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Vehicles with the Lowest Ownership Costs

February 9, 2012

Most car shoppers focus too heavily on the price of a vehicle, and don't take into account the total ownership costs.

Depreciation cost is actually the largest expense when it comes to buying a new car. When you sell a vehicle later down the road, that loss in value is the depreciation cost. Some cars that are priced higher may hold their value better, costing you less over the long term when compared to a lower priced model.

Other costs such as fuel expenses, maintenance, repair, financing, and insurance also have a significant impact on your overall costs.

This week, Kelly Blue Book revealed their 2012 Total Cost of Ownership Award winners. The awards honor current vehicles with the lowest projected ownership costs in their class for the initial five-year ownership period.

It's really important to consider these overall costs when shopping for a vehicle. Take a look at the winners and make sure they're on your consideration list.

Use the free CarWoo tool to see the best deals in your area.

SUBCOMPACT CAR:
Nissan Versa

COMPACT CROSSOVER:
Nissan JUKE

COMPACT CAR: 
Kia Soul

CROSSOVER:
Hyundai Santa Fe

MID-SIZE CAR: 
Hyundai Sonata

LUXURY CROSSOVER:
Lexus RX 350

FULL-SIZE CAR: 
Chevrolet Impala

MID-SIZE SPORT UTILITY: 
Jeep Wrangler

ENTRY-LEVEL LUXURY CAR: 
Volvo C30

FULL-SIZE SPORT UTILITY: 
Ford Expedition

LUXURY CAR: 
Audi A5

LUXURY SPORT UTILITY:  
Audi Q7

HIGH-END LUXURY CAR: 
Lexus LS 460

HYBRID UTILITY:
Ford Escape

SPORTS CAR: 
Mazda MX-5 Miata

MID-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK: 
Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab

HIGH-PERFORMANCE CAR: 
Lexus IS F

FULL-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK: 
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab

HYBRID CAR: 
Honda Insight

MINIVAN:
Mazda MAZDA5

ELECTRIC CAR: 
Chevrolet Volt

 

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

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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