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PHOENIX -- The average cost to own and operate a sedan is down nearly 3 percent from last year, according to AAA.

That means it costs about $8,876 per year to drive your car, which translates to $250 less than last year. That estimation is based on 15,000 miles of driving.

Michelle Donati with AAA Arizona said there are several factors for the first decline in nearly four years, including lower gas prices.

"When you look at 2013 as a whole and how we've been trending in 2014, gas prices are about 10 percent lower," she said.

Tire prices have also dropped 3 percent from last year, while depreciation decreased from $3,571 last year to $3,510 in 2014.

Donati said insurance rates are also lower than a year ago.

"For the purpose of this study, we used a driver with a clean driving record, driving a small-to-midsize sedan," she said. "And for this driver, insurance costs were down about 0.6 percent from last year."

Only maintenance costs have risen this year, up about 2 percent over 2013.

Drivers of SUVs and minivans are also seeing savings of $560 and $42, respectively, from last year to 2014.

Jeremy Foster, News Editor

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