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The cost of a car or truck is more than just the price you pay driving it off the lot. Every year, auto owners need to factor in a number of different costs to determine the true price of owning a particular model. Everything from the cost of repairs to the price of fuel goes into determining such a cost.
As supply shortages and varying demand have made the current auto market one of the most challenging in recent memory, the idea of affordability has begun to change. CoPilot estimated the cost of the most popular vehicles from 2021 for an average U.S. driver based on data from its CoPilot Price Pulse tool, Car and Driver, and the U.S. Department of Energy. The number of miles driven and the mix of highway and city driving came from estimates of countrywide averages provided by the DOE. Full details about the DOE's methodology can be found here. The current market price of each vehicle comes from the Price Pulse tool and looks at the price of a 2021 model for each vehicle.
The most basic model for each vehicle was chosen. Fuel price was collected from AAA's gas price tracker as of Sept. 1, 2022. Annual operating costs and cost per mile are for the cost during the first year and include fuel, tires, maintenance, registration, license, and insurance. The ranking is based on the number of vehicles sold in 2021.
All of the vehicles on this list are gas engine models. The Honda Civic has the best fuel efficiency, getting 37 mpg average, which helps it take the top spot in terms of cost. The Honda Civic also has the lowest cost per mile of any car on this list at $0.29. The highest cost is a tie between the Ford F-150, the Ram 1500 Pickup, and the Chevy Silverado, which are all more expensive by $0.08 per mile. The difference may sound negligible, but considering the average number of miles put on any given vehicle is over 13,000 per year, that "negligible" amount translates to quite a chunk of change—around $1,078.
Continue reading for the full cost breakdown of the most popular vehicles.