Edmunds developed True Cost to Own (TCO) to help car shoppers estimate the total five-year cost of buying and owning a vehicle. The tool makes it easy for shoppers to compare five-year total ownership costs for the different vehicles they are considering so that they can make more informed buying decisions.
The ownership costs that we estimate include depreciation, interest on financing, taxes and fees, insurance premiums, fuel, maintenance and repairs. In order to estimate certain mileage-dependent costs, we assume that vehicles will be driven an average of 15,000 miles per year. For used vehicles, we assume that the vehicle has been driven 15,000 miles per year from its model year through the current calendar year.
Note that TCO is a comparative tool, not a predictive tool. Your actual five-year cost of owning a particular vehicle will vary depending on your personal circumstances, such as your driving history and the number of miles you drive.
For more information about TCO, please see Revealing the Hidden Costs of Ownership.