Kelley Blue Book Shows Customers Info on Total Costs of Ownership

Lots of new and used car buyers get up-to-date information on model pricing and financing when they’re ready to go to dealer’s lots to look for a new ride, but one thing that many ignore is the issue of the cost of ownership. In a recent report, the Kelley blue book company is giving U.S. consumers some tips on which vehicle brands have the most competitive costs of ownership for several years.

The Kelley company has become a very popular way for prospective car buyers, as well as owners, to get accurate values for any vehicle. Through the company’s web site at, users can get up-to-date blue book values, whether it’s trade-in values, private sale pricing, or what price you’re likely to get from a dealer in a specific area of the country. With Kelly’s total cost of ownership research, the company looks at depreciation of vehicles, as well as extras like fuel costs and maintenance. With many manufacturers now offering free maintenance for a certain period of time, this aspect of total cost of ownership can vary, so it’s important to look at your specific agreement with a participating dealer when using Kelly’s “residual values” information to look at cost of ownership for your car.

In taking on the task of assessing total cost of ownership for comparative vehicles, Kelly looked at luxury brands, as well as “non-luxury” offerings from manufacturers that are likely to be bought by families and commuters. Among luxury vehicles, Audi tops the list with an average cost of ownership of just under $69,000 for a five-year period. The MSRP for these cars, according to Kelley, averages about $47,500. Next is the Lexus, with average costs of ownership at about $73,600, and average MSRP of $55,000 and change. The third spot on the list is the Cadillac, where costs of ownership for the same time frame are estimated at between $77,000 and $78,000, with an average MRP of around $53,500.

For non-luxury cars, the award for most competitive cost of ownership is to Kia, with an average of around $39,000 for five years of ownership, and an average MSRP of $21,600. Hyundai comes next, with five-year costs of ownership around $40,000 mark, and the MSRP ranging over $23,000. Honda also offers competitive cost of ownership near $41,000, with average MSRP of $26,300.

Use the above information for a vehicle purchase that you will be able to afford over time when all of the other costs involved in ownership kick in. Always think about extras like fuel costs, and choose a car that won’t threaten your budget over time.