Calculate your total cost of car ownership

Over the past few weeks in’s guide to your total cost of car ownership, we’ve been explaining all the factors that add onto the cost of your car, aside from the actual car selling price. But what does that translate to in numbers? Keep reading to find out.

How Much Does Your Car Actually Cost?
So, as a quick recap, over the weeks we’ve covered loan financing, road tax, motor insurance, fuel economy, servicing costs, and depreciation as some of the hidden costs that you need to budget for. And with all these costs in mind, how much do you actually need in order to buy and maintain a car? We’ll show you with an example:
Car: ABC 1.3 Auto Car price (July 2012): RM49,912.15
Loan financing/bank panel: XYZ
Interest rate: 2.92% pa
Down payment: 10% out of total car price = RM4,991.22; rounded up = RM5,000.00
Loan amount: RM44,912.15
Loan repayment period: 60 months (five years)
Monthly instalments: RM857.82
Total interest cost: RM6,557.17
Total cost of Vehicle Purchase: RM56,469.32

Road Tax (Yearly Payment)
Area: Peninsular Malaysia
Price: RM70/year
Cost over 5 years: RM350

Motor Insurance (Yearly Payment)
Assuming type of vehicle: Private Car
Type of coverage: Comprehensive
Location: Peninsula Malaysia
First year sum insured: RM40,000
Total premium: RM1,261.35 in first year
Including NCD and depreciation reducing sum insured, estimated cost over five years: RM3,835

Fuel Economy (Petrol Cost Yearly)
Per year: RM2,171.41
Over five years: RM10,857
Servicing cost (Twice per year) 0.8% of RM49,912.15 – RM400 (RM200 per service)
Over five years: RM2,000

Depreciation of Vehicle
At 15% per year plus reducing balance, your estimated resale value after five years will be about RM20,000.

Therefore, Your Total Cost of Ownership:

RM56,469.32 + RM350 + RM3,835+ RM10,857 + RM2,000 – RM20,000 = RM53,511.32 over the five years.

This comes down to something like RM10,702 each year, for five years, just to buy and own a car! Obviously these figures are for illustration only, and the figures will depend on your exact car model and usage. So there you have it! Put all these costs into your budget when you’re choosing a car to buy.

Other Costs
A couple of other things that should be taken into consideration are of course your daily toll charges and parking fees. As we suppose toll and parking costs are independent of choice of car, not to mention they tend to vary depending on location and length of time in any given place, we have chosen not to include them specifically in our calculations here.

However, toll and parking fees are unfortunately necessary costs when travelling and only you are aware of how much these cost you, so do remember to count them into your overall budget for your car. How are you going to save money with all of these costs adding up? has some great tips for you in our last part of our guide, so stay tuned next week!

Eugene Chua is an Investigative Journalist at, an online consumer advice portal which aims to help Malaysians save money through smart (and most of the time painless) savings in their daily banking, technology, and lifestyle spending habits.