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Why EVs, Small Sedans, CUVs & Hybrids Are Cheapest: Trucks & Large Sedans Most Expensive

The Toyota Corolla is one of the cheapest models to operate along with the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus and Chevy Cruze reports AAA.

It ain’t cheap to own a new car in America, when you factor in maintenance, insurance, depreciation and fuel cost. The cost of a new vehicle car is more than calculating a monthly payment notes a news study from AAA.

Owning and operating a new vehicle in 2017 will cost a driver an average of $8,469 annually, or $706.

Here are the cost of yearly ownership of new car by categorey starting at cheapest to most expensive including maintenance, insurance, depreciation and fuel cost.

Small sedan owners of the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Chevy Cruze will be happy to learn their cars when purchased new are the cheapest to drive. The next cheapest models to operate and own are the small SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Chevy Equinos and Nissan Rougue. Pickup truck owners pay the most to operate their vehicles, followed by medium SUV owners and large sedans.

  1. Small Sedan: Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla- $6,354. This group averages an operating cost (OC) of 14.01 cents a mile which does not include the ownership costs of insurance, registration, finacing, depreciation or maintenance or a total cost(TC) per mile at .55 driving 10,000 miles a year.
  2. Small SUV: Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4 –$7,606 – (OC) 16.77 cents a mile. TC 66 cents a mile @10K.
  3. Hybrid: Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Prius and Toyota RAV 4 $7,687.
  4. Medium Sedan: Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry –$8,171  (OC) 16.97 a mile or .71 (TC) @ 10K per yeat.
  5. Electric Vehicle: BMW i3, Chevy Bolt, Fiat 500e and Nissan Leaf –$8,439.
  6. Minivan: Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest, Toyota Sienna – $9,146
  7. Large Sedan: Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300, Ford Tarus, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon –$9,399 OC 19.58 cents a mile.
  8. Medium SUV: Traverse, Explorer, Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander- $9,451 or OC of 20.03 cents a mile.
  9. Pickup Truck: Silverado, F-150, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500 andToyota Tundra- $10,054

Overalll Average to own a new car for a year $8,469

Small sedans are the least expensive vehicles to drive at $6,354 annually, Small SUVs ($7,606), hybrids ($7,687) and electric vehicles ($8,439) all offer lower-than-average driving costs to U.S. drivers. Conversely, of the nine categories included in the evaluation, pickup trucks are the most expensive vehicles to drive at $10,054 annually.

AAA found that electric vehicles have lower-than-average driving costs at $8,439 per year. Without a gasoline engine to maintain, electric vehicles have the lowest annual maintenance and repair costs, at $982 per year. By relying on electricity instead of gasoline, fuel costs are also significantly lower than average, at under four cents per mile. Depreciation, however, is currently extremely high for these vehicles, losing an average of nearly $6,000 in value every year.

AUTO Connected Car News notes that if depreciation were not included electric vehicles probably would be the cheapest to own.Therefore if you buy a used electric car, your yearly operating costs will be the cheaperst.

Electric cars loose more value than gas guzzlers.  New vehicles lose an average of $15,000 in value during the first five years of ownership. In 2017, small sedans ($2,114) and small SUVs ($2,840) have the lowest annual depreciation costs, while minivans ($3,839) and electric vehicles ($5,704) are at the high end of the scale.

To estimate the overall cost to own and operate a new vehicle, AAA evaluated forty-five 2017 model-year vehicles across nine categories and focused on mid-range, top-selling vehicles. AAA’s annual driving cost is based on a sales-weighted average of the individual costs for all of the vehicle types.

To calculate annual maintenance and repair costs, AAA examined factory-recommended maintenance, replacement tires, extended warranty costs and services associated with typical wear-and-tear. New vehicles, on average, will cost a driver $1,186 per year to maintain and repair.

Fuel costs vary significantly by vehicle type, ranging from 3.68 cents per mile (electric vehicles) to 13.88 cents per mile (pickup trucks). New vehicle owners, on average, will spend just over 10 cents per mile – about $1,500 annually — to fuel their vehicles.

AAA’s Your Driving Costs study added four new vehicle segments in 2017 – small SUVs, pickup trucks, hybrids and electric vehicles.