How much do you really pay for a car? To get the true answer, you have to go beyond mere sticker price.
The cost of maintenance and repairs can add greatly to how much money your car steals from your wallet over the years. With that in mind, Consumer Reports set out to find the cheapest car brand to own once you have kept a car for 10 years.
It concluded that among such aged models, Cadillac reigns supreme.
CR based that conclusion on members who reported how much they had paid out of pocket for maintenance and repairs over the previous year. It notes that once cars turn 5 years old, the cost of maintenance and repairs starts to increase:
“But it’s really at the 10-year point when there are significant differences among the brands, with Cadillac being the cheapest and BMW the most expensive, followed by other German luxury brands such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz. It’s clear that costs can skyrocket when the warranty and free maintenance periods are over.”
If you are shopping for a car, CR suggests that buying used can be more economical than buying new. It notes that the cost of maintaining and repairing a 5-year-old vehicle isn’t that much higher than that of a 3-year-old model.
In addition, CR reminds car shoppers that older vehicles do not cost as much to insure, and that such savings can make up for the money you lose having to fund extra maintenance costs.
Consumer Reports members can view all the cost data by logging into their accounts, or you may be able to access CR for free through your local library.
For more on buying a preowned car, check out “5 Steps You Must Take Before Buying a Used Car.”