Thursday, 19 August 2021 18:03

Sticker Shock: Owning a New Vehicle Costs Nearly $10,000 Annually

Written by Ellen Edmonds, AAA


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According to the latest research from AAA, the average annual cost of new vehicle ownership is $9,666, or $805.50 per month.

The biggest factor pushing the nearly $10,000 annual price tag is depreciation. It accounts for 40% of all ownership expenses outpacing additional costs like fuel and maintenance.


With low inventory at dealerships due to the semi-conductor chip shortage, AAA urges new car buyers to be aware of all the expenses associated with ownership so they can negotiate the best deal for their budget.


“Consumers have to remember the expense of owning a car goes far beyond the monthly payment,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry relations. “Plus, we are seeing costs increase for a number of products recently, and cars are no exception. This trend will likely continue as new vehicles come equipped with the latest technology, which naturally drives up the sticker price.”


The 2021 AAA Your Driving Cost study reviewed nine categories of vehicles---consisting of 45 models---to determine the average annual operating and ownership costs of each. AAA selects top-selling, mid-priced models and compares them across six expense categories: fuel, maintenance/repair/tire costs, insurance, license/registration/taxes, depreciation and finance charges.


Depreciation---a measure of how quickly a car loses value---remains the single biggest cost (40%) of new vehicle ownership. Other key findings of this year’s Your Driving Costs include:


Fuel Costs: on average, fuel costs 10.72 cents per mile. This is based on data from May 2020–May 2021, which does not include recent spikes in gas prices. Fuel costs vary widely by vehicle type, ranging from a low of 3.66 cents per mile for electric vehicles, to 15.81 cents per mile for pickup trucks.


Maintenance, repair and tire costs: on average, maintenance and repair costs 9.55 cents per mile. Just like fuel...

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