The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) has released a new interactive guide that provides consumers with a comprehensive look at the price of owning a vehicle, including data on the cost of driving a hybrid.
The 2010 Driving Costs brochure explains the true costs of vehicle ownership, including fuel, maintenance, and depreciation. To help illustrate how these costs correspond to different types of vehicles, the guide provides approximate costs for owning 2010 models of a representative small sedan, a minivan, and a hybrid vehicle.
In addition, the new brochure gives national averages and approximate figures that will allow consumers to calculate their own total annual driving costs. For the first time, consumers can visit CAA’s website to access an online version of the driving cost calculator.
“Driving is one of the largest expenses for most people and we want consumers to have the necessary tools to be able to calculate their real costs,” says Jeff Walker, vice president of public affairs and chief strategy officer for CAA.
According to the guide, if you drive 18,000 kilometres a year, the annual cost of driving a small sedan is $8,524, a minivan is $11,590, and a hybrid is $8,808. One reason the costs are so high is that many consumers fail to take into account vehicle depreciation – the single largest expense for operating a new vehicle in its first year.
The guide also reveals that the operating costs for the hybrid are comparable to the costs of the sedan.
“There is a misperception in the marketplace that owning and operating a hybrid vehicle is prohibitively expensive,” says Walker. “Our guide not only disproves this, but it also demonstrates the costs are within the range of other smaller-sized sedans.”
Walker points out that while the costs of driving may be high, consumers do have tools to keep costs down. These include comparing the prices of competitors for automotive services and parts, and adopting driving habits that will save fuel.
“By changing the way you drive just a bit, you can reduce your fuel consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money,” says Walker.