Cost of car ownership rises - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cost of car ownership rises

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

A new study from the American Automobile Association shows the cost of owning and operating a car has risen since last year.

Part of that rise is due to an increase in the cost of tires.

Theisen's in Dubuque sells tires, and assistant manager Laura Markham has watched the trends.

"With the increase in oil prices, the tire prices have accordingly gone up," Markham said. "Other trends that we're having: larger sized tires. They're going from a 14-15 inch to a 16-17, even a 20 inch tire, so more rubber, more oil."

She said cutting costs shouldn't come at the expense of tires.

"It's an important investment," she said. "It's not something to not spend money on. You want to have a safe vehicle, good traction, especially with wintertime, and any water on the roads. The newer tires have a lot more technology, and they're worth it in the long run."

It also costs money to transport the tires to stores, which is another reason for the rise in the cost of car ownership: fuel prices.

"It's looking good. It's getting bigger," storm chaser Matt Handley said, looking at the gathering storm on his radar while parked at Dubuque's Oky Doky gas station.

Handley said he travels 60,000 to 70,000 miles per severe weather season chasing storms.

A storm photographer talking with Handley, Justin Scott, said high gas prices have cut down his storm chasing trips.

"Storm chasing three years ago probably wasn't as bad on the wallet as it is today," Scott said. "Back then, you could fill up for $1.80, $2.00 a gallon. Now you really have to plan, 'Okay, what vehicle am I going to drive?'."

On Sunday afternoon, however, all four storm chasers gathered in the Oky Doky parking lot agreed: the chase was worth the cost that day.

AAA's study wasn't' all bad news. It found the cost of car insurance and maintenance dropped from last year's study.

For the complete AAA 'Your Driving Costs' study findings, click HERE or see the link on the left side of this page.

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