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20 Examples of Lifetime Cost

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Lifetime costs are the total costs of a product, service or asset over its useful life including recurring expenditures related to the item. The following are common components of lifetime costs followed by a detailed example.
Cleaning Fees
Closing Costs
Consumables e.g. ink for a printer
Costs To Sell Item When You Are Done With It / End Lease
Initial Costs
Interest Expenses Related to Purchase
Membership Fees
Operational Costs
Purchase Cost
Service Fees
Shipping Fees
Support Costs
Usage Charges
Utilities / Energy Consumption


If you purchase a car your lifetime cost for the vehicle may include down payment, monthly payments, interest expense, license & registration, parking, gas, service appointments, repairs, maintenance expenses, cleaning expenses, insurance and any costs required to dispose of the vehicle at its end-of-life. If you are comparing this to the cost of an alternative form of transport or lifestyle, all of these costs can be considered. Likewise, if you are comparing two vehicles recurring costs such as gas can have a significant impact on lifetime cost and this can be considered in decision making.


Lifetime costs are often represented as a single number discounted to present value.
Overview: Lifetime Cost
Definition (1)
The total cost of a product, service or asset over its useful life including the cost to operate, use, maintain and dispose of the item.
Definition (2)
The total cost of a product, service or asset over its useful life including the sum of all recurring payments discounted to their present value.
The lifetime costs of a car lease including down payment, all monthly payments, insurance, fuel, maintenance, parking and returning costs at the end of a lease such as paying for minor damages.
Lifetime costs can be used to compare alternatives such as the cost of owning a car versus living closer to work and walking.
Related Concepts

Business Costs

This is the complete list of articles we have written about business costs.
Applied Cost
Business Equipment
Capacity Cost
Capital Improvement
Carrying Costs
Closing Costs
Cost Of Capital
Cost Of Revenue
Cost Of Living
Direct Cost
Distress Cost
Fixed Costs
Friction Cost
Employee Costs
Holding Costs
Intangible Cost
Marginal Cost
Operating Cost
Operating Expenses
Legacy Costs
Outlay Cost
Lifetime Cost
Overhead Costs
Menu Costs
Relevant Cost
Normal Costs
Sunk Costs
Tangible Cost
Operational Costs
Travel Expenses
Unit Cost
Opportunity Cost
Variable Costs
Prospective Cost
Semi Variable Cost
Step Costs
Switching Costs
Transaction Costs
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Business Costs

A list of common types of business cost.

Fixed Costs

Business expenditures that aren't affected by business volumes.

Variable Costs

Business expenditures that change as you produce more.

Semi-Variable Cost

An overview of semi-variable costs.

Overhead Costs

An overview of overhead costs.

Operating Expenses

An a-z list of common operating expenses.

Overhead Cost Examples

The definition of overhead cost with examples.

Business Disadvantages

A list of possible disadvantages of owning a business.

Sunk Costs Examples

An overview of sunk costs with examples.

Business Results

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Closing Costs

A list of common closing costs for purchasing real estate.

Business Supplies

Lists of various types of business supplies.

Business Expenses

A list of common types of business expenses.

Business Travel

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The definition of supplies with examples.

Friction Cost

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