Driving costs in US fall to a six-year low image

The costs of owning and driving a car in the United States are at their lowest point in a while, but only due to low gas prices, as other expenses are on a rise.

According to the latest study made by the AAA, annual cost to own and drive a car in the United States has fallen to a six-year low of 8,558 dollars in 2016. The travel and road assistance company expects that a driver will spend 57 cents for each mile this year, or around 713 dollars per month, to cover car-related costs. “Thanks to lower gas prices, American drivers can expect to save hundreds of dollars in fuel costs in 2016,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Fortunately, this annual savings more than offsets the moderate increases in maintenance, insurance, finance charges and other costs associated with owning and operating a vehicle.”

Compared to last year’s study, the average price of regular fuel fell around 25 percent to 2,139 dollars per gallon in the fourth quarter. AAA says a driver will pay 8.45 cents per mile, or 1,267.50 dollars per year, translating to 414 dollars in savings. But the good news stops here, as the fuel is the only area expected to see declines in costs.

Other findings of the AAA’s annual driving costs study:
Insurance: UP 9.60 percent to $1,222 per year (+$107)
Depreciation: UP 2.87 percent to $3,759 per year (+$105)
Maintenance: UP 3.33 percent to 5.28 cents per mile/$792 per year (+$25 per year)
License/Registration/Taxes: UP 3.31 percent to $687 per year (+$22)
Finance Charges: UP 2.09 percent to $683 per year (+$14)
Tires: UP 2.04 percent to 1.00 cent per mile/$150 per year (+$3)

AAA also said that large sedans would be the costlier cars to own this year, generating annual expenses of 10,492 dollars, while the most affordable ones are the small sedans, with 6,579 dollars per year. If you plan to buy an SUV, you should expect to pay 10,255 dollars per year to own and operate it.