10 least expensive to own vehicles – not one is hybrid
High gas prices are the talk of the town these days. Talk of high gas prices is on the nightly news, the topic of conversation at the local coffee shop and even around the water cooler at work. People are reacting to the prices differently. Some are telecommuting more frequently, others are practicing hypermiling techniques, some are looking to more questionable practices like using water based devices, and others are trading their gas guzzlers for smaller cars or hybrids.
When people talk of fuel efficient cars, hybrids cars are what immediately come to mind. Turns out though, they may not be the least expensive choice. Edmunds.com recently conducted a study that looks at the overall cost of owning cars. While hybrids certainly come out at the top when looking exclusively at fuel costs, they aren’t the best financial choice overall. Actually, the Chevrolet Aveo is.
Edmunds.com cost per mile
For each vehicle on Edmunds.com, Edmunds provides something they called the Total Cost to Own (TCO). TCO calculates the additional costs you may not have included when considering a vehicle purchase. These extra costs include: depreciation, interest on your loan, taxes and fees, insurance premiums, fuel costs, maintenance, and repairs. TCO looks beyond just fuel costs.
In fact, when looking at the top 10 vehicles with the least TCO, only one hybrid that would be included is the Honda Civic Hybrid at that’s only if gas prices get above $5.00 per gallon. Once all of the factors that play into the overall cost of a vehicle, many vehicles one might think make smart choices in fact don’t. Here is top 10 list of cars from Edmunds.com that are the cheapest to own:
|2008 Chevrolet Aveo|
5 Special Value 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
|2008 Hyundai Accent|
GS 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
|2008 Honda Fit|
4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)
|2008 Toyota Yaris|
2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)
|2008 Honda Civic|
DX 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
|2008 Nissan Versa|
1.8 S 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
|2008 Mazda MAZDA3|
i Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
|2008 Kia Rio|
4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
|2008 Scion xB|
4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
|2008 Toyota Corolla|
CE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 5M)
Focus on overall cost, not just fuel cost
If you are like me, you found this list surprising. I expected to see the Toyota Prius at the top along with a few other hybrids based on all of the exposure these vehicles are receiving lately. The lesson here: Look beyond just fuel cost. Fuel costs are receiving a great deal of attention these days due to the “in your face” impact gas has on our pocket books. However, like many things personal finance related focusing on short term cost can be misleading. Instead, using TCO and focusing on the longer term perspective shows that there are other vehicles that over the longer haul prove to be far less expensive even though they use more fuel.
Make sure you look beyond just fuel price when making a decision. Doing so can save you a tremendous amount of money. Here’s a quick example of why it might not be in your best financial interest to dump that SUV:
We own a Dodge Durango (yes, it has a Hemi). Forgetting the fact for a minute we have 6 children, should we buy a Toyota Prius and trade in a four-year-old Durgango? Here’ the figures:
* The Durango is worth $11,164 in this market.
* The price of the Prius is $23,903.
* The balance is $12,739.
Driving 1,500 miles per month and using 4.59 per gallon, we would be saving $312 per month in the cost of gas. However, given the fact that it would cost us at least $12,739 to make this switch, it would take 40 months (or three and a half years) before we would begin actually saving money on gas. Want to see what your cost would be? Try out Edmunds.com’s Gas Guzzler for Gas Sipper calculator.
Photo by: thingermejig
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