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This is What it Costs to Own a Car

Here's some good news for car owners -- the overall price of vehicle ownership has actually gotten a little cheaper, according to a recent study conducted by AAA.

Each year, AAA takes a look at total cost of ownership through its "Your Driving Costs" study, which looks at a number of factors including the cost of fuel, maintenance, repair, tires, insurance, taxes and fees, and other finance costs.

The 2014 study found that the cost to own and drive a sedan in the United States dropped 2.7% compared to last year. This amounts to a cost of about 59.2 cents per mile, or $8,876 per year, based on 15,000 miles of yearly driving. AAA experts say the decrease is due to lower fuel, tire, insurance, and depreciation expenses.

The study also found that fuel costs have lowered by more than 10% from 2013, maintenance costs are up about 1.81%, and depreciation costs have fallen 1.71%.

Small SedanMedium SedanLarge SedanSedan AverageSUV 4WDMinivan
Cost Per Mile (Cents)46.458.972.259.273.665
Cost Per Year$6,957$8,839$10,831$8,876$11,039$9,753

**Based on Driving 15,000 miles annually

3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted Network

Select the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.

Step 3 Complete my Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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