Depreciation, insurance, and maintenance costs all factor in to what the car will really end up costing you over the time you own it — and those can vary widely between competing models. But is there any way to estimate all of that in advance?
A few experts have taken a stab at it — and their results are quite interesting.
Finding Your Next Car’s Total Cost of Ownership
For a few years now, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book have each offered free services that estimate the “total cost of ownership” of a car over time. The data they offer is quite extensive — for instance, Edmunds‘ system estimates everything from the car’s repair costs to the taxes you’ll owe over the first five years of your ownership.
These are useful tools to try if you find yourself stuck trying to decide between two competing models. But for those just beginning to shop, wading through the mass of numbers offered by these tools can be daunting.