Auto Ownership Costs Rise Again

AAA ownership costs infographicThe bike rider’s favorite foil, the Automobile Club of America, has just released data showing that the cost of car ownership and operation are up 2% over last year, making annual upkeep for the average midsize sedan at $9,122/yr. Contributing to the rise are maintainence (up 11%) and insurance (up 2.7%). The study finds the average insurance bill to be about a grand – a reality check for Angenelo drivers who we bet pay twice that. This makes car ownership possibly the worst mobility bargain on the planet (download the AAA costs flyer).

AAA cost to drive tableAnd it’s not even the gas, which accounts for less than 2% of the annual rise. Today’s high petrol prices aren’t appreciably higher than last year, and seem here to stay. Meaning that the motorist’s costs rise with other expenses of operation. Sure we love to rail against big oil, but the culprits in the AAA’s 61-cents-per-mile average sedan operations cost estimate are largely hidden: trips to the mechanic, taxes and fees, and of course insurance.

California colllisions table 2010
The socialized cost of automobile ownership and operation includes lost productivity and health care expenses not covered by the AAA study

And remember, that’s not including the socialized costs of road building and maintenance, lost productivity from sitting in legendary traffic jams, and health care costs from accidents that cause about seventy thousand injuries and fatalities in Los Angeles County alone (of which five thousand are bike riders).