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Results Of AA 2001-2002 Car Operating Costs Survey

22 May 2002

The cost of owning and running a car has fallen by an average of 14 percent since the same date last year, the annual AA Car operating costs survey has found.

The big winners were owners of 1.6 to 2.0 litre cars who have enjoyed benefits in both cost of ownership and running costs.

The average decrease in the cost of ownership was largely due to reduced interest rates (6.6% vs 8.6%) and reduced depreciation rates (17.0% vs 19.5%) this year and an increase in the average distance travelled per year from 12,000km to 14,000km - which shows that people are getting more value from their car purchase.

The average rate of depreciation, over the first five years, was: first year 26.7%; second 18.8%; third 14.8%; fourth 13.2% and in the fifth 11.7%.

Running costs are up very slightly for small cars with engines under 1.3 litres and large cars over 2.0 litres but are down for cars with mid-sized engines. Despite all the rises and falls the average cost of petrol increased only slightly by 3.96% for the year. Although tyres are not the most expensive item in car running costs the average increase of 22% was notable.

Car insurance also increased in price by around 25% with the larger car owners paying 32% over last year. Servicing costs increased on average by 3.7% but actually dropped slightly for the 1.6-2.0 litre category.

But while the overall average cost per kilometre has changed the effect varies considerably with the distance driven with those driving longer distances paying more.

The full results of this year’s Operating Costs Survey appear in the Winter 2002 edition of the Association’s magazine AA Directions.

For business purposes the IRD allows a flat 62 cents/km for the first 3000km


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