AAA: 2017 Cost of Car Ownership Averages $8,500 Annually

2018 subaru legacy

Owning a car isn’t cheap. It cost about $8,469 annually, or $706 monthly, to own and drive a new car in 2017 according to the American Automobile Association.

The amount spent differs depending on what kind of car it is and how many miles are driven. (AAA’s study is based on 15,000 miles). Small sedans are the least expensive to own and operate at $6,354 annually. Pickup trucks are the most expensive to drive coming in at $10,054.

AAA takes depreciation, maintenance/repair, and fuel costs into account.  Researchers note that one of the huge and often overlooked factors is depreciation. AAA reports new vehicles drop in value about $15,000 in the first five years. It’s one of the main reasons electric vehicles cost more to own than small sedans. EV’s depreciate by $5,704 in one year. Small sedans drop $2,114, small SUVs $2,840, and minivans $3,839,

car ownership

Maintenance and repairs include the cost of tires, extended warranties, and regular vehicle servicing. Altogether it averages out to about $1,186 annually. AAA notes that according to one of its surveys, up to a third of U.S. drivers couldn’t afford their vehicle maintenance costs.

Fuel naturally is the biggie that just about everyone thinks about before signing on for a new car. New vehicle owners, on average, will spend just over 10 cents per mile – about $1,500 annually — to fuel their vehicles. This is where electric vehicles excel with an average rate of 3.68 cents per mile. At the other end of the spectrum, pickup trucks don’t do fare so well tallying up an average of 13.88 cents per mile.  Our advice? Don’t waste money on premium fuel either unless your car requires it.


Photo Credit: Subaru
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