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Consumer

$9,000 A Year For Your Jalopy? Car Costs Jump On Gas Prices, Bum Tires

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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Every mile you drive in your car is going to cost you more in 2011.

A new survey from AAA shows a 3.4 percent rise in the annual costs of owning and operating an average-sized sedan in the U.S.

The average costs rose 1.9 cents per mile to 58.5 cents per mile, or $8,776 per year, based upon 15,000 miles of annual driving.

Mike Calkins of AAA tells KNX 1070 that while a few factors are involved in the spike, the improved fuel economy of many new cars still isn’t enough to offset the rise in gas prices.

As expected, large sport utility vehicles are the most expensive to drive, costing about 75 cents a mile to operate, compared to 63 cents for a mini-van and only 45 cents per mile for small sedans.

In fact, with the costs of driving a large SUV topping $11,000 a year, Calkins says it may no longer be the best bet for large families.

“Minivans, on the other hand, have staged something of a renaissance over the last year to 18 months…in reality, if you have a family, there isn’t a more convenient type of vehicle than a minivan,” said Calkins. “They just meet so many needs so well.”

A sharp rise in the cost of raw materials, energy and transportation pushed tire prices up 15.7 percent to .96 cents per mile on average for sedan owners. The survey also says prices are also rising amid a recent trend by automakers to provide premium-quality tires on their newest vehicles as a selling tool.

Often the most overlooked factor by consumers in selecting which type of car to purchase, value depreciation continues to be the largest cost for vehicle owners, with a 4.9 percent increase in depreciation costs for 2011 so far, averaging $3,728 yearly for sedans.

The survey, which does not include hybrids, is based on driving 15,000 miles a year.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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