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At All Costs? It may look like a deal, but calculate the true cost to own first.

By Jill Amadio

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Before buying your next business vehicle, check out how much itcosts to own and operate. Don't just calculate fueleconomy--taking into account the true cost to own, or TCO, is thesmartest way to budget transportation over the long run. Ongoingexpenses include maintenance, fuel, repairs, insurance, financing,depreciation, and state taxes and/or fees.

Several websites have tools to calculate the TCO for vehicles.The most comprehensive and easiest to navigate is, where thecosts of ownership for models in every class of car and truck arelisted (you'll need to add your ZIP code). providesa breakdown of major operating costs; the vehicle's true marketvalue price, including options, delivery charges and taxes; andlinks for comparisons with similar vehicles.

Another site,, ranks the top 10 2005 cars andtrucks in several categories, including lowest ownership andoperating costs, and highest retained value. The company alsopublishes buyer guides.

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