How is it that buying a more expensive car can sometimes save you money? Because the total cost of owning a vehicle involves not just buying it, but insuring it, fueling it, maintaining it and, the big one, selling it.

Not only is depreciation the biggest piece of the car ownership pie, it's also the most variable across models. Even when two competing cars have similar sticker prices, deliver similar fuel economy and cost the same to insure, one can cost thousands less in the end simply because it's worth that much more when it comes time to trade it in or sell it.

Below is a quick look at the all the costs that go into owning a vehicle and a selection of winners from the 2012 5-Year Cost to Own Awards (or maybe you'd like to check out the most recent 5-Year Cost to Own Awards).

To view and compare total cost of ownership figures for the specific cars on your shopping list, visit our 5-Year Cost to Own center.


2012 Total Cost of Ownership Awards



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