It is widely known that the cost of car ownership extends far beyond the purchase price of a new vehicle. As of now, the U.S. average for the cost of a new car is $34,112. To get the best deal, savvy shoppers need to look well beyond this initial sticker price. Additional cost factors include finance rates, insurance premiums, plus maintenance, repair, and fuel costs.
In terms of calculating the extended five-year cost of ownership, the Kelley Blue Book is considered to be one of the foremost authorities. Dan Ingle, the vice president of vehicle valuations recently stated, “New-car shoppers usually pay a lot of attention to how much a car will cost upfront; however, sometimes an even more expensive car on the front end can actually save you money during the first five years of ownership by having low total ownership costs.”
The Kelley Blue Book has recently released its list of 2016’s 22 cheapest cars to own. Leading the pack as the least expensive car on the market Is the Nissan Versa. Next up, and almost always on the list of inexpensive cars to own, was the Toyota Corolla, which had the lowest 5-year cost of ownership for any car in the Compact class. The Ford Focus, Toyota Camry, and Chevrolet Impala rounded out the Kelley Blue Books 5 cheapest cars.
It is important to note, that the factors determining the least expensive cars to own are constantly changing. For example, in 2016 given lower fuel costs, fuel economy was marginally deemphasized in comparison to other factors. With gas averaging $1.70 per gallon, the difference in 5-year ownership costs for a 35 mpg car compared to a 20 mpg car is currently $2,750. As fuel costs rise, so too will this difference.