N.C. drivers to spend $2,000 more this year

AAA Carolinas says drivers will pay an average of 63 cents a mile in 2008, up from 49 cents a mile last year.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Rising gas prices and other costs will result in the average North Carolina driver paying an extra $2,000 this year, AAA Carolinas said Tuesday.

Drivers will pay an average of 63 cents for every mile they drive their car in 2008, the organization said. The amount is 14 cents per mile higher than 2007 and is the largest one-year increase ever reported, AAA said.

The rate, which includes higher gas prices, car prices and insurance costs, translates to an extra cost of more than $2,000 for a person driving the average car 15,000 miles.

“The price of gas is the most uncontrollable factor in operating costs for motorists,” David Parsons, president and chief executive of AAA Carolinas, said in a statement. “Driving less miles will actually increase the cost-per-mile-driven because two-thirds of the dollars spent in operating a motor vehicle are fixed, but a person’s out-of-pocket expenses will be less.”

Car prices have risen, on average, more than $2,000 in the past year, and insurance costs have gone up as well, about $190 on average, AAA said.

Based on driving 15,000 miles a year, a car owner would spend about $9,415 for insurance, maintenance, gas, tires, taxes, registration, depreciation and finance charges this year.

Separate calculations were done for sport utility vehicles, which would cost $12,027 a year to own and operate, and for minivans, which would cost $11,040 a year to own and operate.