By Ami Cholia
Posting in Cities
Despite lower maintenance and insurance rates, the increasing cost of gas, tire prices, and high depreciation on vehicles, has caused the cost of driving to increase by over 3.4 percent - more than $289 - in just a year.
Are you contemplating buying a car? If you live in a city with access to public transportation or even a well connected bike system, I'd avoid it.
According to a new study by AAA, the increasing cost of gas, tire prices, and high depreciation on vehicles, has caused the cost of driving to increase by over 3.4 percent - more than $289 - in just a year. And that's despite lower maintenance and insurance rates.
The study "Your Driving Costs" found that the average annual cost to own and operate a sedan that drives 15,000 miles annually, rose 1.9 cents per mile to 58.5 cents per mile, or $8,776.
If you drive an SUV, you're out of luck. Drivers of cars with lower gas mileage saw their average operating costs jump to 74.9 cents per mile for a total of $11,239 annually.
“Both maintenance and insurance costs are down this year compared to last, but other costs are on the rise,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokeswoman, in a statement.
The cost of tires had the largest percentage increase in this year’s study, rising 15.7 percent to an average of 0.96 cents per mile. Fuel costs saw an 8.6 percent increase to an average of 12.34 cents per mile, while average depreciation costs rose 4.9 percent to $3,728 for sedans.
With gas prices approaching an all-time high (the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular is $3.76 currently), those costs are only likely to increase. Fuel costs for the study were based on $2.880 per gallon, so you can only imagine how much that number is going to fluctuate in time.
The good news: if you own a smaller car such as the Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla (which tend to be typically more fuel-efficient), your car depreciated significantly less than its bigger counterparts.
While driving more fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel cars will help lower costs slightly, part of the solution is going to have to come from cutting our consumption levels -- and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. President Barack Obama pledged in a speech last month that the U.S. would cut its oil imports by a third in the next decade. While that may seem like a lofty goal, it may be necessary.
Seriously, it's time we started leaving our cars at home and walking, taking public transportation or buying a bike!
For the study (which AAA has been publishing since 1950, when it cost 9 cents a mile to drive a car and gas cost only 27 cents a gallon), AAA incorporated standardized criteria designed to model the average AAA member’s use of a vehicle for personal transportation over five years and 75,000 miles of ownership.
Apr 11, 2011
They oil naysayers pontificate on the future $500/barrel oil. This simply will not happen. (unless our government and the Fed continue to inflate our currency; a distinct possibility) Remember that the sellers of oil have something to loose as well. If oil becomes totally unaffordable and we stop buying it, entire economies elsewhere in the world will collapse. They can't afford $500 oil any more than we can. If you think the Middle East is unstable now, wait until the petroldollars stop rolling in...
There is a natural corrective market force at work. As prices rise, people will find alternatives. No need for (more) government intervention.... especially since government intervention is helping to drive up the costs of drivng a car (pun inteneded).
What's the worry about? We will run out of oil in a short time no matter what we do, and then we will have to fid another way to rape the planet- and the consumers. Want a real way to conserve gas? Stop idling for twenty minutes while you're waiting for your kids to finish at sports practice, don't leave your vehicle running while you fill it or run in for some groceries. And make government service worker shut of the engine while at a call.
The oil companies will keep pumping oil, because it is used for far more products than we realize. We gripe about fuel prices, but the price we pay for every purchase has increased, due to transportation costs. People need to realize the benefits of synthetic lubricants. All synthetics are better than petroleum based lubricants. But when you buy synthetic oils made by these oil companies, your still contributing to their bottom dollar. Why not buy from a company that has never drilled or bought 1 barrel of oil. A company that has been the leader in synthetic lubricants, since 1972. A company that guarentees their oil will last for 25,000 miles between oil changes. I have been using AMSOIL lubricants in my cars since 1978, changing my oil filter every 5,000 miles and the oil every 25,000 miles. If 30% of people would start using synthetic oil, we could greatly reduce the amount of oil we need to import. In test after test AMSOIL has proven to be the best. Check them out at AMSOIL.com or at LubraGreen.com. If you want to purchase at dealer cost, you'll need the special code 166252. Start saving yourself money today.
