Cost to drive drops, AAA reports

How much does your vehicle cost you to drive it each year? According to findings from AAA, owning and operating a new car in 2014 costs 2.7 percent less that it did last year. "Despite increases in maintenance and registration fees, there is an overall decrease in the cost of owning and operating a vehicle,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “This year’s decrease is caused by a drop in fourth quarter gas prices and lower tire, insurance and depreciation expenses. Owners are saving more than one and a half cents on every mile they drive.” The organization's annual "Your Driving Costs" study estimates the overall cost of owning and operating a new average sedan fell 1.64 cents per mile in 2013 to 59.2 cents per mile this year. Based upon 15,000 miles of annual driving, the drop amounts to an average of $8,876 in yearly out of pocket. The study's findings are based on various factors including gasoline, tires, maintenance, financing, depreciation and insurance. To summarize, AAA found that maintenance costs are up two percent in 2014 to $5.06 per mile on average for sedan owners. Fuel costs nationwide dipped 13 cents per mile this year from last and the coast of tires dropped three percent to $0.97 cents per mile on average. Meanwhile, automobile insurance costs have remained relatively unchanged with an average cost of $1.023 this year compared to $1,029 in 2013. Lastly, automobile depreciation fell in 2014 to $3,510 from $3,571 in 2013. Download AAA’s Your Driving Costs brochure, which breaks down specific costs by category of vehicle at The 114 year old organization has published Your Driving Costs since 1950. Back then, driving a car 10,000 miles per year cost $0.09 cents per mile. Gasoline sold for $0.27 per gallon. Hwy 1 barrier work runs through November This week, RGW Construction, of Livermore, began work on behalf of Caltrans to install a concrete slab and barrier along both directions of the highway's shoulders, as well as build anchor blocks and erect a metal beam guardrail. The $1.7 million 8-mile project is occurring between Aptos and Santa Cruz overnight, with much of the work happening occur in the less than half mile stretch of Highway 1 between the north and south Aptos underpasses. In the northbound direction, work will take place 9 p.m. to midnight on Sundays, 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday and midnight to 5:30 a.m. on Fridays. On the southbound side, crews will work from 9:30 pm – midnight on Sundays, 9:30 pm – 6 am Mondays through Thursdays and midnight to 6 a.m. on Fridays. There also will be a few 6 am – 11 am closures on the weekend to allow for survey work. Motorists should expect delays of up to 15 minutes. Electronic message signs will be used to inform motorists about the project. Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway work zones. For information about this and other Caltrans projects on the Central Coast, call 1-877-448-6771 or visit
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