How to Estimate a Car’s Cost of Ownership


It’s no secret that cars can be expensive to maintain, whether you buy them from an auto auction like SCA or spring on a brand new car from a car dealership. But how do you know if you’re really getting a good deal on your car purchase?

To make a smart decision, you need to take the time to estimate the real cost of ownership for each vehicle you’re considering.

Cost Considerations When Buying a Car

  1. Depreciation: This is the largest factor in determining a car’s cost of ownership. Depreciation is the difference between a car’s purchase price and its eventual resale value. All cars lose value over time, but some do so more rapidly than others. In general, luxury cars and sports cars depreciate the fastest, while more practical vehicles like SUVs and trucks tend to hold their value better.
  2. Fuel costs: Fuel economy is another significant factor in a car’s cost of ownership. Obviously, the more miles per gallon your vehicle gets, the less you’ll spend on gas over time. But don’t just look at the EPA estimates – those can be quite optimistic. Instead, do your own research to find out what kind of real-world fuel economy you can expect from the cars you’re considering.
  3. Maintenance and repair costs: Even the most reliable vehicles need routine maintenance and occasional repairs. Before buying a car, find out how much it will likely cost to keep it in good running condition. Check online resources like and for estimates on common maintenance and repair items.
  4. Insurance costs: Your car insurance rates will be partly determined by the type of vehicle you drive. In general, sports cars and luxury cars cost more to insure than more modestly priced vehicles. But several other factors also come into play, so be sure to get quotes from multiple insurers before making your final decision.
  5. Financing costs: If you’re taking out a loan to finance your car purchase, the interest you pay will add to the overall cost of ownership. To get the best car finance deals in NZ, shop around for financing before you go to the dealership. Compare rates from multiple lenders and try to get pre-approved for a loan so you’ll know exactly how much you can afford to spend.

How to Calculate the Cost of Ownership

Once you’ve considered all of the above factors, you’re ready to calculate the real cost of ownership for each car you’re considering. To do so, simply add up all of the estimated costs for each vehicle over a five-year period and compare the total. This will give you a good idea of which car is really the best deal.

Keep in mind that these numbers are only estimates, and your actual costs may be higher or lower than what’s shown here. But if you do your homework and compare the cost of ownership for each car you’re considering, you’ll be in a much better position to make a smart purchase decision.

SCA Auctions

If you want the best deal on your next car purchase, be sure to check out SCA Auctions. We offer a wide selection of vehicles from all over the world, including trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, and sports cars, and our prices are unbeatable.

We have extended our inventory to more than 300,000 vehicles after opening over 160 live auctions each week for the general public. Members may bid either pre-bid or in real-time using our website. So register today and see for yourself!

Norwalk Auto Auction

Since 1979, the Norwalk Auto Auction has been selling automobile dealer auctions each Tuesday and Thursday. They also offer public GSA auctions monthly. These events take place once every month and are held in lane or online. The day before the event, registration is required, and it isn’t available on the auction day. On their website, they provide information about the runs as well as all of the necessary details to determine if a car is worth bidding on.

Carriage Trade

The Carriage Trade Public Auto Auction is a family-owned and managed firm that has been selling automobiles to car dealers and the general public for over 41 years. In 1969, Dom Conicelli started Carriage Trade as a little used car lot for vehicle storage. Carriage Trade has more than 500 vehicles in stock weekly, with auctions on Mondays. In addition, they have cheap cars and auto salvage up for bids every week.

Bellingham Public Auto Auction

The Bellingham Public Auto Auction has auto auctions every month during the first week. They feature a wide range of vehicles from major dealerships and private sellers. The sale is open to the public, and registration is not necessary. However, you must buy a car to attend the auction. The auction is cash-only, with all transactions being final.

A Quick Summary

A car’s real cost of ownership goes beyond the price tag you see at the dealership. There are several factors to consider, including depreciation, maintenance and repair costs, insurance premiums, and financing costs.

To get a better idea of which car is the best deal, add all the estimated costs for each vehicle over five years and compare the total. This will give you a good idea of which car is really the best deal.

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