The average driver using a new car can expect to spend $8,121 this year to rack up 15,000 miles on it, or 4 percent more than the $7,823 it would have cost last year, according to AAA. The main culprit is spiking fuel costs.

Here some tips every driver can take to help lower driving expenses.

Study Depreciation Rates

A vehicle's depreciation rate can be a better indication of long-term value than its sticker price. "What you pay for a vehicle doesn't matter. It's how much the car depreciates," says Michael Calkins, manager of approved auto repair for AAA in Heathrow, Fl.

Use Regular Gasoline

"A lot of cars recommend premium fuel but run fine on regular," AAA's Calkins says. But be warned: Using regular gasoline instead of the recommended premium could rob the engine of some performance.

Optimize Insurance Coverage

"Do you have the right insurance for your life situation? You don't need collision coverage for a 15-year old vehicle," Calkins says.

Check Interest Rates

Interest rates are low right now, so if you can come down a point or two and have three or four years left on your loan, it might make sense to refinance. Check with your financial services provider about refinancing your auto loan at a lower rate.

Specific Vehicles for Specific Tasks

Households with multiple vehicles can cut costs by using the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle whenever possible, like for running an errand or commuting to work. Save the larger car, van, SUV or truck for when they're really needed.
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