Annual Cost to Own, Operate New Vehicle Nears $10K

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Sept. 7, 2021—A new AAA study has found that the cost to own and operate a new car in 2021 was nearly $10,000, Car and Driver reported. 

The annual average cost of $9666 is up from $9561 in 2020 and $9282 in 2019 but AAA says that it changed its methodology for this year's calculations, so the overall cost through the years can't be directly compared.

The study found electric vehicles have lower per-mile fuel and maintenance costs, but they suffer from high depreciation rates (which can make buying a used EV tempting for those interested in such a vehicle). The vehicle segment with the highest overall driving costs is half-ton pickups, which cost an average of 77.3 cents per mile. The lowest? Small sedans, at only 48.2 cents per mile. Subcompact SUVs benefit from low depreciation rates, but medium SUVs are the segment that is second-most expensive to own and operate.

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