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Charted: Car Ownership Costs in America Skyrocket (2020–2023)

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A chart showing rising car ownership costs in America, using the CPI data.

Car Ownership Costs in America Skyrocket (2020–2023)

Thinking of buying a vehicle soon? Rising car ownership costs might cause you to think again.

Owning a truck or car has become far more expensive than in the past, even as recently as three years ago.

We visualize data from the New York Times showing how inflation has impacted various aspects of vehicle ownership, based on the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Used Car Prices Are Still Elevated in 2023

Unsurprisingly, the biggest increases are logged in the price of new and used vehicles, up 22% and 40% respectively.

Pandemic supply chain disruptions led to bottlenecks on vehicle deliveries, dramatically pushing up used vehicle prices in turn.

Car Ownership Costs% Change in CPI
(2020–2023)
Used Vehicles+40%
Maintenance & Repair+30%
Insurance+29%
Parts and Equipment+22%
New Vehicles+22%
Parking fees and Tolls+12%

However, car ownership costs only continue to increase after the vehicle is acquired. Insurance costs are now nearly 30% higher compared to 2020, along with maintenance and repair. If a part has to be replaced, that’s another 20% price increase. Even parking and tolls are up 12%.

And of course, for most vehicle owners we also have to consider the price of gas, which has grown nearly three-fold since 2020.

Finally, financing costs, which have risen steeply in conjunction with rapid rate hikes over the last year, are weighing on America’s trillion dollar credit bill. Auto loans are the second-highest monthly payment for U.S. households after mortgages.

Put together, the AAA estimates the annual cost of owning a new car in 2023 has reached $12,182, up 14% from last year.

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How Debt-to-GDP Ratios Have Changed Since 2000

See how much the debt-to-GDP ratios of advanced economies have grown (or shrank) since the year 2000.

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How Debt-to-GDP Ratios Have Changed Since 2000

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Government debt levels have grown in most parts of the world since the 2008 financial crisis, and even more so after the COVID-19 pandemic.

To gain perspective on this long-term trend, we’ve visualized the debt-to-GDP ratios of advanced economies, as of 2000 and 2024 (estimated). All figures were sourced from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook.

Data and Highlights

The data we used to create this graphic is listed in the table below. “Government gross debt” consists of all liabilities that require payment(s) of interest and/or principal in the future.

Country2000 (%)2024 (%)Change (pp)
🇯🇵 Japan135.6251.9+116.3
🇸🇬 Singapore82.3168.3+86.0
🇺🇸 United States55.6126.9+71.3
🇬🇧 United Kingdom36.6105.9+69.3
🇬🇷 Greece104.9160.2+55.3
🇫🇷 France58.9110.5+51.6
🇵🇹 Portugal54.2104.0+49.8
🇪🇸 Spain57.8104.7+46.9
🇸🇮 Slovenia25.966.5+40.6
🇫🇮 Finland42.476.5+34.1
🇭🇷 Croatia35.461.8+26.4
🇨🇦 Canada80.4103.3+22.9
🇨🇾 Cyprus56.070.9+14.9
🇦🇹 Austria65.774.0+8.3
🇸🇰 Slovak Republic50.556.5+6.0
🇩🇪 Germany59.364.0+4.7
🇧🇪 Belgium109.6106.8-2.8
🇮🇱 Israel77.456.8-20.6
🇮🇸 Iceland75.854.6-21.2

The debt-to-GDP ratio indicates how much a country owes compared to the size of its economy, reflecting its ability to manage and repay debts. Percentage point (pp) changes shown above indicate the increase or decrease of these ratios.

Countries with the Biggest Increases

Japan (+116 pp), Singapore (+86 pp), and the U.S. (+71 pp) have grown their debt as a percentage of GDP the most since the year 2000.

All three of these countries have stable, well-developed economies, so it’s unlikely that any of them will default on their growing debts. With that said, higher government debt leads to increased interest payments, which in turn can diminish available funds for future government budgets.

This is a rising issue in the U.S., where annual interest payments on the national debt have surpassed $1 trillion for the first time ever.

Only 3 Countries Saw Declines

Among this list of advanced economies, Belgium (-2.8 pp), Iceland (-21.2 pp), and Israel (-20.6 pp) were the only countries that decreased their debt-to-GDP ratio since the year 2000.

According to Fitch Ratings, Iceland’s debt ratio has decreased due to strong GDP growth and the use of its cash deposits to pay down upcoming maturities.

See More Debt Graphics from Visual Capitalist

Curious to see which countries have the most government debt in dollars? Check out this graphic that breaks down $97 trillion in debt as of 2023.

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