You can be saved tens of thousands of dollars by knowing an expensive car's cost over time.

The trick is knowing when to invest.

It is comparatively easy to see which cars cost more to purchase initially. But it's harder to know how much you will get soaked in care, insurance, depreciation and repair, and even fuel.

And they contain some surprises. For instance , a four-cylinder Mazda6 family sedan might look like a great deal, at a price $1,900 less than a similar Toyota Camry. However, the overall cost of possessing the Mazda for five years is than the Camry. Similarly, you'd save more than $5,000 by buying a Toyota Highlander SUV over the long haul, rather than a Dodge Journey that costs $1,600 less up front.

The factors included in our owner cost approximations are depreciation, fuel, interest on financing, insurance, sales tax, and average maintenance and repair prices you can not locate anywhere else. Because depreciation is factored in our approximations, we assume the vehicle will likely be traded in at the end of the duration (after three, one, five, or eight years) . However long you possess your new automobile, checking out these estimates can save you tens of thousands of dollars by the time it is sold by you.

Costs fluctuate among similar versions

Here are some other noteworthy discoveries we made in our evaluation:

Over the first five years of ownership, the median car costs more than $9,100 a year to own--about what it costs to possess a midsized SUV such as the Nissan Murano or an upscale sedan such as the Lexus ES. But it's not difficult to find nice cars that cost considerably less. Sporty cars including the foundation Mini Cooper can cost as few as $5,800 a year to own. Even a quick, processed, and roomy modest SUV like the V6-powered Toyota RAV4 costs as little as $7,800 a year to possess.

This really is partially due to lower depreciation costs, and due to keeping the car for several years after the loan was paid off.

Among the most inexpensive cars to own in our estimation is the small Honda Fit, which costs just over $5,300 a year to possess for five years. It unites a comparatively low purchase price with great fuel economy, low depreciation, outstanding reliability, and pretty low care and repair costs.

Paying more for a hybrid can save you cash--as long as you select the best hybrid vehicle. Most mainstream hybrids which aren't luxury or SUV models cost less to own over five years than their less expensive standard counterparts. (Two exceptions are Honda Insight and the Chevrolet Volt. She's the writer of the novels, "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 most expensive car crash and Starry Nights," "Here and There," "And That's the way that it Goes," and "The Counseling Effect."It takes seven or six years, respectively, to constitute the added purchase price in fuel savings for all those autos.)

Large and high-end SUVs have the highest ownership prices by far, a year, frequently amounting to more than $13,000. Pick-ups of all kinds are not far behind.

While Hyundai and Kia models have long warranties and low prices, lousy resale values often offset the savings. Hyundai's Accent and Elantra don't prove any more cheap after five years than Honda high-priced Fit and Civic.

Most Lexus models have relatively high maintenance and exotic cars repair costs (primarily because of care), despite their excellent dependability.