The True Cost of Car Ownership

We know the price of a cup of coffee. And most folks can estimate the cost of lunch. But do you know how much you're spending on your car?

Analysts figure most drivers pay more than $16 a day for their car. Owners of bigger vehicles, like SUV's or minivan's pay even more.

"The cost of driving is something that adds up and it does impact your lifestyle," said Marie Dodds of AAA Oregon. "Obviously most people need their cars to get around, to get to work and to school."

AAA estimates the average cost of owning a new mid-sized sedan is $9,122 per year, based on 15,000 miles of annual driving.

The greatest expense is depreciation. Depreciation is based on the difference between new-vehicle purchase priced and trade-in value. Drivers must also pay for gas, car insurance, maintenance, tires, finance charges, license, registration and taxes.

To save money, experts say don't buy more than you need. Small and medium sized sedans can help you save money. Check your insurance costs, drive less and take your car in for regular maintenance.

"When we stretch the maintenance out and we start letting the fluids run low, then we start doing damage to the parts that are going to cost a whole lot more to repair than it would have been to do the maintenance right up front," said Russ Jones, chairman of PCC's Automotive Service Department.

There are other expenses that most drivers don't plan for including parking, car washes and parking or traffic tickets.

Cost of Owning a Car
$9,122 per year

  1. Depreciation- $3,571
  2. Gas-$2,167
  3. (Full coverage) Insurance- $1029
  4. Tires & Maintenance- $896
  5. Finance Charges- $848
  6. License, registration, taxes- $611

Ways to SaveDon't buy more than you needCheck insurance costsGet regular maintenanceDrive less


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