Traffic

AAA: Cost of driving on the rise in N.C.

Posted April 8, 2010 10:07 a.m. EDT
Updated April 8, 2010 7:11 p.m. EDT

— Rising gas prices mean that it will likely cost more to drive in North Carolina this year, according to an estimate by AAA Carolinas.

With gas prices currently averaging at $2.78 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, the owner of an average sedan who drives 15,000 miles a year will pay 61 cents a mile, according to AAA. That's up from 56 cents a mile last year.

For an average sedan, that adds up to $9,098 a year, including the costs of maintenance, insurance, taxes, registration, depreciation and financing.

In 2008, the cost was $8,399. View a breakdown of costs for different types of vehicles.

But motorists will also be paying more in other driving costs, not just at the pumps.

Maintenance costs and tire prices are also on the rise because of the recession.

"Mainly, it's because manufacturers are trying to make back the money they lost in previous years, and unfortunately, it's passed on to the consumer," Anita Flippin, a branch sales manager with AAA Carolinas said.

Health care costs are also a factor.

"It costs more to cover your liability if you're in an accident," Flippin said. "Every time health insurance goes up, car insurance goes up."

But motorists can reduce their driving costs by slowing down, smoothly accelerating from stops and keeping vehicles properly maintained, she added.