The rising costs of gasoline and insurance are two of the main factors in the latest jump in an annual study on the cost of driving a car. Triple-A Iowa spokeswoman Dawn Duffy says the study factors in all of the costs of driving and maintaining a vehicle, without including the car payments. There are owner and operating costs every year, including fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance, license and depreciation. Duffy says the cost of driving a car this year is up about four-and-a-half cents a mile from last year. The average cost of driving in 2004 is about 56-cents a mile or about 84-hundred dollars, based on an average of 15-thousand miles a year. A decade ago, that cost was about 39-cents a mile, or about 59-hundred dollars. Despite the higher prices at the pump and in virtually all other categories, Duffy says Iowans are -not- driving less — to the contrary. She says they have increased the amount they drive and are buying bigger vehicles.The largest component of vehicle cost is vehicle depreciation, estimated at nearly 38-hundred dollars per year of ownership for an average new car. The second biggest expense is full insurance coverage, estimated to average 16-hundred dollars per year. Gasoline runs about 975-dollars, while routine maintenance and tire expenses cost about 915-dollars a year.
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