Car Buying Articles

10 Steps to Finding the Right Car for You

Step 5. Consider All the Costs of Ownership


Finding the Right Car

Something shoppers often overlook when considering their next car is that one may be cheaper to buy but more expensive to own. Why? Even if two cars cost about the same to buy, one might depreciate faster or cost more to insure and maintain.

Before you commit to a car, you should estimate its long-term ownership costs. These include depreciation, insurance, maintenance and fuel costs. Edmunds True Cost to Own® (TCO®) presents this information in an easy-to-read table. It can help you make a smart decision up front that can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the car.

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Comments

  • rushujarvan rushujarvan Posts:

    thanks for the help, very interesting points and you're right sometimes gets carried away. el libro de sueños

  • holloma holloma Posts:

    Here is an idea that might save the American auto industry: how about ask people what they need AND want?

  • i have owned 2 nissan maximas. i qwned a 2005, 2010, & a 2011. i only have 10,654 miles on it. its been garage kept. i paid $36,765.98 for thiws car. i got on line qand it told me the car on trade in is only worth $20,182. a private party its worth $21,902. and dealer retail is $23,366. i think this is bull [non-permissible content removed]. car dealers and insurance compaines are nothing but legal crooks. i have my maxima in the paper and i am asking $25,500.00. i have a brand new set of tires and wheels. my car has been garage kept. i know for a fact when i traded my 2010 maxima in for a 2011 i got ripped off. i came back to the lot a week later and they put a price tag on it, and was asking $29,999.99 for it. so my advice to anyone is to get a aprasile first. bgecaus these dealers will rip you off everytime. there is not a honest car salesman, no wheres. they have 1 thing on their mind, and that is money and screw you. so be careful when you go to buy and trade. and they will tell you the biggest lie there is.

  • mjamison mjamison Posts:

    I know what I want - I just can't find it. An inexpensive small wagon, like the Ford Focus Wagon d/c'd in '07, with: roof rack, heated cloth seats, cruise control, MP3 CD + audio input, tons of space in the cargo section, and 29-30 MPG average. I don't care about most of what they're offering, it's like they're living in Beach Boys land when people cared about their muscle cars and cruised Dead Man's Curve looking for drag races. I don't want a sedan. I could care less what the engine looks like. I don't care about back-seat passenger comfort; for the 3-4 times a year I have people in the back seat, it's not worth paying for. But *having* a back seat is convenient (dog again). I've decided to sink $1,500 into my Focus wagon, even though it has 106,000 miles on it. It has everything I want, and it fits in my garage.

  • After 20 years in the car business, I agree with most of your assessment regarding loan vs. lease. However, I disagree with 2 points. One is that, if you have a loan on your vehicle, you can not sell your vehicle whenever you want. The loan needs to be satisfied before the title can be transferred. It works the same with a lease. You can call for a payoff and sell your leased vehicle at any point as well. If you bought from a good dealership, they will help with that transaction to avoid any tax penalty. The second point would be that there are no unexpected mileage penalties for increased driving. Every mile you drive you vehicle depreciates it. It doesn't matter if you have leased your vehicle, purchased it for cash, or took out a loan. With a lease, you are actually charged for miles used outside of what you contracted for. If you bought your vehicle, you pay for them in decreased market value. The nice thing about leasing, for a high-mile driver, is that you know exactly what those miles will cost you, rather than being at the mercy of the market. Thank you for the excellent article! Mike Bidwell www.mikebidwellcars.com

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  • sigsky sigsky Posts:

    "On Edmunds, you can pick a specific car and bring up a list of similar cars in the same class. If you already have a car you are considering, this will be your starting point." This sounds like a good idea but I can't figure out how to do it. I can choose my car and set up comparison but I still have to choose what to compare it to. How do I see what similar cars I may have overlooked?

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  • jake565 jake565 Posts:

    I definitely agree on the whole personality over flash thing. Affordability should also be one of the most important "features." Regardless of your budget that's what you should go for. I have recently read a different take on this: http://blog.unhaggle.com/buy-new-car-suit-daily-needs/ This article basically tells you to go for it and buy the car you want lol

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