While Iowans are seeing gasoline prices at record highs, a Triple-A survey finds the overall cost of driving has actually fallen -slightly- since last year. The results of the study were a bit of a surprise, according to the motor club’s Dawn Duffy, as the figures usually rise every year. Duffy says the cost is estimated at 56-point-one cents per mile or about 84-hundred-ten dollars a year to own and operate a passenger car. That’s down from last year’s figure of 56-point-two cents per mile, or about 84-hundred-31 dollars. While gas prices are considerably higher than a year ago, Duffy says many other factors are included in the cost of driving. Duffy says offsetting higher gasoline costs are reductions in the annual average cost of insurance, licensing, registration and taxes, as well as tires and maintenance. One of the biggest drops in driving expenses is the cost of full insurance coverage — which is estimated to average 12-hundred-88 a year now, compared to 16-hundred-three dollars last year. The cost of gasoline is now estimated to average eight-point-five cents per mile, compared to six-point-five cents per mile last year. Duffy says be a good consumer and start watching for cheap gas when your tank is half-full and buy it when you see a good price. She also suggests using mass transit or buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
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