Once you buy a car, your life will change in a good way. You’ll have more freedom and independence. You’ll be more active and mobile and might find your career prospects improve. It’s also exciting to finally own a car. Many people look forward to that day for years before it finally arrives.
But what you need to remember is that owning a car isn’t cheap. In fact, it can cost you a lot of money even if you do everything perfectly. Sometimes that’s just the way things work out. But it’s important that you have some idea of the costs you can expect to face once you buy and then own a car.
Here are some of the major financial expenses you need to account for when you decide to buy a car:
1. The Car Itself
When you buy a car, the first expense you need to prepare for is the actual cost of the car itself. Now, this sort of cost will vary depending on whether you buy the car outright or whether you’re getting it on finance. If you buy it outright, there’ll be the one off upfront cost. But if you buy on finance you need to account for monthly payments. Buying a car isn’t cheap whichever way you do it. So make sure you are aware of the costs and that you can afford to part with your money before you sign anything.
The biggest and most irritating expense you’ll need to prepare for when buying a car is the cost of fuel. Fuel prices aren’t cheap, and they seem to increase year on year. But your car will not run without fuel. When you’re at the stage of buying, you should account for this. You’ll probably want to take steps to buy the most fuel efficient vehicle you can. You don’t want to have to fill up your car numerous times a week. This can be a pain and will cost you a lot of money.
You’ll also need to give some thought to the insurance. This is a necessary expense when you buy a car. There’s no way of avoiding it so don’t try. Yes, it can be a nuisance having to find insurance premiums but you should take the time to hunt around for the best one for your car. Don’t just take the first option that comes your way. It’ll be tempting, and you’ll want to get the process over and done with. But if you hunt around online you’ll be able to find the best offers available for you and your car.
Aside from fuel costs you might find that one of the biggest expenses, when you buy a car, is maintenance. Keeping your car in perfect working order is a difficult task, and it’s likely you’ll have to get work done on it at some point. If you make regular trips to the RRG Group to get a full service, you might find this saves you money. Regular servicing will mean there’s much less work to do and will pick up on any serious issues at an early stage. This keeps your car in good condition and prevents you having to foot a large bill when a serious issue arises.
When you buy your car, you might also want to buy accessories with it. The type of accessories you might buy depends on the type of car you get. It’ll also depend on whether it’s used or new and where you buy it from. There are upgrades and extra things you can buy to add to the car and customise it to your liking. These are, of course, optional but bear in mind that if you want them they will be an extra cost.
6. Road Tax
Alongside insurance, you’ll also find that by law you’re required to have road tax for your car. If you’re caught driving without it, you could be in serious trouble. This will be an annual payment that you’ll have to make to drive on public roads. Road tax is one of the first things you should account for in your budget when you even think about buying a car.
7. Spare Parts
One of the other expenses you might have to face will be paying for spare parts. Of course, this is optional, and it will cost you a bit of cash up front. But in the long run you might be thankful you did. If you learn a few basic things about your car, you might even learn how to change odd parts within the car. If you stock up on spare parts, it means that if a part in your car needs to be changed you can do it yourself. This saves you the expense of a trip to the service garage and the cost of maintenance work. So though it is an expense, it’s one that will pay dividends in the long run.
8. Congestion Charge
If you commute to London for work, then you’ll have to deal with the cost of the congestion charge. This is a charge levied on motor vehicles used within the congestion zones in London on weekdays. This is a daily charge that’s designed to cut down on the number of people using their cars in and around London. If this applies to you, then you’ll need to account for this charge and figure out how much it’s going to cost you per week or month. If you feel it’s too much then, you’ll need to come up with another way to get around in London.
One of the main expenses that people often overlook with regards to owning a car is parking fees. Again, this is a future expense, but it’s something you need to think about. You might decide you want to limit the amount of driving you do to cut down on the expense of parking. Some car park prices are small and inexpensive while others cost more. But even the smaller charges can still mount up. Parking fees are often forgotten about, so bear this in mind when you choose your car. You might want to pick a smaller vehicle so you can park somewhere that doesn’t need a paying car park.
10. Making the Wrong Choice
If you make the wrong choice when you buy your car, this could turn out to be an unwelcome expense. You might be in and out of the service garage every week fixing problems that continue to crop up in your car. You might also find the car you’ve chosen is not fuel efficient, in which case you’re spending obscene amounts of money on fuel. Research any car well before buying to avoid these problems.