April 23, 2015

Does it Really Cost $8876 a Year To Drive a Car?



AAA says that the average cost to own and operate a sedan is $8876 a year.    Thats the result of their "Your Driving Costs" study.    Does that seem high to you?  

I knew for a fact that this is much more than what the average American actually spends.   We can see in the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey for 2013 that the average household spent $9004 for 1.9 cars.   Thats $4739 per car.

I wondered how AAA figured it and you have to read  quite a ways into the article to find that they say:  " Ownership costs are calculated based on the purchase of a new vehicle that is driven over five years and 75,000 miles"

Ah, so they're really figuring the cost of a NEW car.   Well thats not really the same as the average cost of driving.  Its the average cost of driving a new car.

And the methodology they use sounds a lot like how Edmunds figures the TCO for cars.  I figured I'd check how AAA and Edmunds compares.    I don't see an average TCO cited by Edmunds anywhere but I can pick a few car models to get an idea.

AAA total for 5 years would be $44,380

Here's a sample of cars and their TCOs from Edmunds.
Toyota Corolla = $31,835
Honda Accord = $36.976
Ford Fusion = $40,085
Buick Regal = $45,493
BMW 3 series = $51,714

This puts AAA's figure more in the average or even closer to entry level luxury car.    I'd say the AAA number may be accurate as a true average figure as more expensive cars will skew the numbers upwards.

I think AAA's figure is accurate but its just an average for new cars and includes all the high end and expensive cars.

--

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'm starting to get too many spam messages in the comments so I'm turning on moderation. Please be patient and wait for your comment to be approved. Note it may take up to a few days for approval, thanks. I've also had to remove anonymous posting of comments to cut down on spam and pure stupidity.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin