Many associate the cost of driving with gas prices, parking, and maybe a new set of tires.
But there are additional fees drivers may not even think about, which can bring the cost into the thousands — even without a car payment.
A new report from AAA is eye opening when it comes to what car owners are really paying in 2017 to drive.
Sure, a shiny new car is expensive, but an older car could be even more expensive due to rising repair costs, the cost of new tires, and lower gas mileage compared to newer models.
According to AAA, the average car now costs $8,558 a year to operate, and that doesn't include monthly car payments. However, that number is at a 6-year low thanks to lower gas prices.
The cheapest are small cars, averaging $6,579 a year. A large car is $10.492 and a full-sized SUV costs $10,225.
But AAA says the biggest increase in recent years for car owners is not gas, but the cost of repairs and insurance.
Maintenance costs are up 3.3 percent in 2017, compared with 2016, with many shops now charging $100 an hour. AAA blames price increases on factory parts, labor rates, and the switch to more expensive synthetic oil.
However, AAA says the biggest increase this year is the cost of insuring your vehicle. Insurance costs are up 9.6% in 2017, primarily due to more cars on the road and more miles driven. That in turn means more accidents.
The good news? AAA predicts 2017's summer gas prices should remain low, assuming there's no major world crisis or hurricane.
Note: This story was previously based on information provided by AAA in 2015. It has been updated to reflect 2017's data.
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