If you’re saving for retirement, college, or anything else, it pays to think ahead. The purchases you make today affect your savings long-term.
When you shop for a car, price is a major factor. But a good deal on a car -- say a sports car -- might not be such a good deal, as these cars often carry higher maintenance and insurance costs. A big SUV is going to cost you a lot more in fuel over five years than a hybrid or EV. And you’ll probably shell out more money on repairs and maintenance for a luxury vehicle than for a conventional one.
Kelley Blue Book adds up these costs -- fuel, insurance, repairs, maintenance, financing and state fees, then factors in the depreciation of the vehicle (the difference between what you paid and what it’s worth in five years) to come up with their five-year cost to own figure, a tool to help you find a vehicle that gives you the best value over time.
Compare the Hyundai Venue and Toyota Corolla hybrid: the Corolla’s starting price is $4,630 higher than the Hyundai, which might put you off springing for the hybrid, but both have a predicted five-year cost to own of just over $30,900. So while it may seem that the hybrid is more expensive, it isn’t, based on the calculation.
In KBB.com’s five-year cost to own study, Subaru and Acura were awarded "Best Brands," but Toyotas appear on this list the most. Based on KBB's awards, these are the vehicles, by type, that cost the least to own over five years.