The costs of owning and operating a brand new car in the United States can cost on average $8,469 annually, or $706 a month, according to a new study from the American Automobile Association.
AAA's Your Driving Costs study, which analyzes ownership costs for sedans, SUVs and minivans, added four new vehicle types in the 2017 report – small SUVs, pickup trucks, hybrids and electric vehicles.
The study concluded small sedans are the least expensive carrs to own at $6,354 annually and pickup trucks are the most expensive vehicles to drive at $10,054 a year. Small SUVs averaged $7,606 a year, while hybrids cost about $7,687 annually.
"Determining the cost of a new vehicle car is more than calculating a monthly payment," said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. "While sales price is certainly a factor, depreciation, maintenance, repair and fuel costs should be equally important considerations for anyone in the market for a new vehicle."
AAA evaluated 45 2017 model-year vehicles across nine categories and found the average cost of annual maintenance was $1,186 and new vehicles lose an average of $15,000 in value during the first five years of ownership.
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The study also revealed electric vehicles are cheaper than conventional cars to maintain, but they're more expensive upfront and lose value at a much faster pace over time.
Electric vehicles have lower-than-average driving costs at $8,439 per year. Without a gasoline engine to maintain, maintenance costs averaged at $982 per year and fuel costs were under 4 cents per mile, compared with 10 cents per mile — $1,500 a year — for the average new vehicle. However, depreciation was extremely high averaging at nearly $6,000 in value every year.
"Although electric vehicles can have higher upfront costs, lower fuel and maintenance costs make them a surprisingly affordable choice in the long run,"said Nielsen. "For even lower costs, car shoppers can avoid high depreciation costs by selecting a used electric vehicle."