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AAA predicts driving costs will rise 2 percent in 2013
Annual study finds car maintenance costs will increase the most, while gas prices will be up only slightly.
By Douglas Newcomb (edited for length)
The cost of driving is going up, but it's maintenance, not gasoline, that's now taking the biggest share of your driving dollar.
According to an annual AAA study, the price of driving will rise 1.96 percent in 2013, compared with last year. The AAA study, based on owning one of 15 top-selling sedans in the United States and operating it for 15,000 miles per year, showed that the average cost for car owners will jump 1.17 cents to 60.8 cents per mile, or $9,122 per year.
The largest component of that total cost will come from maintaining a vehicle, which will see the single largest percentage increase of any category, growing by 11.3 percent to 4.97 cents per mile on average. AAA based its estimates on the cost of maintaining a vehicle and performing needed repairs for five years and 75,000 miles, including labor, replacement parts and an extended warranty policy.
AAA attributed the increase in maintenance costs to a rise in labor and parts charges for some models, as well as a hike in the price of extended warranty policies due to high loss ratios by underwriters. "Many factors go into the cost calculation of owning and operating a vehicle," John Nielsen, AAA's director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, said in a statement.
Fuel and insurance price increases will take growing slices of the driving-cost pie. "This year, changes in maintenance, fuel and insurance costs resulted in the increase to just over 60 cents a mile," Nielsen said.
The study predicted that fuel prices will rise only 1.93 percent -- to 14.45 cents per mile on average for sedan owners -- as gasoline prices remain relatively stable. The average cost of regular gas used by most of the vehicles in the study rose 3.84 percent, from $3.357 to $3.486 per gallon. But this was partially offset by several vehicles in the survey that achieved significant improvements in fuel economy. (Fuel costs in the 2013 study were determined using the national average price for regular gas during the fourth quarter of 2012.)
End of article excerpt.
Additional factors for the study included insurance cost and depreciation of value.
It is always wise to consider the overall cost of any vehicle you plan to purchase. Checkered Flag can help you with that. While it is important to do your own research, our top-trained associates can help you find the perfect vehicle for your specific needs and budget.
One great way to save on your average yearly cost is to invest in a hybrid vehicle. As the article points out, a move to more efficient vehicles is having an overall lowering effect on the total cost of owning a vehicle. For a full list of best fuel economy cars and hybrid vehicles, call our Checkered Flag experts at (757)687-3447.
And, don't forget to take advantage of your Checkered Flag service agreements. Many of our vehicle brands include complimentary maintenance plans. A properly maintained vehicle will cost less over the life of the vehicle. So, make sure you bring your vehicle in for all recommended service visits. Call your Checkered Flag service department at (757)490-1111 with any questions or to set up an appointment.
Article source: [AAA.com]