By Jennifer Geiger on April 16, 2013
If you're planning on spending some of your tax refund on a new car or car maintenance, plan to put aside a bit more. According to a AAA study, the cost of owning and operating a vehicle has increased by nearly 2% in 2013.
The results of AAA's annual Your Driving Costs study show that U.S. motorists are paying an average of 1.96% more to own and operate a sedan. The study looks at the annual cost of fuel, vehicle repairs, insurance rates, taxes, license fees, rates of depreciation and average finance charges for a new car driven over five years and 75,000 miles.
"Many factors go into the cost calculation of owning and operating a vehicle. This year, changes in maintenance, fuel and insurance costs resulted in the increase to just over 60 cents a mile," John Nielsen, AAA director of automotive engineering and repair, said in a statement.
Here's how each category of vehicle fared, based on driving 15,000 miles a year:
Here's AAA's breakdown of where the increases are coming from:
If owning a vehicle in 2013 sounds expensive to you, it is, especially when you consider this: AAA has been conducting this study since 1950, when it cost just 9 cents per mile to own and operate a vehicle.
Check out the pricing tab on Cars.com's new-car listings for our five-year cost of ownership feature.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer