Calculating the Five Year Cost of Ownership of a Vehicle

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According to Consumer Reports, the average five year cost to own a vehicle is $8,698.  At an average annual mileage of 15,000, that comes out to 58 cents a mile, which is pretty close to the IRS standard mileage rate of 57.5 cents per mile.

Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book, and Consumer Reports all look at the five year cost of ownership for a vehicle.  Last June, we bought a 2010 Honda Civic LX sedan.  Using Edmunds.com, our five year costs are projected to be:

Depreciation: (we bought our car for $10,090, rather than the $8,998 that Edmunds.com lists, but it had low mileage)  We paid 12% more, so I figure that our depreciation is 12% more than Edmunds.com lists, so $4,292.

Taxes and Fees: $655

Financing $0 (we paid cash)

Fuel $7,000 (This assumes 15,000 miles a year.  Ours may be much less.)

Insurance Our insurance (auto with a $2,000 deductible and an umbrella liability policy) come out to $1,088, which is 27% less than the $1,485 Edmunds.com estimate.  Twenty-seven percent less than the Edmunds.com estimate for five years is $5,814.

Maintenance $3,148

Repairs $2,142

 Our true cost to own comes out to $23,051which is almost 10% less than the Edmunds.com estimate of $25,481.  The average cost per year is $4,610, which is 47% below the national average this year of $8,698.  That comes out to about 31 cents a mile, which is well below the national average of 58 cents a mile.

 

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