The cost of car ownership

Owning a car is getting pricier, according to a study by AAA. Maybe that's why proximity to mass transit has pushed home prices higher.
Written by Kirsten Korosec, Contributor

The average cost of owning a car will reach $9,122 for U.S. motorists who drive 15,000 miles a year, a 2 percent increase from 2012 largely due to increases in maintenance and repairs, according to annual study by AAA.

AAA's annual Your Driving Costs study, which breaks down the cost of car ownership based on the size of the sedan and total annual mileage, uses its own standardized criteria that models the average AAA member's use of a vehicle for personal transportation over five years and 75,000 miles of ownership.

Owning a car has never been cheap. In 1950, when gasoline averaged 27 cents a gallon, motorists spent about $900 a year to own their car. When adjusted for inflation that's the equivalent of $8,468 today, reported NBC News earlier today.

While the study can't account for every variance out there--the disparity of fuel costs throughout the U.S. being one factor--it can give a broad assessment of where prices are headed. And that's up, especially if you drive a large sedan.

The bigger the car, the more expensive it gets. Owners of large-sized sedans will spend 75 cents per mile, based on a yearly average of 15,000 miles, AAA said. While, owners of small sedans who log the same yearly mileage this year will pay an average of 46.4 cents a mile.

These rising car ownership costs might help explain the link between rising home values and their proximity to public transportation or the steady decrease in the number of Americans who drive. A study released last month by the Center for Neighborhood Technology found residential property values (within the study regions) were 41.6 percent higher on average if they were located within a half-mile of public transportation that has a high frequency of service.

Photo: stock.xchng; Graphics: AAA; Center for Neighborhood Technology

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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