How much does a car cost?

By on August 4, 2010 in ArticlesHow Much Does

If you're thinking about getting a new vehicle, you've probably wondered how much does a car cost? When considering the question, you need to keep in mind that you're factoring in the price of purchase as well as the cost of maintaining the car once you get it.

Cars are available in every price range you can imagine and how you spend in the end has to do with how much your budget is, whether you're buying or leasing, what the terms of the lease are and whether the car is new or used.

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According to a report published in, the cheapest cars in the US are:

• Hyundai Accent Blue: $10,690

• Nissan Versa 1.6: $10,710

• Kia Rio Base Sedan: $12,390

• Smart Fortwo Pure: $12,635

• Chevrolet Aveo LS Sedan: $12,685

• Toyota Yaris 3-door Liftback: $13,455

• Kia Soul Base: $13,995

• Suzuki SX4 Sedan: $14,094

• Kia Forte LX: $14,390

• Nissan Cube 1.8: $14,710

On the other side of the coin, you have luxury cars. According to Forbes, the 10 most expensive mass-produced cars in the US are:

• Mercedes-Benz CL Class: $207,170

• Mercedes-Benz S Class: $201,150

• Audi R8: $155,100

• BMW 7-Series : $136,600

• Chevrolet Corvette: $116,880

• Jaguar XJ: $114,150

• BMW M6 : $107,900

• Jaguar XK: $101,150

• Mercedes-Benz CLS Class: $97,950

• Land Rover Range Rover: $94,275

According to the Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends 17 percent of his income in car ownership and operating expenses. This is only second to the expenses for home mortgage or rent. Aside from the obvious expenses of gas and insurance, there are things that will eat up at your wallet when you own a car. Giving an average for these things is difficult, as how much does a car cost to maintain depends greatly on the type of car you have. For example:

• Average cost of insurance in Virginia: $758 a year

• Average cost of insurance in New York City or Los Angeles: anywhere from $3,127 to $5,162 per year.

Insurance costs also vary depending on what your state requires, as some only ask for damage to others, while some states ask for medical payments, collision coverage or even complete (comprehensive) coverage. You will also pay different insurance price depending on the type of car you have. For example, the average prices per model are:

• Dodge Grand Caravan: $960

• Chevrolet Impala: $959

• Lincoln Town Car: $955

• Mercedes G-Class: $2,088

• BMW M6: $2,236

• Ford Shelby GT500: $2,186

Other expenses to consider when trying to figure how much a car costs:

• Gas: As of 2010, it costs anywhere between $30 and $50 to fill up your tank, unless you have an especially small or large car. Depending on how much you drive every day, this can amount to hundreds of dollars a month.

• Maintenance: A simple oil change can set you back $20 or more. Add to that the cost of new tires (and maybe winter tires, depending on where you live), yearly inspections, replacements of broken parts (headlights, paint, etc.) and other miscellaneous expenses.

• Parking: If you live in a large metropolitan area, chances are you won't be able to park in the streets, at least not for long periods of time. An 8-hour parking spot at a garage in NYC will cost you upwards of $30. That's for every single day you go to work, for a total of $600 a month just to park.

So if you're still wondering how much does a car cost, you should head to your local dealer and take a look at what's available. You might be surprised at the number of options available for every budget.

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