The real costs of fuel-efficient cars

http://money.cnn.com/2004/05/18/pf/autos/efficient_cost_to_own/index.htm
The real costs of fuel-efficient cars The most fuel-efficient autos may not always be the least expensive to
own. May 24, 2004: 2:26 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - If you're looking to save money in this new era of rising gas prices, cars with high fuel-mileage figures are tempting.
When looking at costs of ownership for five years, the cars that get the highest gas mileage tend be the least costly to own, not counting their depreciation. But while fuel costs are among the biggest items in overall ownership cost, there are many other factors to consider.
On this list of the 15 most fuel-efficient, according to the autos Web site Edmunds.com, the typical Honda Insight driver will spend more than $2,500 less on fuel over 5 years than the driver of a Toyota Celica, the 15th-ranked car on the list.
Even though it has the lowest fuel costs in this group, the Honda Insight is just the sixth cheapest car to own over five years. The difference in costs between the Insight and the Toyota Prius, also a hybrid and the least expensive car to own, isn't very large, though. The Insight costs about $450 more to own for five years
Purchase costs could negate much of the fuel-cost savings of owning a hybrid, at least over the short term. Even factoring in a $1,500 tax deduction, the Prius is one of the most expensive cars to buy.
The Prius also has higher depreciation -- the reduction in a car's value over time -- than most Toyota cars, according to Edmunds.com data. The same is true of Honda's Insight compared to non-hybrid Hondas. Ultimately, depreciation costs you money when the time comes to trade in or sell your car.
Of the cars on this list, the two that hold their value best are the non-hybrid Honda Civic and the turbodiesel Volkswagen New Beetle. The turbo diesel New Beetle also ranks third in fuel costs, just behind the Insight and Prius.
The non-hybrid Civic costs a few hundred dollars more in fuel costs over five years than those cars, but it costs thousands less to buy. It also holds its value much better than the hybrids. MAKE MODEL Purchase $1,500 Cost to Fuel Deprec- Price deduction own* costs iation Toyota Prius $21,460 Yes $15,181 $2,896 $11,781 Honda Civic $12,988 No $15,271 $3,746 $6,595 Toyota ECHO $12,671 No $15,410 $3,849 $7,902 Honda Civic Hybrid $19,651 Yes $15,544 $3,122 $10,741 Volkswagen New Beetle $17,758 No $15,608 $3,112 $9,383 Honda Insight $20,240 Yes $15,633 $2,406 $11,635 Volkswagen Jetta $18,563 No $15,941 $3,112 $10,127 Scion xA $13,603 No $15,949 $4,412 $7,899 Volkswagen Golf $17,305 No $15,996 $3,112 $9,397 Toyota Corolla $13,669 No $16,099 $4,156 $8,196 Scion xB $14,773 No $16,578 $4,810 $8,724 Dodge Neon $14,222 No $16,763 $4,995 $10,937 Toyota Matrix $15,550 No $16,916 $4,608 $8,499 Toyota Celica $19,692 No $17,988 $4,995 $10,475 Pontiac Vibe $18,408 No $17,992 $4,608 $12,027
*Cost to own, depreciation and fuel costs are over 5 years. Cost to own includes insurance, fuel costs, maintenance and repairs and other costs. It does not include depreciation.
.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@apk.net (Jeffry L. Johnson) wrote:

Is this for the classic Prius (20000 through 2003), or the "prius II" (2004 through ???)? The cars and the technology are so different between the two, I do not think that the depreciation of the latter is an accurate predictor of the former.
I do not understand the chart; how can a car that costs $21K have a cost to own of only 15K? Or is the true "cost to own" the sum of the cost-to-own column and the Purchase-price column?
Regardless, what the article fails to address is that hybrid cars contribute much less to pollution and help conserve fuel.
Plus, the Prius has a lot of neato techie gee-gaws not found in most cars in its price range, or lower.
--
Stop Mad Cowboy Disease: Vote for John Kerry.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

*Cost to own, depreciation and fuel costs are over 5 years. Cost to own includes insurance, fuel costs, maintenance and repairs and other costs. It does not include depreciation.
I think your questions should be directed towards the authors at the Web address at the top of my original posting.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@apk.net (Jeffry L. Johnson) wrote:

