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If the new page layout is not working for you, please Contact Me and let me know what device, operating system, and web browser (with version numbers) you are using so I can attempt to get the layout working for your setup.

About the Redesign

If you visited this site prior to September 15th, 2018, you've no doubt noticed that I've since launched a complete redesign of the website.

If you're not happy with the new design, I sincerely apologize. I would have preferred to keep the old desktop design, but considering the majority of my site's users are now accessing the site from small-screen, touch-enabled, mobile devices, and considering Google is now penalizing websites for not being mobile/thumb friendly, I was left with no choice but to switch to a responsive, mobile-first design.

The good news is that now that I have combined the three separate versions of the site (mobile, desktop, and ad-free member) into a single design, this will free up a ton of my time for working to make the mobile-optimized calculators more desktop/laptop friendly. In fact, some of the redesigned calculators already offer a desktop-optimized form that becomes visible when you increase the width setting of the calculator (within the "Calculator Preferences" expandable panel).

Thank you in advance for your help and patience as I work to improve the redesign.

-Dan

Calculator Preferences
Car Buying Calculator Sign

Car Buying Calculator

This calculator will calculate the annual, monthly, and per mile cost to buy and own an automobile. A second column of entry fields allows you to perform side-by-side car buying comparisons, or to see how changes to one cost element effects the overall cost of buying and owning. Results include a printable Purchase and Ownership Cost Report that you can print out and use for comparing with any number of other car buying alternative. The $ecret tab includes:

  • The price tag is only the tip of the car cost iceberg.
  • Ownership cost meter needed.
  • The more you own ...
Learn More

Selected Data Record:

A Data Record is a set of calculator entries that are stored in your web browser's Local Storage. If a Data Record is currently selected in the "Data" tab, this line will list the name you gave to that data record. If no data record is selected, or you have no entries stored for this calculator, the line will display "None".

DataData recordData recordSelected data record: None
Double?Double?Double scenario?Double scenario?

Double scenario?

If you would like to enter numbers for two different vehicles at once, move the slider to the "Yes" position. Otherwise, if you are only concerned with the purchase and ownership costs of a single vehicle, move the slider to the "No" position.

Copy #1 Entries to #2 Fields:

If you are entering two different car buying scenarios at once, you can leave the "Double?" switch set to "No" and complete the left-hand fields on each row. Then, once you have the single scenario completed you can move the "Double?" switch to "Yes" and click this button and it will copy the values in the left-hand fields to the right-hand fields.

RHW:RHW:Real hourly wage:Real hourly wage:

Real hourly wage:

Optional: If you would like the car buying calculator to calculate the number of hours you will have to work each year to stay current with the costs of ownership, enter your real hourly wage in this field. Tapping on the link will open the Real Hourly Wage Calculator in a new window.

Enter Car Cost Variables

Enter Purchase and Ownership Cost Variables:

The following 16 rows each contain two fields. The left-hand field in each row is for a single car buying scenario (I have included sample values you can use as a guide). If you chose to include a second car buying scenario above, then the right-hand fields are for the second car buying scenario. Otherwise, if you said "No" to the double scenario, the right-hand fields will be disabled.

Important! Please don't let the number of fields detour you from benefiting from the use of this calculator. Buying a car is a huge financial decision so I strongly urge you to give it the time and attention it deserves.

Identifying description:Identifying description:Identifying description:Identifying description:

Identifying description:

Optional. If you would like a description included in the report for future reference, enter a brief description of the vehicle (make, model, year, etc.);

Total price of the car:Total price of the car:Total price of the car, incl. options:Total price of the car, incl. options:

Total price of the car, including options:

Enter the total price of the car. If your are buying a new car, include the price of all options and add-ons.

Sales-tax percentage:Applicable sales-tax percentage:Applicable sales-tax percentage:Applicable sales-tax percentage:

Applicable sales-tax percentage:

Enter the total percentage of all sales tax rates that will apply (local, state, etc.). Enter the amount as a percentage, but without the percent sign (for .07375 or 7.375%, enter 7.375).

Annual cost of licensing:Annual cost of licensing:Annual cost of licensing:Annual cost of licensing:

Annual cost of licensing this vehicle:

Enter the annual cost to license the vehicle. Generally speaking, the more expensive the vehicle the higher annual license will be.

Extended warranty cost:Extended warranty cost:Extended warranty cost:Extended warranty cost:

Extended warranty cost, if applicable:

If you purchase an extended warranty, enter the price on this line. Keep in mind that an extended warranty is just an insurance policy. Meaning, like all insurance policies, the issuer of the policy has calculated that you will not have any trouble with the car until after the extended warranty expires.

Will you be financing?Will you be financing this vehicle?Will you be financing this vehicle?Will you be financing this vehicle?

Will you be financing this vehicle?

Select yes or no to indicate whether or not the car buying calculator should include finance costs in its calculations.

Down payment amount:Down payment amount:Down payment amount:Down payment amount:

Enter the a percentage to compute the down payment amount, expand the description and enter the percentage (without the percent sign) and the calculator will calculate the amount and enter it into the appropriate fields (Total price of car entry is required).

 Scenario #1Scenario #2
%:
Amt:

Down payment amount:

Enter the amount of your down payment if you are financing the vehicle. Or, if you want the calculator to use a percentage to compute the down payment amount, expand the description and enter the percentage (without the percent sign) and the calculator will calculate the amount and enter it into the appropriate fields (Total price of car entry is required).

