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Car maintenance, insurance, and repair costs have gone up again, with AAA putting the average tab for upkeep at more than $9,000.
A new study from AAA shows that car operating costs for the average family sedan increased nearly two percent over year-ago levels, to slightly more than 60 cents per mile, or more than $9,000 per year (based on 15,000 miles per year driven). Besides maintenance, such costs include insurance, gas, depreciation and tires.
In releasing its annual “Your Driving Costs” study, the AAA described the rise in overall car operating costs as “very modest.” Maintenance costs accounted for an increase of 11.3 percent; they're the biggest factor in the overall increase in car operating costs. But maintenance costs aren’t the only ones on the rise. Insurance costs have also crept up in the past year, up 2.76 percent or $28, to $1,029 annually. This estimate is for a driver with a clean driving record.
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The AAA study shows that fuel costs, at 14.4 cents per mile, climbed just over 1.9 percent. Study authors noted that more fuel-efficient vehicles are helping to offset the fuel cost increase. The average price for a gallon of gas is $3.52 today, compared with $3.91 one year ago.
As for depreciation costs, those ticked up slightly, increasing 0.78 percent to $3,571 a year.
Tire costs, meanwhile, did not change from 2012 to 2013, remaining at one cent per mile, on average, for sedan owners.
More in-depth findings of this year’s AAA study are contained in the “Your Driving Costs” brochure (PDF).