What It Really Costs To Own A Car

What It Really Costs To Own A Car


If you are in the market for a new or used car, have you ever stopped to consider what your true costs of car ownership willedmunds.gif be? You not only have to make car payments (if financed) but you will make regular car insurance, registration, and maybe property tax payments. Also, gas, maintenance and repairs need to be factored in.

The True Cost of Owning Your Car

Edmunds, the car review site, has recently introduced their True Cost of Ownership (TOC) calculator which can help people determine what car ownership will cost them for the first five years of driving. Based on several factor including the year of the car, make/model/trim level, and your zip code, the Edmunds calculator can give to you a fairly good idea what your car will cost you between now and February 2013 if bought this month.

Tens of Thousands of Dollars!

For the fun of it, I entered information for a 2008 Honda Accord sedan with a navigation system and 5-speed automatic transmission for a driver living in the 78201 (San Antonio, TX) zip code. Factoring all of the expenses related to owning a car, Edmunds says that to own the Accord would cost me $42,068 over five years.

Had I entered Honolulu’s zip code instead, my amount would have been about $46,800, but just $37,279 in Concord, NH. Hawaii has the highest vehicle costs, New Hampshire the lowest. That’s a spread of $9500 due to geography!

Use an Auto Lending Guide

Of course, you can save additional money by studying an auto lending guide and by shopping for the lowest rates. Still, your cost of ownership will be significant, especially during the first five years that you own your car.

What the Edmunds calculator will do is cause many consumers to seriously consider their purchasing options. Not a bad thing, considering the financial plight some people are now experiencing.


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Categories: Money Management

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".