Cost of Car Ownership

The cost of car ownership includes insurance, taxes and other fees. The cost of owning and operating a car also includes fuel costs, maintenance and repairs. In this section we'll examine the true cost of car ownership.


We've all heard the same old line countless times: Red cars get pulled over more often for speeding than cars of any other color. But is it true? The answer may surprise you.

If you drive a red car, it might seem like the world is out to get you. You already get more speeding tickets. Wait, that's not true? Well, then there must be some amount of truth to the notion that red cars cost more to insure, right?

Yes, the price on your new car's window sticker is important; however, that's just the beginning of your automotive expenses. There are plenty of other costs associated with owning a car.

Most new car buyers finance a vehicle's purchase with a loan from a bank, a credit union or through a program offered by the dealership. But what will those monthly payments really include?

The average annual cost of auto insurance varies by state, the insurance company you choose, your deductible, the community you live in and a few other factors, too. So, what does all of that truly cost?

You don't need a new car or new technology to tell you how "green" you're driving. It's easy to calculate your vehicle's average miles per gallon (and your fuel cost) each time you fill up.

There's no doubt about it: Routine auto maintenance is a pricey endeavor. But will a little simple preventative maintenance really save you money in the long run? How much should you expect to spend?

Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, your car has an average life expectancy. But is it cheaper to fix the car you already have or simply buy a new one? How much is too much to spend on repairs?

So you're buying a new car? Congratulations! But in addition to paying for tags and registration, you'll also have to pay taxes. Depending on your state and local tax rates, it can really add up.

There's a lot more to the cost of owning a car than just paying the sticker price. But do you know the additional six factors that make up the total cost of ownership? How does your car rank?

It's a bad feeling when you're pulled over by the police for speeding. You're probably getting a ticket and your wallet is going to feel the sting, too. Do you know the average cost of a speeding ticket?

Anyone who drives in a crowded city knows a good parking space is worth paying for. And if you don't feed the meter, you're in for an expensive ticket. Do you know the average cost of a parking ticket?

Roadside assistance programs offer a variety of services and are available from a wide range of providers -- even Wal-Mart is getting in on the action. But do you know the cost of roadside assistance?

If you've ever bought a new car from a dealer, chances are it came with some kind of warranty protection. But what happens when your car's original warranty expires? Is it worth shopping for a new warranty?

If you pay attention to what's going on in the automotive market and watch for incentives offered by dealers, you can save a lot of money on your next car. Rebates and incentives work to your advantage.

Auto accidents are bad enough on their own. And when you consider the threat of a lawsuit or a massive payout to other victims, your bad situation can get much worse. How much liability car insurance do you need?

Unless you own a rare or classic model car, there's a good chance that your vehicle is going to be worth considerably less next year. But why do most cars depreciate so quickly?