,571 in 2013. While the numbers improved in all three sedan categories, they are particularly strong in the medium size vehicles where several very desirable redesigned models have been introduced.
In 2014, average insurance costs remained relatively unchanged at an average annual cost of $1,023, compared to $1,029 last year. Insurance rates vary widely by driver and driving record, issuing company, and geographical region.
AAA’s Your Driving Costs brochure includes a breakdown of specific costs by category of vehicle and can be downloaded at www.aaa.newsroom. AAA has published Your Driving Costs since 1950. That year, driving a car 10,000 miles per year cost $0.09 cents per mile and gasoline sold for $0.27 per gallon.
AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to more than 4.1 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded 114 years ago.