AAA has revealed some startling information about vehicle ownership in the United States. As reported by USA Today, the American Automobile Association released information that outlines just how much it costs to own a vehicle in the United States on an annual basis. The cost is calculated via a “per mile” system, which is a great way to assess the true cost of ownership.
Today, the average cost of vehicle ownership is $9,122 for those driving 15,000 miles annually. On a per mile basis, expect to spend right around 60.8 cents per mile. This is an increase of 1.17 cents from 2012.
Figures for this cost analysis involve the average sedan.
The details of calculation are as follows:
These conclusions are based on 5 different categories.
(1) Vehicle maintenance
(2) Fuel costs
(4) Vehicle depreciation
(5) Insurance costs
Of these categories, vehicle maintenance saw the largest jump, increasing more than 11% to 4.97 cents per mile. This is attributed to the trend of owners keeping vehicles for much longer in a down economy. All of this makes perfect sense, when you consider that auto parts sales are UP, in addition to revenues at repairs shops across the country.
The national average for a gallon of gas came in at $3.49, but surprisingly enough, it was INSURANCE costs that came in second. Annual fuel costs came in third, with vehicle depreciation finishing fourth.
The trends regarding automobiles are always interesting, as they can help give a much better cross-section of the TRUE state of the American economy. As consumers become more cost-conscious, the need for repair increases, given the sluggish NEW car sales.
One thing we really enjoyed from the USA Today piece was the mention of AAA’s history in releasing this information –
When the study debuted in 1950, the average annual cost of vehicle ownership was $900 and gas was a paltry $0.27 a gallon.
Ah, the good ol’ days…