The Ups And Downs Of Operating Your Vehicle

20 04 2011

Dale BertramI was just reading AAA’s 2011 Driving Costs.  It was based on the national average price for regular unleaded gasoline at $2.88 per gallon.  We have certainly gone beyond that price.  They report that tire costs have increased 15.7 percent. Depreciation is at a 4.9 percent increase and is still the highest cost of owning and operating a vehicle.  Maintenance costs have decreased 4.44 cents per mile on average sedans because manufacturers have extended service intervals.  Insurance has also decreased by 6.1 percent because good drivers are now getting rewarded by insurers.

Based on driving 15,000 miles per year and the $2.88 per gallon fuel cost here is what it costs to own and operate a vehicle per mile/per year:

Small sedan:                45.1 cents per mile or $6,758 per year

Medium sedan:           57.3 cents per mile or $8,588 per year

Large sedan:                73.2 cents per mile or $10,982 per year

Sedan average:            58.5 cents per mile or $8,776 per year

SUV 4WD:                 74.9 cents per mile or $11,239 per year

Minivan:                      53.3 cents per mile or $9,489 per year

As we know, some cars are more fuel efficient than others but even with improved fuel economy AAA says it isn’t enough to offset the rise in gas prices.

AAA started publishing these results in 1950 when it cost consumers 0.9 cents per mile if you drove 10,000 miles a year!  Then again, that was based on gas prices of 27 cents per gallon!

What’s a consumer to do?  Keep your car well maintained and try to combine your errand/recreational driving and if possible, carpool.  It will be interesting to compare this year’s findings to those 10 years in the future! 

Happy Motoring,

Dale Bertram

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