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AAA Study Shows Increase in Driving Costs

Press Release

April 26, 2013

Cost of Driving Accelerates In 2013     

Salt Lake City– New research from AAA finds that the average annual cost of owning and operating a new car has increased by 1.96 percent in the United States. 

The 2013 edition of AAA’s annual Your Driving Costs study estimates the overall cost of owning and operating a new average-sized sedan at $0.61 per mile, a 1.96 percent per mile increase from 2012. This increase amounts to an average of $9,122 in yearly costs, based upon 15,000 miles of annual driving.

“Many factors go into the cost calculation of owning and operating a vehicle,” said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson. “This year, changes in maintenance, fuel and insurance costs resulted in the increase of just over 60 cents a mile.” 

Sample Findings of the 2013 Your Driving Costs study:

Based on Driving 15,000 miles annually











Cost per mile

46.4 cents

61 cents

75 cents

60.8 cents

77.3 cents

65.3 cents

Cost per year







Before making any vehicle purchase, it is important to determine ownership and operational costs and compare them to current and future vehicle costs. To assist consumers in determining individual driving costs, the AAA Your Driving Costs brochure contains a worksheet that can be filled out and personalized for a specific area, driver and vehicle.

AAA estimates driving costs based on an extensive list of factors including gasoline, tires, maintenance, financing, depreciation and insurance. Maintenance costs are up 11.26 percent, the highest percentage increase from 2012 to 2013. On average this represents 4.97 cents per mile for sedans. This significant increase is due to labor, auto parts, and extended warranty policies.

Gas prices are up 1.93 percent (14.45 cents per mile) and are relatively stable compared to 2012. The 2013 gas price study was calculated using the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline during the fourth quarter of 2012.   

The cost of tires remains unchanged from 2012, at one cent per mile on average for sedan owners. Auto depreciation is up slightly by 0.78 percent from 2012, due to recovering new car sales, resulting in more used cars available in the marketplace. Although insurance costs vary widely depending on the driver, average insurance costs for a sedan are up 2.76 percent ($28) an average of $1,029 a year.  

AAA’s Your Driving Costs brochure includes a breakdown of specific costs by category of vehicle and can be downloaded at www.aaa.newsroom. AAA has published Your Driving Costs since 1950. That year, driving a car 10,000 miles per year cost $0.09 cents per mile and gasoline sold for $0.27 per gallon.

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