A new AAA study finds that owning and operating a new vehicle costs an average of $8,469 over a year.

AAA/Mid-Atlantic Spokeswoman Tracy Noble said the monthly payment for that new car is one thing, but there are other factors too.

"It is certainly an investment and a steep added cost annually for motorists," she said.

If you are driving a small sedan, you are looking at about $6,350 per year. A small SUV jumps that cost to $7,600 per year. A hybrid, perhaps counterintuitively, can be more — almost $7,700 per year.

If you go to the large-scale vehicles, a pickup truck cost is over $10,000 per year.
A medium-sized SUV comes in at $9,450 per year. Even a minivan is just over $9,000 per year.

Noble said AAA looks at insurance, regular maintenance, repair, fuel costs and even depreciation.

"Those are all cost that are involved in calculating what aaa determines to be your yearly average driving cost," she said.

And that depreciation? New vehicles lose an average of $15,000 in value during the first five years of ownership, according to Noble.

"While it is great to be able to purchase a brand new vehicle, a lot of time, you might want to look into a preowned vehicle, because that is going to have less of a depreciation than driving that brand new vehicle right off the lot," she said.

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Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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