Buying a New Car: True Cost to Own

Since I’ve been in a car buying mood recently, I thought I’d share a useful calculator that I recently ran across. It’s the Edmunds.com True Cost to Own (TCO) calculator, which figures the ‘real’ cost of owning a vehicle over the first five years.

According to the blurb on the site:

The Edmunds.com True Cost to Own (TCO) pricing system calculates the additional costs you may not have included when considering your next vehicle purchase. These extra costs include: depreciation, interest on your loan, taxes and fees, insurance premiums, fuel costs, maintenance, and repairs.

In poking around this site, I was pleased to find that our new 2005 Honda CR-V LX 2WD falls out on the low end, particularly when compared to other cars in its class. The numbers were actually a bit of an overestimate, as we paid considerably less for our car than the figure that they used for the purchase price, and we didn’t finance it. Then again, assuming that the fuel costs are based on EPA estimates, they’re likely to be underestimated. Despite these possible inaccuracies, however, the TCO calculator still looks like a very useful tool for making apples-to-apples comparisons across makes/models when you’re in the market for a new car.

[Source: Money & Investing]

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