PRLog - Feb. 29, 2012 - BEAVERTON, Ore. -- To wring the most value out of your ride you’ll have to work the bottom line like an accountant and think long-term like an investment adviser when you go out shopping for a new car or truck. That doesn’t necessarily mean settling for the cheapest car on a dealer’s lot just to save a few bucks. No matter what type of vehicle you favor, keeping a watchful eye on long-term ownership costs can mean substantial savings over a typical five-year ownership period.
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“Car shoppers should take the time to compare vehicles on their consideration lists to fully understand the financial implications involved with cost of ownership,” says Juan Flores, director of vehicle valuation for Kelley Blue Book. “While a vehicle might be less expensive up front, the cost of fuel for that model, insurance and other expenditures could make it the less appealing choice for their wallet in the long run.”
When looking for a car that’s cheapest to own, you’ll get the biggest return on your investment by picking a model that’s predicted to hold its value better over time than others in its class, based on economic factors and historical data. This is likewise important for those leasing a vehicle because payments are largely based on its projected value at the end of the contract’s term. According to Flores, Kelley Blue Book begins its depreciation calculations with the average new-vehicle transaction price, based on what car shoppers are actually paying for a new car (not the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price, or MSRP).
The next most-important cost variable to consider is a car’s fuel economy. With the national average price for a gallon gas at $3.51, according to the AAA (with $4.00/gallon a probability by summer), buying a more fuel-frugal model can mean significant savings. For example, the annual estimated cost difference between a vehicle that gets 20 mpg and one that’s rated at 30 mpg is $878 (based on current gas prices and 40 percent highway/60 percent city driving at 15,000 miles/year) according to the EPA’s fuel cost calculator at fueleconomy.gov. That’s a difference of $4,390 over a five-year ownership period, with even greater savings at stake if fuel costs continue their upward trend.
The maintenance cost projections from kbb.com we cite are based on the manufacturers’
Segment: Full-Size Car
Base MSRP: $26,585
State Fees/Taxes: $2,347
Total Five-Year Cost: $46,228
Cost Per Mile: $0.62
Chevrolet Silverado Regular Cab
Segment: Full-Size Pickup
Base MSRP: $22,940
State Fees/Taxes: $2,044
Total Five-Year Cost: $44,126
Cost Per Mile: $0.59
Read more: forbes.com
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