But does it include the cost of the car itself? It apparently does not; otherwise, the numbers do not make any sense.
--
Stop Mad Cowboy Disease: Vote for John Kerry.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.edmunds.com/advice/specialreports/articles/59897/article.html
Special Reports True Cost to Own (TCO) Revealing the Hidden Costs of Car Ownership By Philip Reed Date Posted 05-01-2002
You've narrowed your choices to two new cars, but you can't seem to decide which one is really the better deal.
The purchase price of each car is nearly the same. The features are similar, and you like the way they both look. Still, a nagging feeling tells you that there must be a meaningful difference between them, even if it's not readily apparent during the purchase process.
Your intuition is right on the money. And now there is a new tool that reveals the hidden costs all of the costs associated with buying, owning and operating a car over a five-year period. It's called "True Cost to OwnSM" (TCO for short), and it is a new consumer product provided by Edmunds.com.
To show you how it works, let's look at two midsize family sedans. The purchase price of one is $21,500 and the other is $22,400. You like each one equally, so your inclination is to say, "I'll just buy the cheaper one." After all, that would save you almost $1,000.
However, the purchase price is only the tip of the iceberg. What you may find by reviewing Edmunds' TCO figures is that, over five years, the cheaper car to buy is actually more expensive to own. Over five years, it will cost $33,438 to drive the car with the lower initial price. The more expensive car to buy will cost $30,140 to drive over five years. The car with the lower purchase price costs 45 cents per mile to drive while the more expensive car costs 40 cents per mile to drive (assuming you drive 15,000 miles a year).
At this point you are probably wondering how Edmunds comes up with these figures. There are seven categories of TCO costs: depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fees, fuel, maintenance and repairs. The costs are researched and placed into a series of proprietary algorithms developed by Edmunds' statisticians. The result is an estimated total ownership cost for a five-year period. This information is presented on a single page on Edmunds.com for each vehicle (beginning with 2002 models). The information is standardized, so expenses for different cars can be accurately compared.
TCO reveals a complete picture of car ownership-related expenses, designed to help consumers make the right choice when purchasing a vehicle. In fact, Bob Kurilko, vice president of Edmunds' product development and marketing, remarked that some buyers might find that "they can afford to buy a car, but they can't afford to own it. Understanding a vehicle's TCO is extremely important to a person on a fixed budget."
An Edmunds analyst who participated in the development of TCO used an analogy to explain its value: "You are choosing between two shirts and you finally decide to buy the one that is $20 less. But later, you discover that it has to be dry-cleaned using a special process. Each time you get it dry-cleaned, it costs $4 plus the hassle of taking it to the cleaners. After five washes, the savings on the shirt you bought have disappeared, and you probably wish you had bought the more expensive one in the first place."
Additionally, TCO may confirm something that you already know and help you solidify your decision on which car to buy. For example, it may be common knowledge that a Honda Civic is a good value for the money. With TCO, you can confirm this: The cost per mile is about 28 cents, one of the lowest of any vehicle.
You can reach the TCO page via two paths:
Click on the TCO link on the home page and enter the vehicle's year, make, model and the ZIP code in which the car will be registered.
Go to the Vehicle Detail Page for a specific car and look for the True Costs link in the left-hand column.
On the TCO page, information is broken down into the following four sections.
TCO Summary Section
The Summary section shows the results of the TCO calculations. The information is presented in two ways:
1. The True Cost to Own figure. This is all of the ownership and operation costs for five years.
2. The Purchase Price Total, is the sum of a vehicle's True Market Value price (another car-buying tool from Edmunds), typically equipped options, destination charge, base tax for the state and any applicable luxury/gas-guzzler taxes.
The summary section gives you an at-a-glance picture of the purchase cost of the car and all the related expenses. Surprisingly, you may find that the purchase cost of the car is a bargain, while the ensuing costs make it prohibitive for your budget.
Cost to Own Detail
The Cost to Own Detail section gives a breakdown of how the car's expenses change over the five-year period. It shows the car's depreciation (the decline in value). This would be important in a case in which there was a sudden drop-off in value after, say, the third year. Knowing this, the owner could sell the vehicle at that time and avoid the subsequent loss of value to his or her car.
The other related expenses are shown in the table on the Cost to Own Detail page. While some of the expenses decrease (financing and taxes and fees, for example) other expenses increase (repairs and maintenance). A cost-per-mile figure is also listed, providing yet another way to compare different vehicles.
Compare Similar Vehicles
Moving down the page, you will see a section called Compare Similar Vehicles. This reminds prospective buyers to consider vehicles made by other automakers and lists alternatives, along with a thumbnail photo.
Also included in the Compare Similar Vehicles table are the True Cost to Own five-year total, the purchase price and the expected resale value for each vehicle. If any of the vehicles look like candidates, you can quickly jump to the specific Vehicle Detail Page using the links below the photos.
