Depreciation, not fuel, is largest cost in owning a vehicle

According to a study conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA), the cost to run a newer car in the US is not a cheap proposition. The study, which assumed a yearly mileage amount of 15,000 miles (24,140 km), pegs the total cost of running a car at an average of $9,151 USD ($10,050 CAD).

Based on fuel costs from 2013 (remember, Americans pay between 2/3 to 3/4 of what we pay for fuel), a typical driver will spend roughly $3,200 a year for fuel. Another big ticket item, insurance, comes in at around $1,000 per year (and Americans typically pay less for this than us, too).

Licensing, registration, and taxes make up another $600 while interest costs on financing a vehicle hover around $830 per year.

But, the biggest item of them all is something not many buyers take into account: depreciation. On average, cars in the lower 48 lose $3,500 per year in value.

Those who drive SUVs are obviously spending more, with the study finding a total amount of $11,600 to be the average running cost for the year.

[Source: AAA via AutoGo]

About Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson is a former IT professional turned freelance automotive writer and news editor for He's a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada and former member of the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA). Mark spends an inordinate amount of time on motorcycles and resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with his two dogs - Nismo and Maloo. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.