So you’re ready to buy your first car; congratulations. You’ve probably worked hard, saved money for a downpayment and have been daydreaming about the kind of car you will ultimately buy for sometime. Exciting stuff. There are several things that you should know about car ownership and the expenses associated with it before you dive in.
The largest expense for car ownership is the purchase price. Depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle you’re buying, this could range from a few thousand dollars to many thousands of dollars. If you have a particular car in mind, head over to Cars.com to get a ballpark idea of the price you might expect on it from a dealership and from a private sale. You can also estimate what your payments will be on the site. It’s better in the long run to ensure you can afford the purchase.
You will also need to insure the car. Depending on your driving history, geographic location and replacement value of the vehicle, this could range from under $100 each month to a few hundred dollars each month. You can call insurance companies for pricing information before you finalize your purchase.
There will be costs associated with maintaining and servicing your vehicle. Cars need regular oil changes, brake inspections, tire rotations and replacements. New vehicles these days come with service plans that cover some of this expense for a period of time. New vehicles and some late model used vehicles also come with warranties which cover major mechanical problems that might occur. Older model used cars, typically those with 60,000 miles or more, no longer have a warranty in tact. Extended warranties can be purchase from third-party vendors.
There will also be the ancillary costs of owning your vehicle like filling up the gas tank, windshield washer fluid, tolls and paying for parking either at home, work or school depending on your specific set of circumstances. Be sure to consider the whole picture when it comes to the cost of car ownership. You’ll be better off in the long run.