Annual Cost to Own a Car Soars

Electric vehicles among the least expensive vehicles to own

PRESS RELEASE – The average yearly cost to own and operate a new car in 2022 is $10,729, according to AAA’s latest Your Driving Costs study. This marks a considerable increase from 2021, when the average yearly cost was $9,666. Not surprisingly, fuel prices are the most significant factor pushing this year’s average annual price tag.

“Consumers are paying more attention when purchasing a new vehicle since everything is more expensive right now,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering. “With the recent increase in fuel prices, more and more people want to know the true costs of owning a car beyond their monthly payment.”

New Tool to Calculate Your Driving Costs:

To help consumers determine the real cost of vehicle ownership, AAA has published its annual Your Driving Costs study since 1950. This annual analysis looks at the most popular vehicle models to calculate ownership costs across several areas, including depreciation, finance, fuel, insurance license/registration/taxes and maintenance/repair/tires. These are then combined and averaged to determine the overall average cost to own and operate a vehicle.  

New this year, AAA launched an online Your Driving Costs Calculator to provide an interactive and personalized breakdown for consumers. This online tool allows users to view comprehensive cost analyses of new and used vehicles to determine ownership costs that best align with their budget.

High Fuel Costs Pushing Consumers to Go Electric:

For this year’s study, fuel costs were projected based on a weighted average of the first five months of 2022. During that time, fuel prices averaged 17.99 cents per mile or $3.999 per gallon.

Because of the high variability of fuel costs, consumers are considering alternative ways to budget for the cost of vehicle ownership. One way they do this is by exploring electric vehicles (EVs) as an option for their next car purchase. In fact, a recent AAA consumer survey found the main factor behind Americans’ desire to buy an EV is to save on fuel costs.

This year’s Your Driving Costs analysis reveals that EVs have the second lowest annual ownership costs behind small sedans for several reasons:

  • Fuel Savings: An EV owner that drives 15,000 miles/year will spend about 4.0 cents per mile to charge their vehicle at home, or about $600 per year. A gas-powered vehicle owner will spend an average of 18.4 cents per mile to fuel, or about $2,700 per year. A difference of $2,100 annually.
  • Maintenance/Repair/Tire Savings: EVs have the lowest maintenance, repair, and tire costs. This is because gas-powered vehicles require additional maintenance such as oil changes, air filter replacements and inspection of mechanical components not present in EVs.
  • Fees & Tax Savings: EVs also have the lowest fees due to federal and state rebates offered to buyers of new electric vehicles as a purchase incentive.

For comparison, the average yearly costs to own and operate various 2022 vehicle models, from least to greatest, include:

  • Small Sedan: $8,184
  • Electric Vehicle: $9,048
  • Subcompact SUV: $9,246
  • Compact SUV: $9,325
  • Hybrid Vehicle: $9,691
  • Medium Sedan: $10,351
  • Midsize Pickup: $10,537
  • Medium SUV: $11,305
  • ½ Ton/Crew-Cab Pickup: $12,932

Auto Buying Tips:

Knowing all the expenses associated with vehicle ownership can help car buyers negotiate the best deal for their budget and recommends consumers follow these steps before purchasing:

  • Start early! Due to limited inventory, consumers may have fewer choices regarding a specific vehicle model. They may have to wait for delivery or even pre-order the vehicle of their choice.
  • Obtain pre-approval from their financial institution (e.g., bank, credit union, AAA, etc.) before discussing finance rates with the car dealer. By getting pre-approval, they will have a threshold of the best lending rate they’ll pay. Buyers can use their pre-approval to negotiate if the dealer offers a higher rate.
  • Create a budget and factor in the different elements of ownership before purchase – not just monthly payments. Other factors to consider when making the budget include insurance, gas, routine maintenance, etc.
  • Typically, three negotiations occur when purchasing a vehicle – the cost of the car, the finance rate, and the trade-in value. Keep each transaction/negotiation separate from the other.

AAA provides several resources for consumers to use while car shopping, including the AAA Car Guide and AAA’s car buying program.

Additional information on the 2022 Your Driving Costs study and methodology can be found on the AAA Newsroom.

About AAA:

Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of 63 million members across North America, including over 56 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA has to offer or to become a member, visit AAA.com.

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Kimberly Schwind | Director, Public Affairs | AAA Ohio Auto Club

P: 614.431.7896 | P: 888.222.6446 x. 7896 |

E: kschwind@aaaohio.com | www.AAA.com

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