Buying your first car is so exciting, but as well as the actual purchase price, there are other costs of driving you need to consider. When you make your budget, you need to make sure you can not only afford to buy the darling little vehicle of your choice, but also that you can afford to run it. It’s pretty pointless if after you’ve spent all your money on getting it, that it sits outside only being used occasionally. Make sure you know all the costs of driving.
1. The Sins of Others
There’s always the chance of being involved in an accident which wasn’t your fault. It’s one of the main costs of driving because if someone argues it wasn’t their fault or they run off, you can end up paying. In short, make sure you buy an inexpensive car for your first car, especially since you’re still learning. And, above all, make sure you can afford insurance.
2. How Much Does It Cost to Repair?
Consider the maintenance costs if something goes wrong. It’s the main cost of keeping a car on the road. Moreover, you want to make sure maintenance is something you don’t have to worry about for at least a year after buying the car. You don’t want to buy some old rust bucket with hard-to-find parts. Make sure the car is young enough for cheap parts to be sourced to keep repair bills low.
3. Luxury Electronics
One of the major considerations before you buy your first car is whether you want to invest in luxury electronics like GPS systems. These can be notoriously expensive to repair and replace. You also want to ask yourself if the increased risk of theft is really worth being able to have a colored map in front of you whilst you’re driving.
4. Wear and Tear
Your new car will be prone to some wear and tear after a while. This is the mistake parents make when they buy a car for their child. They choose the cheapest one possible and the constant slew of problems mean it costs them thousands of dollars to keep it on the road. Wear and tear is one of the natural costs of driving, but it shouldn’t have to mean paying more than the car is worth.
5. State Fees
The car registration fee differs depending on the state you live in. This is one of the big considerations before you buy your first car because registration can be as high as $600. Fees are highest on new cars, where you would pay the fee directly to the dealer. Do you have the money to pay the state registration fees?
6. The Price of Gas
Gas prices will always be the major cost of keeping a car on the road. The average US citizen pays quite a significant portion of their income to get to where they need to be. Look at the fuel consumption rates of various cars. This can quickly become your biggest driving cost.
7. Parking Permits
If you live in the city, you have to take into account how much parking will cost. This isn’t something you need to worry about in the suburbs, though. Parking spaces in the city tend to be small. If you have an overly large car you might have trouble finding a place to park it, and the same goes if you happen to live in an area with a shortage of parking spaces. Check the parking situation before you decide to buy any car.
Have you had any costs of driving you didn’t allow for when you bought your first car? What were they? Do share!