The real costs of owning a car

@PeterDrivesMay 3, 2012: 5:43 AM ET
When buying a car, think beyond the purchase price. To understand a car's real cost, take into account how much you'll be spending on it over five years.

When buying a car, think beyond the purchase price. To understand a car's real cost, take into account how much you'll be spending on it over five years.

(MONEY Magazine) -- When buying a car, think beyond the purchase price. To understand a car's real cost, take into account how much you'll be spending on it over time.

For example, a new Honda CR-V EX and Kia Sorento LX both cost about $25,000, but the numbers look very different after five years of ownership.

Depreciation: Use the comparison tool at Intellichoice.com to get an estimate for what you'll pay now versus what the car will be worth by the time you trade it in.

"Look carefully at how well the car holds its value, especially if you're taking out a long loan," says Kris de la Cuesta of Intellichoice.

Value lost after 5 years: Honda CR-V: $13,143; Kia Sorento: $16,590.

Insurance: Your driving history, repair costs, and how likely the car is to be stolen factor into the wide-ranging prices for insurance.

Call your insurance agent and get quotes for the vehicles you have in mind.

5-year cost (for a driver who is under 65 with 15 years' experience and no accidents): Honda CR-V: $5,935; Kia Sorento: $7,040.

4 Best cars worth buying now

Fuel: Miles per gallon isn't the only number that counts. A car with a high MPG that runs on pricier diesel or premium gasoline may wind up costing you far more over the course of the year.

You can check the annual fuel costs for any car at fueleconomy.gov.

5-year cost (both cars use regular gas): Honda CR-V: $10,714; Kia Sorento: $11,581.

Maintenance and repairs: This is where simple maintenance plans and cheaper service regimens pay off. In this case, Honda's shorter warranty is more than offset by the Kia's more frequently scheduled service and bigger, more expensive tires.

5-year cost: Honda CR-V: $1,683; Kia Sorento: $2,025.

Total costs (after 5 years, excluding depreciation): Honda: $18,332; Kia: $20,646.

Best Deals on Everything

Best deals on cars

4 great-value cars

Best deals on renovating

Best deals on food & wine

Best deals on stocks & bonds

Do you know a Money Hero? MONEY magazine is celebrating people, both famous and unsung, who have done extraordinary work to improve others' financial well-being. Nominate your Money Hero.  To top of page

Find Your Next Car

Get the latest car news:

CNNMoney Sponsors

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.