buying a new carWhen you buy your next car, will you know if you're really getting the best deal?

You might pat yourself on the back for negotiating a great price -- and if you did, you should. But no matter how much of a discount the dealer gives you, the purchase price is just the beginning of what it costs to own a car.

Depreciation, insurance, and maintenance costs all factor in to what the car will really end up costing you over the time you own it -- and those can vary widely between competing models. But is there any way to estimate all of that in advance?

A few experts have taken a stab at it -- and their results are quite interesting.

Finding Your Next Car's Total Cost of Ownership

For a few years now, Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book have each offered free services that estimate the "total cost of ownership" of a car over time. The data they offer is quite extensive -- for instance, Edmunds' system estimates everything from the car's repair costs to the taxes you'll owe over the first five years of your ownership.

These are useful tools to try if you find yourself stuck trying to decide between two competing models. But for those just beginning to shop, wading through the mass of numbers offered by these tools can be daunting.
Hoping to help consumers cut to the chase, Kelley Blue Book just announced its first "Total Cost of Ownership Awards." Kelley mined its own data to find and honor the current vehicles (and brands) with the lowest projected ownership costs over the first five years after purchase.
Some of the winners might surprise you.
And the Champions Are ...

KiaTopping the brand list was Korea's Kia Motors, a corporate cousin of Hyundai that is a relatively new presence on U.S. shores. But Kia's offerings have been catching on recently, thanks to dramatic designs and good-value pricing -- and apparently, says Kelley, that value continues to show up long after your purchase.
Among luxury brands, Audi was tops, said Kelley's analysts. That was a bit of a surprise, since it's Toyota's (TM) Lexus brand that has the reputation for no-drama ownership, but Kelley cited Audi's low depreciation and high fuel-economy ratings as key contributors to the brand's winning status.
Digging down into specific classes of vehicles produced a few more surprises. General Motors' (GM) oft-maligned Chevy Volt triumphed over the Nissan Leaf in the "Electric Car" category, thanks to "slightly lower maintenance and insurance costs," the reviewers said. And the top three hybrid cars were all Hondas (HMC), according to Kelley, triumphing over offerings from Toyota and Ford (F) thanks to very low rates of depreciation -- though Ford's Escape won the title for best hybrid SUV.
Finally, maybe there's something to that cheeky Chevy Super Bowl ad after all. Ford complained mightily after the ad -- a silly romp through a post-apocalyptic cityscape -- suggested that its trucks weren't tough enough to survive the Apocalypse. But GM held its ground, with officials insisting that Chevy pickups were in fact more "dependable" and "long-lasting" than the Blue Oval's. Kelley's reviewers seem inclined to agree, at least when it comes to cost: The Chevy Silverado took the honors in their ratings.



At the time of publication, Motley Fool contributor John Rosevear owned shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Ford and General Motors, as well as creating a synthetic long position in Ford.










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16 Comments

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Necrosaro420

Kias are the best cars ive ever owned.

February 18 2012 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
necrosaro420

Kias are the best cars ive ever owned.

February 18 2012 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sharkflyt

Oil is killing America and now is the time to act! We can no longer sustain with the current prices and our country is about to collapse. We as Americans must do all we can in our power to put an end to this madness. Republicans and Democrats have failed us miserably and we must now allow this to happen any longer. No matter who is our next President, it is up to us all to stop the countries abuse and make our voices heard loud and clear!!!

While they continue to make excuses for high gas prices we must prepare for this to reach the top. Our action as a nation must be in solidarity and without hesitation respond to this immoral action against us. Write your senator's and President with your feelings. People cannot pay bills, lights are going out, life is continuing down a path of financial hardship. While we all suffer, the oil companies are raking in record profits and taking us all hostage. We are being controlled by these men who have no heart. Our lives have changed forever and with that said they owe us accountability and a future!

Do not buy new or used cars! Keep your car and save your money. Do not gamble in casinos or wasteful spending! Even if you can afford to, help stop this out of control train wreck of a government. Our future depends on our commitment to our nation to stand tall and take back our land from foreign oil prince's and big oil companies. Now is the time to take action. Do not procrastinate any longer. Stop companies like Exxon/Mobil or any of those oil companies from abusing us.Start by avoiding all Exxon/ Mobil's or any other affiliates to them! Send a message they can hear loud and clear!!!

February 18 2012 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sharkflyt

Oil is killing America and now is the time to act! We can no longer sustain with the current prices and our country is about to collapse. We as Americans must do all we can in our power to put an end to this madness. Republicans and Democrats have failed us miserably and we must now allow this to happen any longer. No matter who is our next President, it is up to us all to stop the countries abuse and make our voices heard loud and clear!!!

While they continue to make excuses for high gas prices we must prepare for this to reach the top. Our action as a nation must be in solidarity and without hesitation respond to this immoral action against us. Write your senator's and President with your feelings. People cannot pay bills, lights are going out, life is continuing down a path of financial hardship. While we all suffer, the oil companies are raking in record profits and taking us all hostage. We are being controlled by these men who have no heart. Our lives have changed forever and with that said they owe us accountability and a future!

Do not buy new or used cars! Keep your car and save your money. Do not gamble in casinos or wasteful spending! Even if you can afford to, help stop this out of control train wreck of a government. Our future depends on our commitment to our nation to stand tall and take back our land from foreign oil prince's and big oil companies. Now is the time to take action. Do not procrastinate any longer. Stop companies like Exxon/Mobil or any of those oil companies from abusing us.Start by avoiding all Exxon/ Mobil's or any other affiliates to them! Send a message they can hear loud and clear!!!

February 18 2012 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Good All

If your car costs $20,000 to buy, then over the next 10 years, it will cost another $20,000 of gas, oil change, insurance and other maintenance. Don' forget that soon there will be toll roads everywhere which will further increase the cost.

BTW, who said that the Honda's Hybrids are the Top-3. They all sell at a very low volume. Soon the Prius liftback, Prius V and the upcoming Prius C will be the best.

February 17 2012 at 7:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark

Kias are heinous-looking pieces of garbage. Google the Kia Rio. And laugh.

February 17 2012 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark

Kias are heinous-looking pieces of garbage. Google the Kia Rio. And laugh.

February 17 2012 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wfreeberg

Now that the Asians tought us how to build worry free good MPG autos and trucks it is cheaper today than 30 years ago. My American made car/truck gets twice the MPG and lasts for 200,000 miles. In the 60s and 70s i would get 10MPG at best and the vehicles usualy fell apart at 100,000 - 150,000 miles

February 16 2012 at 5:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kmesogitis

cant believe the kia is so great, why?

February 16 2012 at 9:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
JRRYGAD

KIA WITH GAS AT 379.9 YOU HAVE TO GO KIA

February 15 2012 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply