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Surprise! In AAA’s 2012 ‘Your Driving Costs’ study, the cost of owning and operating a vehicle in U.S. has risen 1.9 percent. If you’ve pumped gas into your vehicle in the last three months, you probably thought that percent was a lot higher than 1.9.
The 1.9 percent rise is in total yearly costs to own and operate a sedan in the U.S. The average cost is now 59.6 cents per mile or $8,946 per year based on 15,000 miles of annual driving. The increase is mostly attributed to rising fuel and tire costs but is offset by a decrease in depreciation which results in an overall increase of 1.9 percent.
From 2011 to 2012, fuel costs rose an overwhelming 14.8 percent while tire costs saw an increase of 4.2 percent. Maintenance costs saw an average increase of just 0.7 percent while insurance saw a price spike of 3.4 percent. Depreciation on the other hand, decreased by 4.9 percent.
This is the 62nd year AAA has published ‘Your Driving Costs’. In its 1950 edition, driving a car 10,000 miles a year cost 9 cents a mile and gasoline was just 27 cents per gallon.
With oil passing the $100/barrel mark on Thursday, analysts are warning that a gallon of gasoline could soon cost as much as $5 this summer.
“If this thing escalates and there’s a good chance that there’d be a shift in supplies, $5 gas isn’t out of the question,” said Darin Newsom, an analyst at energy firm DTN told USA Today.
With major oil companies pulling out of Libya, the 15th largest crude oil exporter in the world, oil futures contracts are trading at levels not seen since October of 2008. While countries like Saudi Arabia could theoretically pick up the slack, the disruptions will still cause a spike in prices. Other factors like increased demand as the weather warms up, and the constantly increasing demand from China, could see average gas prices continue to rise.
[Source: USA Today]