Transportation Economic Trends

Household Spending on Transportation:

Spending per Vehicle-Mile

The cost to own and operate a motor vehicle influences many personal decisions, including where people live and work. This page presents data on average per-mile costs to own and operate a motor vehicle.

2022 Year-in-Review

  • On average, it costs $0.72 per mile to operate and maintain a new vehicle in 2022, assuming the owner drives it 15,000 miles per year.
  • The per-mile cost of owning an automobile has remained the same since 2020 – at $0.44 per mile.
  • The per-mile cost of operating a vehicle increased in 2022 to $0.28 per mile, after remaining steady at $0.20 per mile in 2021. This is a result of a 64 percent increase in the per-mile cost of gasoline from 2021 to 2022, based on average fuel prices for 12 months ending in May 2022.

Per-Mile Vehicle Costs

The American Automobile Association (AAA) collects data on automobile operating costs annually and publishes per-mile cost estimates for new vehicles driven 15,000 miles a year for 5 years.
AAA sets the criteria for the categories of costs in their estimates. For example, AAA bases fuel costs on the average prices for 12 months ending in May. 
The largest vehicle expense is ownership costs. Ownership costs include depreciation, vehicle insurance, license and registration fees, and finance charges. 

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Recommended citation
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Economic Trends, available at

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is the preeminent source of statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics, and provides context to decision makers and the public for understanding statistics on transportation.
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