When browsing around for a brand new vehicle, prospective buyers need to understand the concept of cost of ownership. A vehicle needs to be maintained, repaired and refueled on scheduled intervals. A low MSRP doesn’t always come with a low cost of ownership for a brand new car. For example, an affordable compact car could have a low sale price but the cost of ownership may be high. Compact cars have relatively small wheels and tires that are worn out much faster compared to the tires on full size sedans and crossover SUVs. On the other hand, compact vehicles are lightweight and very fuel efficient. In fact, an average compact vehicle can have a fuel economy of well above 35 miles per gallon on the highway.
Therefore, fuel efficiency plays a very important role in the cost of ownership of a car. Hybrid vehicles offer a fuel economy between 40 and 50 mpg in the city and highway. However, the hybrid powertrain may be expensive to repair and service over an extended period of time such as five years. Electric cars offer the best fuel efficiency with ratings of more than 100 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent. However, drivers need to consider the cost of electricity when charging their electric cars in a car garage. A new car comparison is an example of cost of ownership analysis. Environmentally conscious drivers often decide between hybrid and full electric cars. Gasoline engines are simply not suitable for drivers that go “green.”