A total cost of ownership (TCO) model was developed for MRI scanners over the ownership life from fund allocation through decommissioning in an organization with outpatient, inpatient and research scanners. The TCO model included acquisition and installation costs; site modifications to comply with safety requirements; human resources including ancillary personnel; small equipment, supplies, contrast; service contracts; IT; overhead; and upgrades. The largest expense was human resources accounting for 35% of TCO. A cost reduction strategy is centralized remote scanning, reducing the total number of highly skilled technologists. TCO is tool for identifying hidden costs and comparing scenarios for managing costs.