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I tracked each car-related expense for 6 years. Here's what I learned. – The Motley Fool

After a home and college education, a vehicle is one of the most expensive purchases most people will make. You will probably buy more during your life, and unlike a house, a used car does not sell much of the original principal. In other words, it is an important personal financial decision. But do you know how much car real estate actually costs?

It's a staggering number of factors to consider, ranging from the purchase price of the vehicle to the number of kilometers you drive each year. And don't forget about fuel, insurance, customs, maintenance and the like. The calculation seems scary just to think about it. Luckily for you, I started the nerdy habit of tracking every single car-related expense when I bought my car six years ago. Here's what I've learned about the true cost of car ownership.

  A seller who delivers new car keys to a customer.

Image Source: Getty Images.

What is the right price for a new car?

] I bought my Mazda (NASDAQOTH: MZDAF) 3 brand new for $ 25,300 in June 2013. The following table shows my price of car ownership on three separate checkpoints along the way, with some [19659008] Year 6

Year 4

Year 2

Miles powered




] Gallons fuel

26.7 mpg

26.8 mpg

26.5 mpg

CO2 emissions

24.7 metric

26.7 mpg

26.7 mpg


17.9 tonnes

9.0 tonnes

Fuel cost

$ 6156

$ 4,533

$ 2,696

Maintenance cost [1965901] 2] $ 4,611

$ 2,421

$ 918

Total expenses including car purchase

] $ 44,800

$ 37,294

$ 31,434

Cost per mile driven

$ 0.74

$ 0.85

$ 1.44

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