Car Cost Comparison Calculator

In the market for a new car? Our calculator will help you compare cars and options and figure out which best meets your financial needs by answering many important questions like:

  • Which car will cost the most each month?
  • How will different interest rates affect your car payment?
  • How much will differences in fuel efficiency cost you over time?

Just start filling in your details, click the "Calculate" button, and scroll down to get your results!

Enter Your Details

General Info

*Indicates a required field.

Car: Car #1 Car #2
Price of car:*
Sales tax: Enter if applicable and not included in the price of the car. Each state taxes car purchases differently, so check out this list of resources to find the rates in your state.
Extended warranty: Enter if applicable and not included in the price of the car.
# of years you expect to own your car:* As a guide, Americans keep the new cars they purchase for an average of 6.5 years, according to 2015 study.

Financing Costs

Car: Car #1 Car #2
Are you financing the car?
Down payment: The more you can pay up front, the less interest you'll have to pay over time and the faster you can potentially pay off your loan.
Finance rate (APR): Over the last few years, the average rate has been between 3 and 5 percent. Rates are subject to change, so we recommend checking with a site like Bankrate to get an idea of current rates or with the financial institution you plan to borrow from.
# of months financed:* Consider financing somewhere between 36–60 months in order to reduce the amount of interest you pay and to maximize the resale value and reliability of your car after it has been paid for. Wouldn’t it be great to drive your car for awhile without making monthly payments?

Ongoing Costs

Car: Car #1 Car #2
Yearly insurance premium:* According to this site, the average annual insurance premium for a single driver is around $900. Rates vary widely based on your age, gender, driving record, and many other factors including the car itself. You’ll want to reach out to your insurer for accurate rate quotes on any cars you're seriously considering.
Yearly registration fees and/or property tax: You can check out this list of registration fees to find the fees in your state. Property taxes vary widely, ranging from $0 to over $950/year. It's a good idea to contact your city or county for an accurate assessment of the tax you'll pay on any car you're considering.
Est. yearly maintenance and repair cost:* This will vary from month to month and depend on your vehicle. If you don't have specific information for your car, we recommend budgeting for at least $1,200 in maintenance ($100 per month). If you save this over time, you will be prepared for unexpected repairs. This will, of course, include oil changes (usually every 3,000 to 5,000 miles) and tire changes (usually every 36,000 to 60,000 miles). But your car will need additional maintenance, and some cars may be more prone to expensive repairs than others. We highly recommend doing as much research as you can on the reliability and maintenance costs of any car you're considering buying in order to make sure that the cost of keeping it running fits with your budget.
Est. # of miles you'll drive each year:*
Est. miles per gallon (MPG):* You can look up a car's MPG here.
Est. gas price per gallon:* Obviously this will fluctuate, but entering something here allows you to see how your car choices compare. Keep in mind that the cost per gallon is greater for cars that require premium fuel.

Your Results

See how your two cars compare below. (To make things easy we marked the less expensive options in green and the more expensive options in red.) And feel free to try out new options simply by changing your details above and recalculating.

Car: Car #1 Car #2
Avg. monthly fuel cost:
Monthly car payment:
for 0 months

for 0 months
Total interest paid:
Avg. monthly cost of ownership while car is being financed: incl. fuel, maintenance, taxes, etc.
for 0 months

for 0 months
Avg. monthly cost of ownership after car is paid for:
incl. fuel, maintenance, taxes, etc.
Total cost of ownership:
over 0 years

over 0 years

Note on depreciation: You may want to think about the resale value of your car, especially if you plan to sell it after a few years. While it's difficult to calculate, on average cars lose about 15% of their value each year for the first five years, and then depreciate more slowly after that. And new cars depreciate at a higher rate in year one. Remember that different makes and models will depreciate more or less depending on trends that are difficult to predict.

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