AAA: True Cost of Annual Vehicle Ownership Rises to $9,282

If you’re thinking about changing your transportation, be prepared to pay more for it, according to new numbers from AAA.

“Our calculations show that it’s going to cost quite a bit more for those looking to buy a new car this year,” said Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas. “Finance costs, specifically on new car purchases have jumped 24% in 2019.”

The average annual cost of vehicle ownership is now at $9,282, or $773.50 a month.

“One of the biggest things we’ve seen is the spike in finance charges, which rose nearly $200 this year,” said Steward. “That comes as a lot of people are looking at 72-month car loans. Those have become increasingly common, which means that car buyers are paying more and longer for vehicles that lose value the moment they are sold.”

After purchasing a home, buying a vehicle is probably a consumer’s second biggest expense.

“With all of the sensors and computerized elements of modern cars now, even a slight fender-bender can get you into the multiple thousands of dollars in terms of repairs,” said Steward.

Average maintenance and repair costs climbed marginally to 8.94 cents per mile, up 8.9% over last year. The increase was fueled by the growing complexity of vehicle systems and an updated
methodology for calculating repair costs.