When the average consumer looks into buying a new or used vehicle, they consider the cost of buying that vehicle instead of considering the cost of owning it. They usually base their decision on three things:
* Interest rate
* Down payment
* Monthly payments
However, there are some hidden expenses that even seasoned consumers aren’t fully aware of that go into the total cost of ownership cars and trucks ultimately incur. These hidden costs are based in part on how that vehicle compares with others in its class, the amount of depreciation, and the cost of insuring that vehicle.
Let’s take the last factor, for example. Many assume that the cost of auto insurance depends on their driving record. While that is basically true, car insurance rates also depend on the type of vehicle they are insuring. Insurance agents look at factors such as:
* The safety record for that particular make and model
* Crime statistics for that type of vehicle, such as reported thefts of a specific model
* Crime statistic for the area the vehicle is housed in, such as vandalism and personal property crimes
* The intended use of the vehicle, such as whether it is for business or personal use
Consumers can find out more about cost comparisons by vehicle by looking up that information for a specific dealer or car manufacturer. There are also independent agencies that provide consumer comparisons of vehicles in all classes for the purpose of providing a public service. An informed consumer is a smarter consumer.