Purchase Price Detail
The final section is the Purchase Price Detail table. This lists the typical expenses related to just the purchase of this vehicle. These are costs that people sometimes overlook when considering a transaction. Seeing them listed, and then totaled, can help you plan for such a large purchase.
"Never buy a vehicle before consulting the TCO," said Kurilko. "It makes ownership costs transparent and gives a breakdown year by year. In this regard, TCO may influence how long a person owns the vehicle, the number of years she chooses to finance the vehicle and other decisions. Consumers can see the depth of the water before jumping in the deep end."
Larry Laumann, executive director of Edmunds' aftermarket data operations, had one final thought, "The only thing we couldn't factor in was the emotional side of car buying. That first moment when you look at a car and say, 'I really like that!' There was no way to put that in a formula."
Check the TCO of the vehicle you are considering to see the cost of the car over time. You will see the big picture and not just the price tag.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ROTFL. I have to wonder about the incredible amount of time people spend trying to convince someone about how bad their choice is. If you want to attack someone (or their choice of whatever) go over to one of the Mac sites. They are a little more vociferous in their response however. I believe this group was created to allow prius owners to exchange ideas and answer questions. I don't see a alt.autos.toyota.prius.superiority or even an alt.autos.toyota.prius.advocacy where this stuff fits. Many of us purchased or are purchasing a prius for fairly wide number of choices - not just TCO. My own reasons are both professional and personal. But I would rather see FAQs or How-do-I.... than all of this drivel.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Woah they must be precogs. Not even the Consumers Report statisticians will be nervy enough to touch expected repairs on a new model year car. These people should also sit down and READ some of the white papers and symposium papers presented by the Toyota engineers on the various aspects of this car. They would understand some of the ramifications of what type of car this really is. For instance I wonder if the owners of this car realize with regenerative braking, their friction brakes may last the life of this car? Or that oil lubrication is flowing BEFORE the engine on this car starts. I've followed this car's developments through all the presentations and typical of Toyota engineering, nothing is left to chance. I'll bet the Toyota owners didn't even know this thing had an overdrive. How it works was an absolutely brilliant stroke of genius.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hello dear, I found a very good website http://www.exportautoforum.com/ you can find cars at wholesale price, here the Automotive dealers are selling cars at very low price. Most of the cars are for export, but you can still buy the car and register here in USA.
Best regard Paul Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How can that be in any way accurate?
1) Some of these cars have not been made for the full 5 years, so the resale, repairs, etc are just guesses. No one has ever sold a 2003 car after 5 years, for instance.
2) The insurance will vary greatly based on driver, location, insurance company, class of car, etc.
3) The fuel impact will vary greatly depending on how, where and when you drive. A 2 mile a week housewife in Nebraska will have drastically different results than a 70 mile a day commuter near San Francisco.
BTW, this is the Edmunds web site that includes an extended warranty as one of the cost to own, right? It's also the one that figured hundreds per year for service on the 2001 - 2003 Prius despite the fact that it (service) was provided by the dealer free of charge.
The basic idea is good, but somewhat flawed. Someone else pointed out that the lowest cost of ownership comes from buying a trashed 20 year old Ford for $100 and drive it till it's dead, then selling it to the junkyard for scrap.
I actually did the same math as article, but used it to determine the best time to trade my Prius in for a new one. Optimal time appears to be about 3.5 years. Fairly low depreciation and no out of pocket for maintenance or repairs.
Daniel
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Since the 'Cost of Ownership' described here is actually an estimate of the operating cost, I reworked the data a little include depreciation in the Total Cost of Ownership.
MAKE, MODEL Purchase Cost to Fuel Deprec- Total Cost own* costs iation of Owners'p Honda Civic 12,988 15,271 3,746 6,595 21,866 Toyota ECHO 12,671 15,410 3,849 7,902 23,312 Scion xA 13,603 15,949 4,412 7,899 23,848 Toyota Corolla 13,669 16,099 4,156 8,196 24,295 Volkswagen New Beetle 17,758 15,608 3,112 9,383 24,991 Scion xB 14,773 16,578 4,810 8,724 25,302 Volkswagen Golf 17,305 15,996 3,112 9,397 25,393 Toyota Matrix 15,550 16,916 4,608 8,499 25,415 Volkswagen Jetta 18,563 15,941 3,112 10,127 26,068 Honda Civic Hybrid 19,651 15,544 3,122 10,741 26,285 Toyota Prius 21,460 15,181 2,896 11,781 26,962 Honda Insight 20,240 15,633 2,406 11,635 27,268 Dodge Neon 14,222 16,763 4,995 10,937 27,700 Toyota Celica 19,692 17,988 4,995 10,475 28,463 Pontiac Vibe 18,408 17,992 4,608 12,027 30,019
Consistent with other postings and TCoO analysis, the Honda Civic comes out on top.
BTW, msn.com autos has some useful information on TCoO.
cheers,

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hello dear, I found a very good website http://www.exportautoforum.com/ you can find cars at wholesale price, here the Automotive dealers are selling cars at very low price. Most of the cars are for export, but you can still buy the car and register here in USA.
Best regard Paul Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.