If you bought a new car recently and didn’t pay cash, chances are pretty good you’re driving a vehicle you can’t afford.
Having a car requires more money than the dealers let you believe. Edmunds.com features a True Cost To Own worksheet that calculates some costs you may not be thinking about when you go to buy your new (or new-to-you) car, such as gasoline and maintenance. For example, the True Cost To Own for a used 2002 Honda Civic is $11,708, or $0.28 per mile based on 15,000 miles a year. This compares pretty favorably with other cars in its class, most of which cost more than $0.30 per mile to own. Interesting.
Updated March 5, 2014 and originally published July 24, 2003. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.