AAA reports lower cost for driving

May. 26, 2013 @ 06:51 PM

Travelers planning to head out for the summer holiday season should find some welcome relief on the roadways — a lower overall cost of driving.
For the first time in four years, North Carolina motorists will pay lower annual driving costs than the previous year, reports AAA Carolinas. The estimate by the travel agency is based on improved fuel economy, relatively moderating gas prices and lower insurance costs.
“Driving costs had been rising steadily since 2009, and now motorists are finally seeing some relief,” said Dave Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas.
The owner of an average sedan in North Carolina can expect to pay $9,362 in total costs this year to drive, based on current prices, compared to $10,558 last year, according to AAA Carolinas.
The travel agency calculates total costs based on factors such as insurance, maintenance, gasoline, tires, taxes, registration, depreciation and finance charges. The cost is apprised based on someone driving 15,000 miles a year.
Though gasoline prices have risen headed into the Memorial Day holiday, prices at the pump are significantly less than last year. The current price of a gallon of regular unleaded is at $3.43 in North Carolina, compared to $3.77 at the same time last year. “Motorists can expect to pay an average of 62 cents per mile in 2013, an eight-cent drop compared to 2012, if gasoline prices remain steady,” AAA Carolinas reports.
Another factor lowering overall driving costs for North Carolina motorists is the expense of insurance premiums for sedans, which fell from $647 annually in 2012 to $619 this year.
“Drivers of minivans will also see their costs drop this year, down nine cents from 76 cents per mile in 2012 to 67 cents per mile in 2013. Total costs for drivers of SUVs also dropped from 86 cents per mile in 2012 to 79 cents per mile in 2013,” the travel agency indicates.