The cost of owning a new car is going up.
New car ownership costs jumped by nearly 5 percent last year, according to an annual study from the American Automobile Association. The increase was driven largely by a 24 percent rise in new car financing costs, AAA said.
The average annual cost of owning a new car was nearly $9,300, or about $775 per month, last year. AAA said that is the highest amount since the organization started tracking new car ownership costs all the way back in 1950
“Finance costs accounted for more than 40% of the total increase in average vehicle ownership costs,” John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director for Automotive Engineering & Repair, said in a statement announcing the results of the study. “AAA found finance charges rose more sharply in the last 12 months than any major expense associated with owning a vehicle.”
Other new car ownership costs include fuel, maintenance, depreciation, taxes and insurance. AAA reviewed 45 car models to determine the average cost of ownership.
The group warned against longer, more expensive loans that AAA said are becoming a popular option among car buyers. It said 72 months can add as much as $1,000 to the total cost of the purchase.
Legal Protections for New Car Buyers in California
Given how expensive it is becoming to own a new car, it is safe to assume that buyers expect their vehicles to come in good working condition. Unfortunately, however, many vehicles roll off of factory lines with serious defects that can pose real safety hazards.
For California car owners, that is where the state’s lemon law comes in. The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act requires car manufacturers to repair vehicles while they are under warranty and to buy back those that the manufacturer cannot properly fix. That includes picking up the tab for the purchase price, financing charges and other related expenses. A carmaker can offer to replace the vehicle instead, but it is the owner’s decision whether to accept that alternative deal.
The manufacturer is also on the hook for any legal fees that an owner incurs while enforcing his or her rights under the lemon law.
Speak With a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you are a California car owner who has been stuck with a defective vehicle, the California lemon law lawyers at the Bickel Law Firm can help. We have decades of combined legal experience, representing hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state.
Our attorneys are pleased to be able to help car owners protect get the compensation they deserve. We can help you understand your rights and options under the law.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney.