Annual cost of owning a new vehicle crosses $10K mark

The annual cost of owning and operating a new vehicle has stretched beyond $10,000, according to a new report from AAA.

The average cost is now at $10,728, or $894 per month. That is considerably higher when compared to the same time in 2021, when the average cost was $9,666, or $805.50 per month.

Fuel prices are the most significant factor pushing up the price tag this year.

“Consumers are paying more attention when purchasing a new vehicle, since everything is more expensive right now,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering. “With the recent increase in fuel prices, more and more people want to know the true costs of owning a car beyond their monthly payment.”

In its report, AAA evaluated nine categories of vehicles consisting of 45 models to determine a new vehicle’s average annual operating and ownership costs. The study assumes a five-year ownership period, with the vehicle being driven 15,000 miles annually.

Fuel costs were projected based on the first five months of 2022. During that time, prices averaged 17.99 cents per mile, or $3.999 per gallon.

Gas prices have led to some drivers being more inclined to want to buy electric cars.

“Electric vehicles have the second-lowest annual ownership costs behind small sedans,” AAA said in the report. “For comparison, an electric vehicle owner will spend about 4.0 cents per mile to charge their vehicle at home, while the owner of a gas-powered vehicle will spend an average of 18.4 cents per mile to gas up.”

Assuming both drive 15,000 miles per year, it would cost approximately $2,700 annually to fuel the gas-powered vehicle and $600 per year to charge the electric vehicle, according to the report.

“Beyond fuel savings, electric vehicles have the lowest maintenance, repair and tire costs,” AAA said. “Gas-powered vehicles require additional maintenance such as oil changes, air filter replacements and inspection of mechanical components not present in electric vehicles.”

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up