Driving costs high
AAA’s Your Driving Costs brochure includes a breakdown of specific costs by category of vehicle and can be downloaded at www.newsroom.aaa.com
The average person is spending close to $9,000 a year to drive and maintain a mid-sized sedan in the United States, a survey by AAA reports.
"These increases for 2012 are due to relatively large increases in fuel and tire costs, and more moderate increases in other areas," Cynthia Harris, a AAA Northern California spokeswoman said in a statement.
"If you plan on purchasing a new car or truck, make sure to double check what the driving costs will be before you make your decision."
AAA estimates driving costs based on an extensive list of factors including gasoline, tires, maintenance, financing, depreciation and insurance.
Fuel had the highest percentage increase from 2011 to 2012, rising up to an average of 14.8 percent per mile for sedan owners.
Gas prices in the 2012 study were calculated using the national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline during the fourth quarter of 2011.
The price in California was higher than the national average, as were many of the other factors, according to various sources.
The cost of tires ranks second highest among the factors that increased the cost of driving in 2012.
The price increase of 4.2 percent (1 cent per mile) on average for a medium-sized sedan can be attributed to higher costs for natural rubber, production and distribution.
Auto depreciation dropped 4.9 percent from 2011, due to reduced new car sales over the past five years.
Although insurance costs vary widely depending on driver, average insurance costs for a sedan are up 3.4 percent to an average of $1,001 a year.
Maintenance costs are up 0.67 percent, or 4.47 cents per mile on average for sedans, the survey reported.
AAA's survey looks at average operating and ownership costs of five top-selling models in three popular size classes: small, medium and large sedans.
The research shows the annual average cost of driving a small sedan is $6,735 per year, driving a mid-sized sedan is $8,946 and driving a large sedan costs $11,324 per year.
SUV owners, whose vehicles typically get lower fuel economy, will pay an average of $11,360 in yearly operating costs. Minivan owners will incur an average of $9,504 in costs for 2012.
AAA has published the survey results since 1950. That year, driving a car 10,000 miles per year cost 9 cents per mile and gasoline sold for 27 cents per gallon.