Automotive analyst DesRosiers revealed that in 2012, the costs of operating a passenger vehicle in Canada rose at the lowest rate recorded in three years.

Amongst the highlights of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants’ findings is the fact total operating costs increased by just 2.2 percent last year, down considerably from the 10.6 percent gain noted in 2011 and 6.0 percent growth seen in 2010.

Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. & Statistics Canada

Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. & Statistics Canada

DesRosiers said that gasoline prices have typically been the most volatile of the various costs comprising the vehicle operating equation. While the 20.0 percent fuel cost spike witnessed in 2011 significantly outpaced all other factors, 2012’s 2.5 percent gasoline price increase hewed closely to the average.

A growth rate of 2.8 percent was seen last year in vehicle parts, accessories and supplies. This was the more abrupt cost uptick in this category seen since 2009 and speaks to the increasing technological complexity of average vehicles on Canadian roads.

DesRosiers also found that an increase of 2.6 percent was noted in the related vehicle maintenance and repair services category.

Meanwhile, a  3.4 percent appreciation in average parking fees was the steepest increase in operating costs noted in 2012. Factors such as insurance premiums (+1.9 percent), vehicle registration fees (+1.2 percent), drivers’ license fees (+1.8 percent) and miscellaneous other fees (+0.1 percent) showed remarkably little movement relative to 2011.