Financing percentage rate:Financing percentage rate:Financing percentage rate:Financing percentage rate:

Financing percentage rate:

Enter annual percentage rate you will be charged by the auto finance company. Enter as a percentage, but without the percent sign (for .095 or 9.5%, enter 9.5).

Number of months financed:Number of months financed:Number of months financed:Number of months financed:

Number of months financed:

Enter the term of the car loan in months (3 years = 36, 4 years = 48, 5 years = 60, 6 years = 72, and so on.

Annual insurance premium:

Annual insurance premium:

Enter the dollar amount of the annual insurance premium. Call your auto insurance agent for a quote. Typically the more expensive and the more sporty the vehicle, the more it will cost to insure.

Annual drive miles:Annual drive miles:Annual drive miles:Annual drive miles:

To convert non-annual miles into annual miles, enter the miles and select the timeframe below.

Miles:
Per:
Annual Miles:

Miles you expect to drive car per year:

Enter the number of miles you think you will drive the car per year. If you would like the calculator to convert non-annual miles into annual miles, expand the description, enter the miles and select the timeframe below.

Estimated MPG rating:Vehicle's estimated MPG rating:Vehicle's estimated MPG rating:Vehicle's estimated MPG rating:

Vehicle's estimated MPG rating:

Enter the average number of miles per gallon (MPG) you will get from the vehicle. If two mpg ratings are stated, enter the lower of the two.

Cost per gallon of gas:Cost per gallon of gas:Cost per gallon of gas:Cost per gallon of gas:

Local cost of one gallon of gasoline:

Enter the current cost of one gallon of gasoline purchased locally. I suggest inflating this figure since the cost of gasoline is always inching higher over time.

Age of car in years:Age of car in years:Age of car in years:Age of car in years:

Age of car in years:

Enter the age of the car in years. If this is a new car, either leave blank or enter "0". The newer the car, the faster the car will depreciate in value during the first years of ownership.

Years you expect to own:Years you expect to own:Years you expect to own this car:Years you expect to own this car:

Years you expect to own this car:

Enter the number of years you plan to own the car. The longer you own the car, the lower will be the average annual cost of depreciation.

Monthly maint/repair cost:Monthly maint & repair cost:Monthly maint & repair cost:Monthly maint & repair cost:

Enter a percentage to arrive at an estimate of maintenance costs (average is 3% of purchase price per year).

 Scenario #1Scenario #2
Percent:
Annual:
Monthly:

Monthly maintenance and repair cost:

Enter the monthly cost to repair and maintain the vehicle. If you are not sure, expand the description to multiply the price of the vehicle by a percentage to arrive at an estimate (average is 3% of purchase price per year). Newer cars tend to have a lower annual cost, whereas older cars tend to have a higher annual cost.

Purchase & Ownership Costs Chart
CostsCostsPurchase & Ownership CostsCalculated Purchase & Ownership CostsScenario #1Scenario #2
Tax, lic, wrty:Tax, lic, warranty:Tax, license, warranty:Tax, license, extended warranty costs:
Depreciation:Depreciation:Depreciation costs:Depreciation costs:
Financing:Financing:Finance costs:Finance costs:
Insurance:Insurance:Insurance costs:Insurance costs:
Fuel costs:Fuel costs:Fuel costs:Fuel costs:
Maint/repair:Maint/repair:Maintenance & repair costs:Maintenance & repair costs:
Total costs:Total costs:Total cost of buying & owning:Total cost of buying & owning the car:
Annual cost:Annual cost:Annual cost to own & operate vehicle:Annual cost to own & operate vehicle:
Monthly cost:Monthly cost:Monthly cost to own & operate:Monthly cost to own & operate vehicle
Car cost/mile:Car cost per mile:Car cost per mile:Car cost per mile:
Ann work hrs:Annual work hoursRequired annual work hours:Required annual work hours:
Ann 40-hr wks:Annual 40-hour weeks:Required annual 40-hour work weeks:Required annual 40-hour work weeks:

If you would like to save the current entries to the secure database, tap or click on the Data tab, select "New Data Record", give the data record a name, then tap or click the Save button. To save changes to previously saved entries, simply tap the Save button. Please select and "Clear" any data records you no longer need.

Feedback AppreciatedFeedback Greatly AppreciatedYour Feedback Would Be Greatly AppreciatedYour Feedback Is Greatly Appreciated
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Tip

Help and Tools

Help and Tools:

This section, which you can Unstick or Hide in the Calculator Preferences (just above the top of the calculator), contains the following tabs (content too long to fit within bordered frame can be scrolled up and down):

About: Click this tab for an introduction to the calculator.

Instructions: Click this tab for step-by-step instructions for using the calculator.

Terms: Click this tab for a list of the descriptions that are located within each popup help button (info icons).

PCalc: Click this tab for a handy "pocket" calculator you can use when you need to calculate an entry needed for the calculator.

Data: Click this tab to save a set of entries or a note in between visits. Entries and notes will be stored to your web browser's local storage (if supported by your browser of choice), meaning they can only be recalled with the same device and web browser you were using when you saved them. If you'd like to save entries and notes between devices you can do so by subscribing to the Ad-Free Member Version.

 

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