Owning a car offers a lot – from being able to have your own reliable mode of transportation, being able to help your friends in a time of need and pride in the ownership of such an investment. Of course, owning a car is a large investment, one that has many expenses some first-time owners will overlook if they're unprepared. While most cars vary considerably in regards to cost of ownership
, most vehicle classes offer roughly the same costs in regards to maintenance, gasoline, and fees and taxes.
5 Costs Associated with Vehicle Ownership
Being able to afford car payments is obviously an important first step, but keeping up with the other factors of car ownership go a long way toward your vehicle running well for as long as possible.
1. Car Payments
Making payments on your car is the biggest, most obvious expense of your vehicle. In 2017, the average monthly car payment
on a new vehicle has risen to $509. Obviously, the monthly rate can be adjusted based on your down payment or trading in your current car when you buy a new one
, but it's a hefty chunk regardless.
Insurance is another primary expense to consider when budgeting for a new car. If you're on a lease, you'll likely need to carry collision insurance as well as liability coverage, and a wide range of factors can affect what you'll be paying. Nicer cars and not having a clean driving record can mean a bigger monthly bill, so drive safely and within the confines of the law to help keep that cost down. It doesn't hurt not having to pay tickets either.
Usually not quite on the scale of insurance, but something that will still ding your wallet a couple times a month. Other than being environmentally friendly, having a vehicle with good fuel economy will save you money in the long run. Based on how often you drive and how far, the average cost of gassing up per month will differ from driver to driver, but in the Valley you should plan around $80 a month.
Have you considered buying a green car
Car maintenance costs are an overlooked factor that can be really low or quite high. When you buy new, your car will likely be on a set maintenance program through the first three years or 36,000 miles. You can even purchase an extended package and have the pros at the dealership handle the routine checkups for a bit longer.
Keeping up with those checkups during the warranty period and after will extend your car's life and help avoid some of the more costly repairs a vehicle might run into as it gets older. On average, you'll want the oil changed and tires rotated roughly every 5,000 miles, with belts and other engine parts replaced on occasion as well to keep the engine running efficiently. AAA estimates it costs $66 a month to keep a vehicle properly maintained and operational.
5. Fees & Taxes
Every year you need to keep your vehicle registered so that it's legal drive around. As the vehicle gets older, the costs on the registration renewal decline; in the early going, though, it can cost hundreds of dollars each year. It's easy to do it online
to avoid those lines at the Motor Vehicle Department.
Want to Test Drive a Car with Low Cost of Ownership?
Are you ready to get into a new ride? Start by comparing your ideal car, truck, or SUV
. Valley Chevy has a dealership located near you
to help you find the car that best fits you and your budget. Before heading in, check out our tips on buying a new car so that you're prepared and look like a pro making that purchase.