How old is that picture? 1.29 for regular - it had to be pre-Dubya. The bigger question is why drive, walk, ride to work. There is a huge population of working America that only need PC, Internet access, and a phone to work.
Because "green" is the current ticket to the mass of corporate welfare dollars. Propaganda sites such as this are supported because for the whole economic/political engine to function, public support must be maintained to keep the feedback loop healthy. Today, many American corporations pay little to no taxes because of the success they've had in engineering the tax code in the name of "green". Much of the money saved goes back to feed the politicians and pr campaigns that support the loop. The money spend pays really good dividends. The "churnalists" who propagate the message do it because like so many others in today's economy, they're just happy to have a job.
This post has got to be one of the biggest piles of sanctimonious elitist intellectual blogger mush to hit the not-so-Smart Planet. Inflation is rising everywhere. I wish it was 3.9%! Our government is pumping a currency bubble full of worthless Fed cash. We are borrowing that worthless cash against government bonds that further fuel inflation. We've a government that thinks an energy policy that astronomically increases the cost of carbon energy is cool and green. The vast majority of us who have to live and work in the real world don't have a choice. We would not last a week if we had to walk, ride a bike or wait around for imaginary public transportation. We have to get to work. That takes a car or truck and when the cost of our transportation goes up 30%, we are screwed. Period. No damn windmill, battery cars or bio methane is going to get us to work, pump that concrete, restock the store shelves, respond to the medical emergency, or get that overnight package delivered. Try delivering a load of roof trusses on the Metro. Tell the guy whose construction equipment operating costs have nearly doubled this year that he should give his crew bicycles, shovels, wheelbarrows and buckets. But don't worry your little head about us as you pedal on over to Starbucks to grab a latte between your blog posts. ------------------------------------- ( IBM: ARE YOUR THERE? Why do you continue to associate one of the finest companies on the Planet, rich in tradition, innovation and scientific discipline with this ideological sophomoric pseudo science? Please find some great minds worthy of your support)
Oil is a commodity that's traded on a global market. Oil companies are not going to lower their prices because their costs are lower, they'll continue to charge the going rate. There's big benefits to reducing oil imports, but probably not in terms of price at the pump. Oil prices will only go up in the long term because global demand is going up. The way out is to consume less oil ourselves in a way that can be duplicated by the emerging middle class in places like China, India & Brazil.
Please tell me this: Other than most people's income, what has not increased by 3.4% in the last 12 months? The rising price of oil has far more to do with the lessening value of the dollar than anything else. (Thanks QE2! It worked!) And then this gem: "While driving more fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel cars will help lower costs slightly, part of the solution is going to have to come from cutting our consumption levels ? and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. President Barack Obama pledged in a speech last month that the U.S. would cut its oil imports by a third in the next decade. While that may seem like a lofty goal, it may be necessary." First, one of the factors you described as part of that 3.4% was rising depreciation costs. Well, if you really wish to avoid higher depreciation costs, don't buy a new car, which will typically lose 1/3rd of its value within the first 3 years. For people who regularly buy new cars, this is actually the highest cost of ownership; far beyond fuel and maintenance. Second; although lessening our dependence upon unstable sources of oil is in many ways a good thing, it will have absolutely no effect upon the cost of driving. In fact, it will most likely have the opposite effect. As expensive as >$100-a-barrel oil sounds, it's still not as expensive as the alternatives that they are constantly trying to sell us on. As "necessary" as the President suggests that this is, it's not going to be cheap, and trying to wrap the idea that it is into a story about how expensive it is to operate an automobile is just simply fraudulent.
"Seriously, it?s time we started leaving our cars at home and walking, taking public transportation or buying a bike!" says someone who has to be living in a BIG city. Go to Colstrip Montana and tell people to do either of the above over to the State capital in Helena in the middle of winter. What works along parts of the coast / river cities is never going to work for the other 85% of the US landmass.