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Randall Jeppesen and Keith McCord reportingEveryone watches prices at the pump, but what about prices on things like tires, licensing fees and taxes? All those costs are going up, which is why AAA says you'll pay hundreds more to drive your vehicle this year.
What could you buy for $300? How about:
- 100 gallons of milk
- 720 individual diapers
- 38 movie tickets.
- or 5 months of public transportation
Instead, you're likely to spend it on gasoline, the major reason behind a $300 per year increase in driving costs.
Rolayne Fairclough, a spokesperson for AAA of Utah, said, "Last year the average price was $2.93. Last month in Utah the average price was $3.13 a gallon."
The 2008 edition of AAA's annual "Your Driving Costs" study was released today, and it doesn't look good. Drivers will pay more than $8,000 this year to put the pedal to the metal. The report estimates the overall cost of owning and operating a new vehicle at 54.1 cents per mile, up 1.9 cents from last year.
For a car driven about 15,000 miles, that adds up to about $8,121 each year. The reason is that costs for tires, financing, licensing, registration and taxes are all on the rise. But it's the increasing cost of gasoline that could put us over the edge.
Jamie Hatch says, "I put $20 of gas in yesterday, and I'm having to put gas in today. Definitely running out of funds for the gas. It's outrageous."
But it's not outrageous enough, yet, for drivers to exchange their car keys for a public transit ticket.
Jana Tilton says, "I'd say if it gets up to $4 for regular, I wouldn't be driving anymore."
AAA also compared models in three popular size classes: small, medium and large sedans. It found the average cost of a small sedan is $6,320, while a large sedan costs $9,769 pr year.
"According to these results, consumers can save a lot of money by choosing smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles when it's time to buy a car," said Rolayne Fairclough, spokesperson for AAA Utah.
More consumers are also choosing hybrid and other alternative fuel vehicles as a way to cut down on gasoline bills. AAA's Greenlight Initiative is a one-stop source for information about the ever-growing options for alternative fuels and vehicles.
If you're still not ready to turn off your engine, AAA also tracks gas prices in your area in real time. You can find the cheapest gasoline near you by clicking on the related link.