A car is one of the most expensive things most people will buy in their lifetime, typically second to purchasing a home.
But do you know just how expensive car ownership can be? One man did the math and discovered his economy car would cost him nearly $79,000 over 15 years of ownership.
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Over at the Motley Fool, author Maxx Chatsko has a chart where he shows just how much he’s paid for his Mazda 3, and how much he expect to pay in the future, factoring in expenses such as gas, car loan interest, maintenance and repair.
After he added everything up, he realized the total cost of owning his Mazda 3 over 15 years would be $79,000. Wow!
The road less traveled: How to make your money go the extra mile
The truth about cars is that what you drive makes a big difference in your budget. When you buy used, you significantly cut your cost of ownership, and this can have an extremely positive effect on your budget.
On the radio show, Clark asked our producer Joel about one of his car purchases, since Joel had significantly cut his costs of car ownership by buying used.
Joel had bought a used 8 or 9 year old Nissan Ultima with 150,000 miles on it for $3,200. He ended up driving it for 8.5 years, and then turned around and sold it for $1,200. Though he did have to pay about $3,000 to have it repaired, over the time he had it, his total cost of ownership was about $555 per year, without gas and insurance.
Clark went on to say that for many people a car isn’t just about transportation — for some people a car purchase is for fun, and for some others it’s about what the car says about them personally. But, if you treat a car as just a means of transportation, you can save an enormous amount of money.
Bottom line: If you want to save big money in your budget, be like Joel and get the cheapest car you can!