Cruise Control: Why Owning a Car Has Become Cheaper

Anna Williams
Posted

Rent payments are on the rise. Child care costs are through the roof. And college tuition will set you back more than ever.

But rest assured, you’ll be cut a slight break in at least one big area of your budget this year.

According to the latest AAA study, the cost of owning a car is down in 2014—a whole 2.7% from 2013. Sure, that may sound relatively minimal, but compare this decline to last year, when the average price of ownership actually crept up 2% from 2012.

Of course, your set of wheels still doesn’t come cheap. The study, “Your Driving Costs,” found that the average American will shell out roughly $8,876 this year to maintain and operate their vehicle.

So what’s the reason for this year’s price drop? A few main factors are at play, explains the AAA report. For one, the cost of filling up took the biggest dip this year, falling a full 10% to just 13 cents per mile in 2014. (That’s a result of not only cheaper prices at the pump, but also the improved fuel economy of today’s cars, AAA notes.) Along with it, the price of tires shrunk 3%, and car depreciation costs eased up almost 2%.

If you appreciate the 2.7% break, but are itching to save more on your vehicle this year, start here.