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NJ Drivers: Get Ready To Pay More To Repair Your Vehicles [AUDIO]

The cost of owning and operating your vehicle just got more expensive.

Flickr User Jonesemyr

The annual average cost to own and operate a sedan, based on 15,000 miles of driving rose to nearly $9,000 per year, according to AAA’s 2012, “Your Driving Costs” study.

“That’s mostly due to the increases in gasoline and tires” said spokeswoman Susan Madden. “Unfortunately that is making it a lot more costly for people to repair their vehicles.”

The largest percentage increase from 2011 to 2012 was the cost of fuel, which rose 14.8% to 14.2 cents per mile for sedan owners. Tire costs rose 4.2% because of higher costs for natural rubber and the increased cost of oil used in tire production and shipping, AAA said.

Average insurance costs for sedans – based on a low-risk driver with a clean driving record – rose 3.4% (or $33) to $1,001 annually; maintenance costs showed an increase of 0.7%.

According to the auto club, the cost of owning and operating a vehicle breaks down like this: depreciation: 39.6%; gasoline: 23.7%; insurance: 11.2%; finance charges: 9.5%; maintenance: 7.5%; tax, license, registration: 6.8%, and tires: 1.7%.

“I think you are going to see prices on oil, parts, and other things going up as well if fuel stays as high as it is now” said Keith Krehel, owner of an auto repair shop in Clifton.

The good news is that more good, quality cars are on the market right now and they are retaining a lot more of their value.

“Cars that were worth a few thousand dollars last year are probably worth the same amount this year” said Madden.

The bad news is that because people are skipping out on costly repairs, shops are closing.

“I have seen a lot auto repair shops go out of business or change hands in the last few years, people just don’t have the money to fix their vehicles and its unfortunate” said Krehel.

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