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Study: New Car Costs $8,500 to Own and Operate in 2017

Car's HeadlightThe cost of owning and operating a new car in 2017 will generally depend on the vehicle type, but each driver will need to spend an average of almost $8,500 per year, according to an AAA study.

John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, said that the price, maintenance, repair, and cost of fuel would determine the price of ownership and operation of a new vehicle. Drivers of small sedans can expect to spend the lowest annual amount, while pickup trucks require the highest annual cost.

Vehicle Segment

The study based the annual cost for each vehicle on 15,000 miles driven per year. The annual cost for small sedans amounted to slightly above $6,300, followed by small SUVs and hybrid cars at $7,606 and almost $7,700, respectively.

Buyers of medium sedans will need to spend nearly $8,200, while electric vehicles require an annual cost of $8,439. For pickup trucks, drivers can expect to spend $10,054. Other vehicle segments include the minivan at an annual cost of almost $9,150; a large sedan at nearly $9,400; and a medium SUV at almost $9,500. The study excluded the cost of owning and operating luxury cars, so the cost for a Porsche repair in New York City or maintenance for an Audi in Los Angeles may be more or less expensive.

Maintenance and Repair

Owners of new vehicles will need an estimated $1,200 per year for maintenance and repair, according to the study. Buyers should be particular about choosing a car that requires little to no maintenance, especially if their budget is a primary concern. That is because an AAA survey showed that one-third of drivers could not afford unexpected repairs.

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If you intend to sell your car in the future, a small sedan and small SUV have lowest annual depreciation costs. On the other hand, electric vehicles have lowest annual maintenance and repair costs at almost $990 per year, although the depreciation is very high.

The corresponding costs to own and operate a car in the U.S. will ultimately depend on the type of vehicle you choose. There will always be cost associated with repair and maintenance, so you must be prepared.

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