BCAA "Driving Costs" provides real price tag of owning a vehicle

New tool quickly calculates yearly cost of ownership, which Canadians consistently underestimate

BURNABY, BC, Feb. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - A vehicle is the second-largest expense most people have, but a lot of us are not taking into account all the expenses associated with owning and driving a vehicle. Today, the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) is pleased to introduce "Driving Costs", a free online tool that will allow motorists to calculate the cost of vehicle ownership easily and quickly. For everything from gas to licence fees and depreciation, "Driving Costs" will provide British Columbians the real cost of owning and operating a vehicle in our province.

In a CAA study conducted as part of an Ipsos Reid poll of over 2,000 Canadians, about four in five of respondents under-estimate the cost of owning and operating a vehicle, with six in ten Canadians under-estimating the cost by $4,000 or more. The study also reveals that two-thirds of Canadians think their annual grocery bill is bigger than their car ownership costs, which is not true. The yearly ownership cost for an average compact car in B.C. is about $9,500 while the average British Columbian spends close to $5,700 on groceries a year.

The recent study also indicates a lot of the discrepancy between actual ownership costs and Canadians' best guesses comes from not including depreciation when thinking about the cost of vehicle ownership. When asked to list vehicle expenses in order of cost, Canadians ranked depreciation in the bottom three when in fact—it's one of the largest costs of ownership.

"Our 'Driving Costs' calculator will do more than help British Columbians plan their household budgets," says Ken Cousin, automotive expert and BCAA's associate vice president of Road Assist. "Understanding the real cost of owning and driving a vehicle will also help people make well-informed decisions regarding a vehicle purchase and may influence how they use their vehicle and how often they'll choose to drive. If they decide to drive less frequently, they may end up saving money."

The "Driving Costs" calculator provides yearly figures, by vehicle make, class, and province. Users can input their own information, if they know it, to get an extremely accurate picture, or use representative figures supplied by CarDATA Inc. to get a very good estimate of their annual driving costs. The calculator also displays the annual greenhouse gas emissions for the vehicle selected and compares them to the best-in-class for that class of vehicle.

"In as little as one minute, you can figure out the true costs of owning and operating a particular vehicle in B.C., including an electric vehicle," says Ken Cousin.

"Driving Costs" is now available on BCAA's website at bcaa.com/drivingcostscalculator.

About BCAA
BCAA is one of the most trusted organizations in British Columbia, serving one-in-four B.C. households. With over 800,000 Members, BCAA provides an array of award-winning home, auto and travel insurance products and services, and roadside assistance. BCAA has also received the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates award for "Highest Customer Satisfaction among Home Insurance Providers in Western Canada". Now in its 107th year, BCAA has over $400 million in annual sales, 27 locations and over 800 employees. To learn more about the benefits of BCAA Membership, visit bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Road Safety Foundation visit BCAARoadSafety.com.

SOURCE: British Columbia Automobile Association

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Editor's notes
For further information, or to request an interview, please contact:

Niela Melanio
BCAA Public Affairs and Media Specialist
Office: 604-268-5342
Cell: 778-228-8859
Email: niela.melanio@bcaa.com