Buying A New Car? 4 Must-See Infographics

Buying a car is traditionally anything but straightforward. With considerations to the reliability and cost of maintenance, widely varying auto insurance rates, and the kind of hassle and negotiation that is synonymous with car dealerships, the car buying process is fraught with variables that can add up to many thousands of dollars either/both in the short and long term.

Below, we’ll dissect 4 engaging infographics to learn more about the most (and least!) expensive cars to insure, how to maximize savings by choosing when to buy a new car, and Kelley Blue Book’s best rated vehicles for 5 year cost to own.


Coming from a car sales background, I can tell you that the time of the month (and year) that you go to purchase a vehicle absolutely matters. As the infographic above shows, the Fall is typically the end of the model year for vehicles and is when dealerships are trying to liquidate their inventory before the next model year arrives.

One thing to consider here is your longer term objective for your next vehicle. Are you the type of person who only owns a car for a couple years or is this a long term purchase? While you’ll receive bigger rebates and incentives at the end of the model year, vehicles purchased at this time of the year are already almost a year old and so the savings you receive might not be worth the depreciation if you’re the type of person who likes to change out of cars every couple years.

When it comes to the best time of the month to make your purchase, count on the end of the month. While it is true that dealers may want to get a good start by knocking out some sales at the beginning of the month, nothing motivates a sales director more than only having a matter of hours left to try to reach his monthly goal. If the end of the month happens to fall on a weekday when traffic is traditionally much slower, it’s possible to drive away with an even more favorable deal if you’re willing to work for it.

Source: Kelley Blue Book

Kelley Blue Book’s 5 year cost to own is a projected cost designed to give a more complete picture of the total cost of owning, operating, and maintaining a vehicle based on its depreciation, fuel consumption, car insurance, maintenance, state fees, and financing.

While these numbers may seem shockingly high at first glance, almost half of the 5 year cost to own is comprised of the vehicle’s depreciation, while another quarter of the cost to own is its fuel consumption. The above shows the winners for each segment, but more are available from the KBB website.

Source: Live Science

Coming in at the top of the list for least expensive vehicles to insure is the 4 cylinder version of the Toyota Sienna. However, it’s important to note that this model has been dropped for the 2013 model year and only V6 versions will be available (although the V6 still ranks #9, at just $28/month more to insure).

Interestingly, all vehicles on this list are either a mini-van, SUV (or crossover), or truck. The most common criteria outside of those related to the owner (zip code, credit score, and driving history, primarily), rates are based on factors including the number of crashes, cost of repairs, and injuries reported.

Many vehicles on this list also contain a wide variety of safety features such as front and side airbags, traction control, anti-lock brakes, and more, which help contribute to their lower insurance costs.

Source: Live Science

On the other end of the spectrum, our list is mostly comprised of luxury sports cars. Combine their larger and more powerful motors and the way they’re often driven with the cost of repairing a luxury vehicle and their higher rates are not so surprising.

With that said, when considering purchasing a luxury or sports car, it’s important to consider total cost of ownership when determining if the vehicle fits into your budget, as you can see that the vehicles on this list have insurance rates that are double or even triple those found on the least expensive list.

Chris Johnson is a freelance writer for The Rowan Group, an automotive insurance agency with offices in Rome & Utica, NY.