Car Ownership Costs Less, New Study Finds

Fuel, tires and insurance costs all dropped

Besides a home, a car is the most expensive purchase many people will ever make. And those costs continue to add up after you leave the dealership. AAA has good news for car owners tired of feeling the pinch of car ownership: The cost of owning and operating a car became slightly more affordable in the last year.

AAA released their 2014 Your Driving Cost study and found that an average sedan owner is spending $8,876 a year or 59 cents per mile. That's a huge chunk of change to be sure, but it is 2.7 percent lower than last year. The reduction is due to a 10 percent decrease in the cost of fuel and a three percent decrease in the cost of tires. Fuel averaged out to $3.27 per gallon verses $3.48 per gallon the previous year. Increased fuel efficiency standards also helped to keep a lid on gas costs. Insurance costs also fell half a percentage on average. All in all, drivers saved one and a half cents on every mile driven over last year.

These findings come with multiple caveats. The average cost per mile could be higher depending on where you live and what kind of car you drive. Owning a small sedan will only set drivers back 46 cents per mile, but a large SUV can hit 73 cents per mile. You can also keep cost low with regular maintenance. AAA provides a handy guide to figuring out your own costs.

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