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AAA Survey Reveals Cheapest, Most Expensive Vehicles To Drive

DETROIT (WWJ) - The bigger the car, the bigger the cost to keep it on the road.

An annual study by AAA Michigan finds it costs an average $8,469 a year, or roughly $700 a month, to own and operate a car or truck. And once you figure in fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance and depreciation, that figure only goes up.

According to AAA's 2017 Your Driving Cost study, small sedans are the cheapest ride at $6,354 and pickup trucks are the most expensive to drive at $10,054 annually. Here's the breakdown based on average costs for five top-selling 2017 models selected by AAA:

• Small sedan -- $6,354
Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla
• Small SUV -- $7,606
Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4
• Hybrid car -- $7,687
Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Prius Liftback and Toyota RAV4
• Medium sedan -- $8,171
Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry
• Electric car -- $8,439
BMW i3, Chevrolet Bolt, Fiat 500e, Kia Soul and Nissan Leaf
• Minivan -- $9,146
Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna
• Large sedan -- $9,399
Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon
• Medium SUV -- $9,451
Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander
• Pickup truck -- $10,054
Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, Nissan Titan, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra

AAA says the biggest, and most often overlooked, expense associated with purchasing a new car is depreciation, the declining value of a vehicle over time. New vehicles lose an average of $15,000 in value during the first five years of ownership. In 2017, small sedans ($2,114) and small SUVs ($2,840) have the lowest annual depreciation costs, while minivans ($3,839) and electric vehicles ($5,704) are at the high end of the scale.

"Keeping up with basic vehicle maintenance makes it possible to lower driving cost," AAA's Susan Hiltz said in a statement. "Neglecting scheduled maintenance can damage a vehicle and leave drivers with expensive car repairs."

While fuel costs vary significantly by vehicle type, AAA says new vehicle owners, on average, will spend just over 10 cents per mile – about $1,500 annually -- to fuel their vehicles.

To see more detailed study results, visit

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