We've all done it. When we've gone looking to buy a new car, we get a price on a model or two and then we think to ourselves, "Ok, THIS is what this car is going to cost me." Now we may need to re-think that approach.
Consumer Reports has calculated what it believes every car will cost you over 5 years of ownership. CR's math includes depreciation, gas, tax, insurance, maintenance, and interest on a typical auto loan. Finally, you will know the true cost of buying that new car, truck or SUV.
What's really interesting is CR found that sometimes, when you compare two models in the same class--for example, family cars--the model with a higher sticker price in the showroom costs less in the long run. That explains why Consumer Reports lists the Toyota Prius as the least expensive family car to own over 5 years, even though its sticker price is much higher than other models in it's class.
Check out how much the car you want to buy would cost you in the long run at CosumerReports.org. (Subcription needed for some surveys).
Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com