Buying a Car? Ignore the Sticker Price and Calculate the Total Cost of Ownership
When making a car buying decision, the total cost of ownership is a much more financially astute way to find the most car for your money. The car’s price tag is important, but it only tells a small part of the story. Consider the price difference between a Toyota Highlander and an equivalent car such as a Ford Explorer. The price of the Toyota is more than $3,000 higher than the Ford, but when the total cost of ownership over five years is factored in, the Ford will end up costing nearly $7,000 more.Â Over a five year period, the costs of depreciation, fuel, financing, insurance and maintenance will have much greater impact on total ownership than the sticker price. Perhaps the biggest cost factor is the resale value of the car at the end of five years.