Considering insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs, most drivers are well aware of how expensive cars are to buy and maintain.
In fact, the average cost to own and operate a new vehicle is $8,849 a year, according to an annual study by AAA, or just under 59 cents a mile if you average 15,000 miles of driving a year.
However, the largest expense that comes with buying a new car largely falls under the radar, the automotive group said.
"Depreciation accounts for almost 40 percent of the cost of owning a new vehicle, more than $3,000 per year," said Robert Sinclair, a spokesman for AAA Northeast.
New cars typically depreciate the minute you drive off the lot. By the time it's a year old, the vehicle has lost nearly one-third of its value, according to Edmunds data.
The secret to minimizing depreciation costs: "Keep your car for a long time and keep it well-maintained or even consider buying a quality, pre-owned vehicle," Sinclair said.