We all know that buying and running a car is expensive. The sheer sticker price alone is enough to send shivers through your bank account. But, as a new driver, you can slowly save up to afford your dream car. But, what about everything that comes after it? Once you drive away from the showroom, you’ve barely scratched the surface! Now, you need to consider the running costs of your new motor. And, they add up faster than you think. Let’s take a look at just a few of the things you need to budget for.
Image by Pictures of Money
Loan repayments – It’s very rare these day to buy a car outright. In most cases you pay a small deposit, and follow it with regular monthly repayments. These repayment amounts vary according to the particular finance option you arranged at the showroom. It will tie you into multi-year contract that ensures you pay the full balance of the car, and any interest. Our advice here is to save the biggest possible deposit, in order to keep these payments low.
Insurance – Insurance is perhaps the most expensive monthly running cost on the list. The exact amount depends on all sorts of factors. Insurers consider the make, model, and age of the car. They’ll also take your age, location, and driving experience into account. Drivers with a higher risk will end up with a higher insurance premium. Before you buy a car, get a number of exact quotes based on your specific information.
Tax – To keep the country’s road network and infrastructure up to date, the government charge a road tax. This money is funneled into bridges, motorways, and general driving infrastructure. Again, this varies according to the car you drive. Every new vehicle is placed in a government tax bracket. In general, ‘greener’ cars, with fuel efficient engines incur a much lower tax rate. They are considered a softer drain on our resources. Heavier, dirtier cars will pay a premium when it comes to tax.
Maintenance – As a car owner, it’s your responsibility to keep the vehicle in the best possible condition. It will extend the lifespan of the car, and keep you safe on the road. Basic maintenance includes topping up the oil and coolant levels. You’ll also take care of the tyres using a pressure gauge, and measure the battery charge with a voltmeter. You’ll replace the spark plugs, and keep everything ticking over. All of this costs a little money for basic upkeep.
Servicing – On top of your regular self-maintenance, you’ll need to take the car in for servicing. This will include an annual MOT to ensure the car is road legal. You’ll also need to budget for aa tyre fitting at regular intervals. Lastly, it’s worth keeping an emergency pot of money to one side, just in case something goes wrong. Cars are unpredictable, and disaster can strike at any time!
Using these notes here, start to calculate and budget your running costs. Make sure there are no surprises when those bills start coming in!