Knowing a costly car's cost over time can save you a large number of dollars.

The trick is knowing when to invest.

It's comparatively easy to see which cars cost the most expensive cars a lot more to purchase initially. But it is harder to know how much you really will get soaked in depreciation, insurance, maintenance and repair, and even fuel. Consumer Reports' owner-price approximations bring to light all these hidden costs over 1, 3, 5, and 8 years of possession.

And they contain some surprises. For example, a four-cylinder Mazda6 family sedan may seem like a good deal, at a cost $1,900 less than a similar Toyota exotic expensive cars Camry. But the total expense of owning the Mazda for five years is than the Camry. Likewise, you'd save more than $5,000 over the long haul by buying a Toyota Highlander SUV, rather than a Dodge Journey that costs $1,600 less up front.

The factors contained in our owner cost approximations are fuel, depreciation, interest on lending, insurance, sales tax, and average care and repair prices you can't locate anywhere else. However long you own your new automobile, checking out these estimates can save you a large number of dollars by the time it is sold by you.

Prices fluctuate among similar models

Here are some other remarkable discoveries we made in our investigation:

Over the very first five years of possession, the median car costs more than $9,100 a year to own--about what it costs to possess a midsized SUV like the Nissan Murano or an upscale sedan like the Lexus ES. But it's not difficult to find nice cars that cost considerably less. Sporty cars for example the base Mini Cooper can cost no more than $5,800 a year to possess. Even a quick, processed, and roomy small SUV including the V6-powered Toyota RAV4 costs as little as $7,800 a year to own.

Keeping a car for eight years, rather than five, can reduce possession costs that are median significantly to just $7,800 a year on average. This really is partially due to lower depreciation costs, and a result of keeping the car for a number of years following the loan has been paid off.

It combines a relatively low purchase price with great fuel economy, low depreciation, excellent reliability, and pretty low repair and upkeep costs.

Paying more for a hybrid vehicle can save you cash--so long as you select the right hybrid vehicle. She is the author of the books, "Whispers of the Soul," "A Slice of Life," "Whispers of the Soul for the Rest of Your own life," "From Where I'm Sitting," "View from the Sidelines," "Reaching for the Brass Ring of Life," "Purple Days and Starry Nights," "Here and There," "And that is the way that it Goes," and "The Counseling Effect."Most mainstream hybrids that are not high-end or SUV versions cost less to possess over five years than their normal counterparts that are less expensive. (Two exceptions are Honda Insight and the Chevrolet Volt. It takes seven or six years to compose the purchase price that is added in fuel savings for those autos.)

Large and luxurious SUVs have the most expensive muscle car highest ownership costs by far, a year, frequently amounting to more than $13,000. Pick-ups of all kinds aren't far behind.

While Kia and Hyundai versions have long guarantees and low costs, the economies are often offset by poor resale values.

Most Lexus models have comparatively high maintenance and repair costs (chiefly because of care), despite their exceptional reliability.