Until the Robot Cars Arrive, Here Is How Much You’re Paying Per Year of Car Ownership
Nicole Dieker

Yikes, that’s a lot! I’m not quite sure car ownership costs that much, especially in the PNW. I was just chatting with my SO about these numbers, and we both agreed neither of us have spent that much even on the car itself. (We both believe in buying cars outright, eliminating payments and finance charges.)

You also only really need an oil change every 10k miles, so unless you drive way more than the average person, you should only spend about $70 on that per year. If you drive over 30k, that might cost you $300, but very few people need that.

That insurance rate is pretty high as well. I have my own policy with one of the most trusted companies, which I’ve had since high school, and my rate is down to around $50/month. I’m also considerably young and can’t take advantage of bundles (such as with all the other types of insurance you might need), so even while AAA quoted their rate as an “average” it is still high.

Also things like tires and maintenance are rarely needed with newer cars, and if so, typically covered by warranties or insurance, which drastically reduces the quoted “cost” of ownership of a car that AAA suggests.

In my experience, unless you purchase an expensive car and drive 2 hours each way to work, your cost of ownership is essentially just the cost of buying the car (which is basically a zero sum game from selling your previous car) and then gas, which you’d have to put towards the cost of an Uber or Lyft, etc if you didn’t have a car anyway. If you can crunch those number, it might end up being cheaper to have a cheap car than using alternative services to get around and out of town.

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