Did you ever consider what it actually costs to own new vehicle?

According to the latest numbers from AAA, the annual average cost of driving a new vehicle is $9,666 or $805 a month.

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

With low inventory at dealerships due to the semi-conductor chip shortage, AAA is urging new car buyers to be aware of all the expenses associated with ownership so that 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 Patti Artessa, AAA Northeast Regional Director of Public and Government Affairs. “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.”

Key findings of this year’s AAA 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, electric vehicles are on the lower end of the spectrum, costing 7.70 cents per mile, while medium sedans are the most expensive at 10.43 cents per mile.
  • Finance charges: the cost of vehicle loans decreased due to a drop in the prime lending rate. The average interest rate in 2021 is 4.12%, which is 1.056 percentage points lower than last year.

AAA is advising car buyers to budget for more than the monthly payment as car prices increase.

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