Wednesday, July 17, 2013

True Cost of Vehicle Ownership

When comparing vehicles before purchase, one needs to look at the whole picture and not just the sticker price.

The cost of owning a vehicle depends on a number of other factors beyond the purchase price, and these factors can vary from state to state.

Let's look at an example: Say, for instance, that you wanted to look at the  Tacoma cost of ownership. Here are a number of things that you should consider:

First, the Tacoma has garnered a number of awards, including "The Best Overall Value of the Year" in its class for all but two of the past 24 years.

How was this distinction earned?

The evaluation team at Intellichoice looked at several criteria:
* Base price with standard features
* Dealer or factory incentives
* Depreciation and re-sale value
* Average state registration, insurance costs, and other fees
* National average fuel price, factored in with MPG estimates
* Average estimated maintenance and repair fees

In the end, when all of the numbers were crunched by those who crunch numbers for a living, this model came out on top when compared with it's nearest two competitors. In fact, the difference in the estimated cost of ownership for the Tacoma and the next-closest vehicle in the same class was nearly $4,000. The difference between the Tacoma and the vehicle with the highest estimated cost of ownership in the Compact Pickups category was nearly $6,000.

The next time you're in the market for a car or truck, look beyond the sticker price to find the true cost of owning a vehicle in order to get the biggest value for your money. Looking at costs beyond the initial purchase price, such as the re-sale value, insurance and registration costs, as well as MPG and estimated repair costs can save a lot of money in the long term.

photo credit: M.CERASOLI via photopin cc
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