Whatever you’re comfortable spending on a car, the cost of buying it will be dwarfed in the long run by ongoing expenses in depreciation, fuel, insurance, financing, maintenance and repair, and more. Consumer Reports has gone to great lengths to estimate owner costs for nearly every new car that’s currently on sale. And we found some surprises:
For example, you could save more than $7,000 over five years by buying a Toyota Highlander SUV instead of a Ford Explorer, even though the Highlander costs $3,000 more up front. The Highlander makes up for its higher sticker price in lower depreciation and maintenance and repair costs over the years.
Depreciation makes up by far the largest cost of owning any car, comprising up 48 percent of the cost over the first five years. Fuel comes in a distant second at 24 percent.
Check out the full report written by Consumer’s Report here.