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Cost of Owning a Car Research

CarEdge has done considerable research to analyze and evaluate the costs associated with owning a vehicle. The initial purchase price of a car or truck is just the start, as the ongoing costs can be significant. We believe that you should evaluate carefully not only the purchase price but also these ongoing costs.

Fortunately, the majority of these costs are generally predictable by brand and model. Other costs will be more specific to your profile, both on and off of the road. Being informed on the costs that you can control is our goal, and we have provided you with our analysis of the 5 major costs of owning a vehicle. Look closely at each cost area to see where you can manage these expenses, and reduce your current and future cost of owning a vehicle.

  1. Depreciation - The rate at which a vehicle loses its value over time. This occurs the most when a vehicle is new and slows as the vehicle becomes older. While depreciation can't be avoided entirely, you can reduce it by picking a vehicle that holds onto its value better when compared to others.

  2. Insurance Premiums - Most states required drivers to carry auto insurance to protect against harm to you, your vehicle, or to others. Insurance costs can vary widely, depending on the vehicle you drive, the coverage you choose, and the insurance carrier you use. Premiums are also based on the driver as much as the car itself, so this is one area where you really want to do your homework and find the insurance coverage that works best for you.

  3. Maintenance and Repairs - Scheduled maintenance represents service items recommended by the manufacturer to keep your vehicle healthy and in good working order. Repair costs can range from wear-and-tear items like brakes and tires to mechanical and electronic fixes. Vehicle quality has greatly improved over the years, but some brands have definitely improved more than others.

  4. Financing - Like insurance costs, these costs are more controllable by you, as you have the ability to shop for the best financing terms, regardless of the vehicle you choose. Unless paying cash for your vehicle, these interest expenses can really add up, especially for those with a poor credit history, or those who look for very long-term loans. Interest expense associated with financing, and insurance costs, are your best opportunities to reduce your overall cost of vehicle ownership.

  5. Fuel - Whether the car is powered by gas, diesel, electricity, a fuel-cell, or a combination of those, you will still have to pay to make it go. The more miles that you drive, the bigger part of an ownership expense this becomes. Fuel is relatively inexpensive today, but you never know when the next price surge will take place, so be prepared and consider your fuel economy carefully.

These 5 major vehicle ownership costs vary greatly by brand and model. So, we've evaluated the total cost of ownership for over 250 vehicle models for you. Each evaluation includes a detailed cost analysis and interactive tools that you can use on all the vehicles you are considering. See what the costs will be for your next car, and how you can keep your vehicle costs as low as possible.

Model New Price 5 Year Total Ownership Costs
FIAT 500L $28,011 $28,643 Depreciation, Insurance, Maintenance, Financing, Fuel
Ownership Costs for All FIAT Models