Car depreciation is a budget killer; here’s how to avoid it

Personal Finance


Considering insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs, most drivers are well aware of how expensive cars are to buy and maintain.

In fact, the average cost to own and operate a new vehicle is $8,849 a year, according to an annual study by AAA, or just under 59 cents a mile if you average 15,000 miles of driving a year.

However, the largest expense that comes with buying a new car largely falls under the radar, the automotive group said.

“Depreciation accounts for almost 40 percent of the cost of owning a new vehicle, more than $3,000 per year,” said Robert Sinclair, a spokesman for AAA Northeast.

New cars typically depreciate the minute you drive off the lot. By the time it’s a year old, the vehicle has lost nearly one-third of its value, according to Edmunds data.

The secret to minimizing depreciation costs: “Keep your car for a long time and keep it well-maintained or even consider buying a quality, pre-owned vehicle,” Sinclair said.



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