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Compact Cars With the Lowest Ownership Costs

November 3, 2011

If you only focus on the price of a vehicle, you're overlooking a lot of other costs.

Most car shoppers don't realize that the true cost of a vehicle is much larger than the initial price paid. It includes things such as depreciation, fuel, insurance, repair and maintenance.

Over a five year period, a vehicle's ownership costs will easily outweigh the actual price you paid for it.

Kelly Blue Book, a leading provider of vehicle pricing information, released their rankings of ownership costs for compact cars and SUVs.

The winner in the compact car segment was the Toyota Corolla, with a total 5 year ownership cost of $32,811 - nearly $1,500 less expensive than the runner up.

For the compact SUV segment, the Hyundai Tucson achieved the number one ranking.

5 Year Ownership Costs: Compact Cars

Rank

Model

Five-Year Total Cost of Ownership

1

Toyota Corolla

$32,811

2

Hyundai Elantra

$34,123

3

Chevrolet Cruze

$34,705

4

Honda Civic

$36,344

5

Ford Focus

$36,591

6

Volkswagen Jetta

$36,865



5 Year Ownership Costs: Compact SUVs

Rank

Model

Five-Year Total Cost of Ownership

1

Hyundai Tucson

$38,735

2

Honda CR-V

$40,515

3

Nissan Rogue

$41,050

4

Toyota RAV4

$42,004


My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

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Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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