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May/Jun 2011 Issue

Driving costs climb to $8,776 for car owners

Wallets and pocketbooks will be a little lighter this year with AAA estimating that the cost of owning and operating a car is going up again.

With gas prices and some other costs associated with car ownership rising, motorists will pay $8,776 to operate their cars this year, an increase of about $290 compared to last year. The hike in costs comes on the heels of an increase of nearly $400 last year.

According to the estimates in AAA’s new “Your Driving Costs” brochure, motorists will pay $16.75 per day in fixed costs to own and operate their cars (see box), up by nearly 40 cents per day. For each mile driven, motorists will pay 58.5 cents, nearly 2 cents more per mile than last year.

The driving costs are based on 15,000 miles of driving using the average costs for the five top-selling models in three categories: small sedan, medium sedan and large sedan.

AAA’s annual analysis of how much motorists pay to drive is made up of two types of costs. Operating costs, which include such expenses as gas and maintenance, climbed by 10 cents per mile this year compared to last year. And ownership costs–which are comprised of insurance, licensing fees, taxes, depreciation and finance charges–increased by $138 per year.

“Your Driving Costs” also includes driving costs for four-wheel-drive sport utility vehicles, which will be 74.9 cents per mile in 2011, 1 cent more per mile than last year, for a total of $11,239 for the year. And the driving costs for minivans will be 63.3 cents per mile, which is 1.3 cents more than in 2010. At $9,489 for the year, the driving costs for minivans is going up by $188.

AAA’s cost estimates are different for business-related use of a personal vehicle. Such payments usually cover operating costs for actual mileage and only a portion of the fixed ownership costs.

For a free copy of “Your Driving Costs,” send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope to: AAA, “Your Driving Costs,” 12901 N. Forty Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63141. See the brochure online.

Clayton office is relocating

Our Clayton branch office has moved to nearby Brentwood. We’re now in the Meridian Building at 8308 Eager Road near the intersection of Highway 40 and Hanley Road.

To celebrate, the office is holding an Open House on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Join us for refreshments and learn about discounts on AAA insurance and our personalized travel planning. Plus, get an up-close look at Kurt Busch’s No. 22 AAA Dodge Charger. For details, call (314) 862-8021.

Driving Costs

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