...Figures compiled by transportation specialists Runzheimer International (based on 24,000 km/year, gas at 52.4 cents a litre, and the average Canadian driver) reveal how operating costs for a 4-cylinder compact break down at 5.59 cents a kilometre for fuel, 1.85 cents for maintenance, and 0.85 cents for tires. These operating expenses contribute 8.40 cents per kilometre to the total.
Insurance adds $1,102 per year, snow tires $81, license and registration $105, finance expenses $831 and depreciation $3,287. The annual depreciation figure is based on trading in this 4 cylinder after four years, with 96,000 km on the odometer. This all adds up to $14.74 per day.
Obviously the size and type of car your choose (as well as the level of equipment you purchase) has a dramatic impact on your annual operating costs. So, does where you live in Canada. In descending order, Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and British Columbia are the most expensive provinces. Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Manitoba and Alberta are the least expensive. Runzheimer's figures (for high cost provinces and low cost provinces, and again based on 24,000 km per year) show that a 4-cylinder sub-compact's cost varies between $13.30 and $14.49 per day, and 26.9 and 29.7 cents per kilometre. That's a total of $6,456 and $7,128 a year.
The cost of driving a 4-cylinder compact works out to between $13.72 and $14.95 per day and 28.3 and 31.3 cents per kilometre. The annual cost is between $6,792 and $7,512.
The average mid-size, 6-cylinder family car sold in Canada today costs upwards of $20,000 and will cost between $16.27 and $17.78 a day, or between 32.0 and 36.5 cents per kilometre. That works out to $7,896 to $8,760 annually.
A traditionally, full-size, North American car with V-8 engine costs $17.39 to $19.03 cents a day or 35.5 to 39.5 cents per kilometre - total of $8,520 to $9,480 per year.
All these figures are Canadian averages. An individual's insurance cost, for example, could vary dramatically depending on his or her driving record. It's also obvious from these figures that depreciation takes one of the biggest bites out of an owner's bank account. Buying a one or two-year-old car will obviously reduce annual costs considerably (remember, though, that added maintenance costs may eat into this reduction).
Source: How to Choose Your Next Vehicle, prepared by editors of Carguide Magazine