Sixty-seven per cent of Canadians don't know the cost of owning and operating a vehicle for a year, according to a Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) survey.
On average, the cost of owning and operating a compact gas-powered car is $3,300. CAA asked Canadians to estimate the cost of operating a compact car for a year and more than a quarter (26%) couldn't even offer an estimate, one in five (20%) underestimated the annual cost by nearly $1,000 or more, and 21% over estimated the cost by more than $1,700.
Second-biggest monthly expense
"In most households, transportation costs are the second-biggest monthly expense," said Jeff Walker, Chief Strategy Officer, CAA National in a May 24 statement. "There are several expenses often overlooked when considering purchasing a new vehicle, such as fuel, insurance, maintenance, and licence and registration, which all can add up quickly."
To help Canadians understand the real cost of their vehicle, CAA has released a driving costs calculator that displays annual operating and ownership costs of tens of thousands of vehicles available on Canadian roads. For the first time, the tool includes electric vehicles in addition to internal combustion engine and hybrid cars.
Zero emission vehicles
"More and more people are buying or considering buying low or zero emission vehicles," says Walker. "CAA's Driving Costs Calculator helps Canadians compare the long-term costs, including environmental costs, of owning an electric or hybrid versus a gas vehicle."
CAA's Driving Costs Calculator can be accessed at CAA.ca/carcosts.