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Data Point

$5 Gas Hits Drivers of Less Efficient Vehicles Hard


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Our Kelley Blue Book team offers plenty of good advice for vehicle buyers; one of their most well-known features is the annual 5-year Cost to Own research. In that study, the team considers the total vehicle-related costs an owner will likely have to cover during the first five years of vehicle ownership. This includes out-of-pocket expenses like fuel, insurance and vehicle depreciation (loss in value).

The nationwide average gas price hit an all-time high today at $5.01, while inflation is at a 40-year high. U.S. consumers are feeling the pain from not only filling up their tanks but also from many other costs rising, including consumer goods and services, energy, food and shelter.

Looking at vehicle operating expenses by segment, based on an owner that drives 15,000 miles a year, the Kelley Blue Book Cost to Own research shows the average fuel costs per month has been approximately $164 over the past five years (calculated at roughly $3.00 a gallon). Looking forward, the team can calculate the ADDITIONAL cost now that fuel has cracked the $5.00 barrier. (AAA price data.)

Owners of less efficient vehicles are feeling it the most. The driver of a full-size SUV is now paying approximately $379 a month in fuel now, nearly $150 more each month to operate the vehicle. A full-size pickup now costs $343 a month to operate, up $132 compared to just one year ago – June 2021. The price hikes are impacting nearly all households. Drivers of subcompact and compact cars are paying $70 and $79 more a month than a year ago, respectively. Even drivers of hybrids are not immune, with monthly gas costs for that group increasing by nearly $50 a month, according to the Kelley Blue Book research.

Kelley Blue Book Cost to Own Research
15,000 miles a Year / 55% City Driving

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