AAA's yearly "Your Driving Costs" study has revealed the average cost of ownership is expected to increase by nearly 2 percent in 2012, primarily due to a jump in fuel prices.
The group predicts a 14.8 percent increase in fuel costs compared to 2011, along with a 4.9 percent jump in the price of new tires. Tires are on the rise mainly due to increased expenses for oil and rubber producers around the world.
"The average driving cost for 2012 is up due to relatively large increases in fuel and tire costs, and more moderate increases in other areas," said John Nielsen, AAA director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. "Those increases were offset by a decrease in depreciation resulting in an overall increase of 1.9 percent."
In addition to these increases in ownership costs, more moderate price jumps were seen in the areas of insurance and vehicle maintenance. Insurance is expected to rise 3.4 percent, while maintenance will see a minor uptick in price of 0.7 percent.
Fortunately, these costs are offset by the reduced speed of depreciation. Cars are holding their value longer and dealers are paying more for used models, resulting in a 4.9 percent drop in depreciation costs.