Average car now costs owners nearly $900 a month

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You can add owning a vehicle to the seemingly never ending list of things that became more expensive this year.

The average yearly cost to own and operate a new vehicle in 2022 is $10,728, or $894 per month, according to AAA's Your Driving Costs report. That's an 11% increase from 2021, when the average yearly cost was $9,666 or $805 per month.

Not surprisingly, AAA found that fuel prices are the most significant factor pushing this year's average annual price tag.

"High gas prices are not only changing Americans' driving habits – they're also changing the way Americans think about future car purchases" AAA spokesperson Adrienne Woodland said in a statement.

Before this year, the highest average gas price recorded by AAA was $4.11 per gallon in July 2008. That changed in March when average gas prices soared to a record high of $4.33. The national average went above $5 for the very first time ever and peaked on June 14 at $5.01. Just this week, the average dropped below $4 for the first time since early March.

AAA says the recent increase in fuel has more people interested in knowing the "true cost" of owning a car beyond the monthly payment.

For its most recent analysis, AAA evaluated the five top-selling models in each of nine vehicle categories to calculate ownership costs across a number of areas, including depreciation, finance, fuel, insurance, maintenance/repair and tires, and license/registration/taxes. The study assumes a five-year ownership period, with the vehicle being driven 15,000 miles a year (or a total of 75,000 miles).

The analysis revealed that electric vehicles have the second lowest annual ownership after small sedans. EVs are least expensive for fuel, maintenance and tire costs, and licenses/registration/taxes, but are highest for depreciation. Subcompact SUVs are the third lowest for depreciation, which is the single biggest expense of owning a new vehicle.

The analysis also showed that the most expensive vehicle to own and operate annually is a half-ton pickup, which has the highest overall driving costs. The second most expensive is a medium SUV, followed by a midsize pickup and medium sedan, which is the most expensive to insure.

The average costs to own and operate 2022 vehicle models, from least to greatest:

• Small Sedan: $8,184 a year - $682 a month
• Electric Vehicle: $9,048 a year - $754 a month
• Subcompact SUV: $9,246 a year - $770 a month
• Compact SUV: $9,325 a year - $777 a month
• Hybrid Vehicle: $9,691 a year - $807 a month
• Medium Sedan: $10,351 a year - $862 a month
• Midsize Pickup: $10,537 a year - $878 a month
• Medium SUV: $11,305 a year - $942 a month
• Half-Ton Pickup: $12,932 a year - $1,077 a month

You can determine the driving costs of your vehicle by visiting the AAA's online Driving Cost Calculator. To get a personalized calculation, simply select your vehicle, desired state, annual mileage and driving ratio that represents your normal driving habits.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images