Consumers who are shopping for brand new cars need to look beyond the price tag that’s on display at the showroom of a dealership. The truth is that the overall cost of car ownership is an important factor that must be evaluated during a car shopping process. First and foremost, the fuel economy is perhaps the most important issue to consider in the cost of long-term ownership.
Most auto makers strive to produce efficient engines to help convince buyers to make a purchase. In other words, fuel economy could be a deal maker or breaker in the extremely competitive automobile market. These days, compact cars and midsize sedans easily boast up to 40 mpg on the highway according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Even some full-size sedans can get just over 30 miles per gallon on highways. With the prices of fuel rising, buyers are conscious about the long-term expenses of filling up their tanks. Sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are notorious gas guzzlers. When buying such models, customers should be prepared to spend hundreds of dollars per month just on fuel. The type of fuel grade also plays a role in long-term vehicle cost of ownership. A difference between 87 and 93 octane fuel can cause a difference of thousands of dollars per year on refills.
A car warranty is another factor that goes into cost of ownership. Most new vehicles come with limited-time factory warranties that cover major repairs on most systems, including the engine, exhaust, brakes and more. Therefore, the length of the warranty can correlate with major savings on expenses and repairs. Naturally, the most affordable cars come with extended warranties that last beyond five years or up to a certain mileage, such as 100,000 miles. A side by side car comparison should be done with cost of ownership when you start shopping. Even minor expenses such as routine maintenance and service could accumulate to thousands of dollars over the course of several years. Tire replacements and rotations also do not come cheap for most car models.