TAMPA, Fla. — Owning and operating a new vehicle has become more expensive this year, according to a new report released by AAA.
The average annual cost has increased by 11% in 2022, with Florida costs even higher, totaling out at 5% over the national average.
Soaring gas prices at the start of the year were also factored into the report, finding that the owner of an electric vehicle spent significantly less on fuel than those who owned a gas-powered vehicle, marked by a difference of $2,100 annually.
Oil changes, air filter replacements, and other general upkeep not required with electric vehicles also contributed to the higher costs of gas-powered vehicles.
“High gas prices are not only changing Americans’ driving habits, they’re also changing the way Americans think about future car purchases,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “While sticker price remains a focus for new car buyers, consumers are also paying closer attention to operational costs like fuel, maintenance and insurance."
When buying a new car, AAA recommends a few steps before taking the leap:
- Start early. Consumers might have fewer choices regarding a specific vehicle model due to low inventory.
- Obtain pre-approval from their financial institution before discussing finance rates with the car dealer. Pre-approval allows for a threshold of the best lending rate.
- Create a budget and factor in the different elements of ownership – not just monthly payments.
- Call an insurance agent to compare potential rates for the top choices.
- Keep negotiations, such as the cost of the car, the finance rate, and the trade-in value, separate from each other.