It will cost U.S. drivers an average of $8,776 to own and maintain their cars this year, up 3.4 percent from last year, according to a study released by AAA.
The travel organization said rising gas prices, more expensive tires and depreciation costs are the main culprits. It estimates that maintenance and insurance costs will actually be lower in 2011.
AAA calculates the cost of a year of ownership at 58.5 cents per mile for 15,000 miles. Owning a small car costs an estimated $6,758, while owning a large sedan costs $10,982. A mid-size sport utility vehicle costs an estimated $11,239.
AAA said tire prices are up because of increases in raw material and energy costs, while gas is expected to cost around 12.34 cents per mile for an average sedan, up 8.6 percent from last year.
Depreciation in a vehicle's value continues to be the biggest cost for owners. AAA predicts a 4.9 percent increase in depreciation costs this year, to an average of $3,728, which is based on the level of demand for used vehicles.
AAA has published the survey since 1950, when driving a car 10,000 miles cost 9 cents per mile and gas was 27 cents per gallon.
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