We do the math for the first five years of ownership so you don't have to.
Recently, we dusted off the old Casio calculator and worked out how much some of the more popular new cars on the market cost to own. The MSRP is just the first number in a long list of how much it costs to own a car. Before driving a new car off, the lot buyers must pay a delivery charge, taxes, and the first insurance installment. Over the following five years, costs such as servicing, fuel, wear and tear items, and finance charges starting up until we reach a final number.
That got us wondering how much a specialty car costs, such as sports cars and off-road vehicles. So, out came the calculator again, and we picked out a small range of specialty vehicles to examine. Here's how much they cost to own over five years.
When it comes to inexpensive sports cars, the Mazda MX-5 is the gold standard. In 2015, a base model would have set you back $23,970 plus a $795 delivery charge and $1,857.38 in California tax. Mazda customer's paid $26,622.38 plus $1,150 in insurance to drive it off the dealer's forecourt. Financing then logs in at an average of $2,518 over five years. MX-5's are small and mechanically simple, and maintenance averages out at the cost of $2,085 in total. They're also renowned for their reliability, and 2015 was the last year of the NC generation, which is as close to bulletproof as you'll find. As a result, owners spent an average of $800 on repairs out of warranty. Despite needing premium gas, the MX-5 is also fuel-efficient, with an average of $1,550 spent at the pumps per year.
The second-hand value of one in good condition is approximately $9,800, making for $14,965 in depreciation. Once we add everything up, the real total cost of ownership for the first years is $45,525.38.
Purchase Price: $23,970
Delivery charge : $795
Taxes (CA 2015=7.5%): $1,857.38
Insurance (5 years): $5,750
Financing fees: $2,518
Repairs (average cost only for years out of warranty): $800
Fuel (average EPA for 13,000 miles/year over five years): $7,750
Total Spend Over Five Years: $45,525.38
Money Left For Next Car: $9,005
In 2015, a Z51 Corvette Stingray had a sticker price of $60,000, and the California tax brought that up to $64,575. Adding $995 in delivery charges and another $1,828 in insurance meant that it cost $67,398 to park it on the driveway for your neighbors to admire. Surprisingly, over five years, it has an average cost of just $3,770 to maintain. There are very few common issues out of warranty that will pose trouble early on. We're factoring in $829 as an average repair and $8,750 in gas for five years; if the owner didn't drive it like a Corvette should be driven. Tack on $7,531 for financing costs just to add to the burden.
The Corvette in Z51 trim has a strong resale value of $32,800 after five years. The total cost of ownership works out to $95,590.
Purchase Price: $60,000
Delivery charge : $995
Taxes (CA 2015=7.5%): $4,575
Insurance (5 years): $9,140
Financing fees: $7,531
Repairs (average cost only for years out of warranty): $829
Fuel (average EPA for 13,000 miles/year over five years): $8,750
Total Spend Over Five Years: $95,590
Money Left For Next Car: $31,805
A 911 Turbo doesn't come cheap, and in 2015 it cost $151,100 without any options. Adding $1,100 in delivery charges and $11,415 in California tax brings it up to $163,615. Including the first year of insurance at $2,337, you're looking at $165,952 off the showroom floor. Financing averages out at $17,150 over five years and driving like you didn't steal it will have cost a surprisingly reasonable $9,250 over that time span. Maintenance stings, at $5,710 over that period. Reliability is good though, and Porsche has a basic four-year warranty. In Porsche pricing, $1,256 in out-of-warranty repairs isn't terrible as an average.
If you bought a red 2015 Turbo, it'll now be worth $81,400 with 65,000 miles on the clock. Totaling up the figures, that gives us a real-world total cost of owning a Porsche 911 Turbo for the first five years of $208,666.
Purchase Price: $151,100
Delivery charge : $1,100
Taxes (CA 2015=7.5%): $11,415
Insurance (5 years): $11,685
Financing fees: $17,150
Repairs (average cost only for years out of warranty): $1,256
Fuel (average EPA for 13,000 miles/year over five years): $9,250
Total Spend Over Five Years: $208,666
Money Left For Next Car: $81,400
If you wanted to drive off the dealer's lot and onto a tricky trail in 2015 with the family, you would have wanted a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. You would have paid $35,995 for the vehicle, $1,200 in delivery charges, and $2,790 in tax, and another $1,217 to insure it for the first year. Over five years and on top of that $41,202, you would have spent an average of $4,403 in financing charges, $7,750 in gas, then $3,255 in maintenance. Repairs depend on how much you bust it up going off-roading, but assuming no trail damage, the average spent on repairs is $1,290.
Trade-in values hold strong at about $23,000 after five years. Totaling the figures up, that gives us a five-year real cost of ownership for a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited of $76,963, or 2.1 times the original price.
Purchase Price: $35,995
Delivery charge : $1,200
Taxes (CA 2015=7.5%): $2,790
Insurance (5 years): $6,085
Financing fees: $4,403
Repairs (average cost only for years out of warranty): $1,290
Fuel (average EPA for 13,000 miles/year over five years): $7,750
Total Spend Over Five Years: $62,768
Money Left For Next Car: $23,000
The quintessential pony car in its ideal V8 state cost $32,300 in 2015. Ford's delivery charge across the board in 2015 was $825, and Californians paid $2,422.50 in taxes. The average insurance was $1,429, so it cost $36,976.50 to drive a brand new Mustang off the lot five years ago. Fuel economy for the V8 is as expected, but the Mustang has been a reliable car with reasonable maintenance costs to make up for it. On top of that, it holds its value relatively well, losing $11,061 in value over the five years. Totaling all the numbers up, the Mustang cost buyers in 2015 a total of $57,556.50 over the next five years.
Purchase Price: $32,300
Delivery charge : $825
Taxes (CA 2015=7.5%): $2,422.50
Insurance (5 years): $7,145
Financing fees: $4,454
Repairs (average cost only for years out of warranty): $893
Fuel (average EPA for 13,000 miles/year over five years): $7,250
Total Spend Over Five Years: $57,556.50
Money Left For Next Car: $21,239