Despite lower fuel prices, AAA reports costs to own, operate vehicle remain constant
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ORLANDO, Fla., (April 8, 2009) - AAA's 2009 edition of "Your Driving Costs" shows the average cost of owning and operating a new car in the U.S. has remained relatively unchanged despite lower fuel costs. The average cost for a new sedan driven 15,000 miles per year is 54 cents per mile, only 0.1 cent less than reported in 2008.
"While motorists are experiencing relief at the pump, those savings have been countered by revised Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy estimates and increases in vehicle ownership costs such as insurance premiums, depreciation, finance charges and other fees and taxes," said AAA Automotive Vice President Marshall L. Doney.
New sedan costs average $8,095 yearly
SUV costs drop, minivan's jump
New EPA baselines provide better "real world" results
"AAA was a strong advocate for updating the EPA's guidelines for calculating fuel economy so new car buyers could have a realistic estimate of a vehicle's miles per gallon before their purchase," Doney said. "The ability to use EPA estimates more closely based on 'real world' conditions in our calculations has made 'Your Driving Costs' an even more valuable tool for consumers."
Understanding the calculations
Operating Costs: Fuel, Maintenance and Tires
The costs are based on typical use of a vehicle for personal transportation over five years and 75,000 miles of ownership. Fuel costs were based on $2.30 per gallon, as reported by the AAA Fuel Gauge Report (AAAFuelGaugeReport.com) in late 2008.
AAA's analysis covers vehicles equipped with standard and optional equipment. The driving costs in each category are based on the average expenses for five top-selling models selected by AAA. The models included in the study are:
Small Sedans: Chevrolet Cobalt, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla
"Your Driving Costs" availability
As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.