AAA reveals the true cost of owning a new car

EAST PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – According to a new study from AAA, owning and operating a new car in 2017 will cost a driver an average of $8,469 annually.

That breaks down to just about $706 each month.

The travel club said its yearly evaluation of driving costs revealed that small sedans are the least expensive vehicles to drive, at $6,354 annually. However, U.S. drivers can also get lower-than-average driving costs with small SUVs ($7,606), hybrids ($7,687) and electric vehicles ($8,439).

Pickup trucks are the most expensive option of the nine categories included in the evaluation, coming in at $10,054 annually.

To estimate the overall cost to own and operate a new vehicle, AAA said it evaluated 45 2017 model-year vehicles across nine categories, focusing on mid-range, top-selling vehicles.

Factors that affected the cost of a vehicle were depreciation, maintenance and repair costs, as well as fuel costs.

When it comes to depreciation, small sedans and SUVs fared best, while minivans and electric vehicles lost the most value.

While electric vehicles have some of the lowest fuel costs (under 4 cents per mile) and the lowest annual maintenance and repair costs ($982 per year), AAA found depreciation is extremely high for these vehicles – losing an average of nearly $6,000 in value every year.