Picture this. You’re sitting at the dealership, you sign the last bit of paperwork, and the agent hands you your new set of keys. You are now the proud owner of your own car. What an exciting moment! Owning a car gives you freedom to go anywhere you need to go whenever fits your schedule. But as you prepare for all your adventures in your new car, be sure that you’re keeping all the extra costs of car ownership in mind as well.
Purchasing a car has costs beyond the sticker price. Sure, you put down a down payment and you’ve set up a financing plan, but what about the cost of gas? What about car insurance costs? What happens if something breaks down and you need to get it fixed? The real cost of buying a car comes in these small details. Let’s break down what you need to budget for as we uncover the true cost of car ownership.
Licensed drivers need car insurance. As with all insurance policies, your auto insurance is there in case you get into an accident and need comprehensive coverage for bodily injury, property damage, or collision coverage. Your auto insurance will also cover some medical expenses if a car accident results in personal injury. Car insurance prices will range based on your auto policy, age, driving record, car make and model, and location. It’s important to shop around for different auto insurance quotes to guarantee you’re getting good insurance coverage at the best price for you. You can directly compare prices online from insurance providers like Geico and Liberty Mutual to give you the peace of mind that you and your car will be taken care of in the event of an emergency — without breaking the bank.
Chances are you didn’t buy your car outright. Most people set up a financing plan to pay off your car loan over a period of a few years. While this technically is the cost of the car, your financing plan will include interest that you’ll need to financially plan for. Depending on the type of car you purchase, whether it is a new car or a used car, your interest rates and prices may vary. This will also depend on your credit history.
Of course, there are options to buy used cars at a discount that will allow you to purchase your vehicle outright without taking out a loan. For example, cars for sale in ghana are selling for under $5,000. These have financing options that are incredibly reasonable. So if you’re looking to only pay $20-$30 a month, this may be an effective option for you.
Your car isn’t going to do much good just sitting in the garage all day, but you need gas to make it go. Putting fuel in your vehicle is another cost to account for. Depending on your driving routine and ever-changing gas prices, this cost can be hard to completely plan for. Just be aware that you’ll need to keep your gas tank full as you travel around in your car.
Ultimately, a car is a machine, and machines can break down. You will need regular maintenance done on your vehicle to guarantee everything stays in proper working order. Search your area for the best deals on repairs, oil changes after you hit a certain mileage, and general maintenance. It also may be a good idea to have some savings set aside in case of a costly emergency you weren’t planning on.
Legally, you are not allowed to get behind the wheel of a car without a driver’s license. While this usually isn’t a big cost, you do have to factor that into the cost of owning a car. Beyond just your license, you will need to pay for the title, tags, and license plate. Registering your car can be costly depending on your state, so be prepared for that extra cost.