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This Is What It Really Costs to Own a Car

Aug 23, 2017

It costs an average $706 every month to own a new vehicle in the U.S. in 2017, according to a study released Wednesday by the American Automobile Association. That's $8,469 a year, not counting any loan payment.

But that average cost spikes even higher for owners of new minivans and pickup trucks.

The annual evaluation by AAA, which takes into account the cost of fuel, depreciation, maintenance, and repairs, aims to provide a complete and more accurate projection of what it means to own a vehicle.

This year, AAA added an electric vehicle category. And while electric vehicles came in lower than average driving cost of $8,439, they still were considered more expensive than a small sedan and even a small sport utility vehicle. EVs have the lowest annual maintenance and repair costs, at $982 per year. And fuel costs are also lower than gasoline-power vehicles. But depreciation, which AAA marks at nearly $6,000 in value every year for an EV, is what pushes the annual cost of an EV so high.

Still, AAA still views electric vehicles as an affordable choice in the long run and advises buying an older model to avoid the depreciation costs.

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The least expensive vehicles to own are small sedans at $6,354 a year. From there, the cost of ownership creeps steadily higher from $7,606 for small SUVs, $7,687 for hybrids, and$8,439 electric vehicles.

All of these vehicle categories come in under that average price mark. The remaining vehicle categories, which include minivans, large sedans, and pickup trucks, all eclipse that average annual cost of $8,469 a year.

Pickup trucks are the most expensive vehicles to drive at $10,054 annually.

For more on the electric vehicles, watch Fortune's video:

AAA evaluated 45 2017 model-year vehicles across nine categories and focused on mid-range, top-selling vehicles. The annual driving cost is based on a sales-weighted average of the individual costs for all of the vehicle types, according to AAA.

Vehicle TypeAnnual Cost*Vehicle TypeAnnual Cost*
Small Sedan$6,354Minivan$9,146
Small SUV$7,606Large Sedan$9,399
Hybrid$7,687Medium SUV$9,451
Medium Sedan$8,171Pickup Truck$10,054
Electric Vehicle$8,439Average$8,469

*Based on 15,000 miles driven annually

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