New AAA "Your Driving Costs" Brochure Available At Auto Club's 75 Offices

Automotive

Driving Cost Calculated at 52.2 Cents Per Mile for 2007; Owners Can Calculate Own Costs

(Los Angeles, April 5, 2007) — The Automobile Club of Southern California is helping consumers understand the costs of driving a car by offering a new "Your Driving Costs" brochure explaining the costs of owning and operating a new vehicle.

The 2007 brochure, "Your Driving Costs; How Much Are You Really Paying to Drive?" offers substantial information about how much it costs to drive new vehicles equipped with standard and optional equipment including automatic transmission, air conditioning, power steering, antilock brakes and cruise control. It is available at all 75 Auto Club offices.

Driving costs in each category are based on average costs for 5 top-selling models selected by AAA, including passenger cars, minivans and SUVs. AAA projects the cost of owning and operating a new vehicle in 2007 as basically unchanged from a year ago at 52.2 cents per mile, or $7,823 per year, when driving 15,000 miles annually. Fuel prices are based on the fourth quarter 2006 U.S. price for regular grade fuel, which averaged $2.256 per gallon as tracked in the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

Southern California driving costs are higher than the national average in nearly all driving cost categories because of higher insurance, maintenance and gasoline costs, according to the Auto Club's Automotive Research Center. The Auto Club estimates that the average Southern Californian driving a new car this year will incur costs of approximately $8000 to 10,000.

"Buying a new car is the second largest purchase a consumer will make after a home," said Steve Mazor, manager of the Auto Club's Automotive Research Center. "New vehicles have higher costs from insurance premiums and registration, which are based on vehicle value."

The calculated driving costs in the brochure include: finance charges and license fees incurred with car payments, depreciation, insurance, gasoline, maintenance and tires. Paid off used cars, by comparison, have much lower depreciation and insurance costs ? reducing their driving costs by about one-third.

The brochure also contains a worksheet that can help a vehicle owner to calculate their own vehicle ownership and operating costs. This knowledge can help motorists make informed choices about their vehicle selection and use, according to Mazor.

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