Figuring Out the Real Costs of Owning a Car

If you’re looking at buying a new (or used) car, then the financial side of owning and driving it is likely to play a role in your decision. However, the financial impact of a car goes well beyond that initial price. Here, we’re going to look at some of the ways that you can figure out how much your car is likely to cost you in the long run, or at least get an estimate.

cost of a car

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How efficient is it?

One of the easiest running costs to tally up is the on-road efficiency of the vehicle. This is how much fuel you can expect it to consume. For most cars, they have both city and highway consumption rates listed, and you can use these with the current price of the fuel needed (be it petrol or diesel) to figure out how much you’re likely to spend on fuel per week if you simply pay attention to how much you consume at the moment.

How reliable is it?

Repairs and maintenance are also a cost that you’re very likely to have to take into account, even more so if you’re buying a vehicle that is preowned. However, there are two parts to figuring out this equation. The first part is finding out how likely and how often your chosen car is going to need repairs or maintenance and there are tools like reliability indices that can help you get a good idea of that. Doing your own DIY maintenance can help you make a car even more reliable, of course, but it’s good to have a benchmark for your estimates.

How much does it cost to fix?

Once you have an idea of how often you are likely to have to pay to improve or repair the condition of the vehicle, then it’s important to work out how much you’re likely to pay in doing just that. You can get estimates for how much certain repairs or replacements costs at your local garage, but the biggest difference here is in the price of the replacements, finding out the difference in price between diesel performance parts and regular petrol engine parts, for instance. It can be worth paying more for better parts, but you still need to factor it into your decision.

What kind of insurance can you expect to pay?

You’re not only paying for the car and running it. All drivers need insurance to be on the roads and there may be specific insurance deals available for you that aren’t for the majority. However, in most cases, you can use a car insurance calculator to figure out how much you’re likely to pay. Insurance costs can be affected by your age, gender, as well as the type of car that you’re driving. For instance, cars that are considered safer are likely to have lower insurance costs.

All cars have long-term costs, you simply have to decide how much you’re comfortable paying for and what you’re getting in return. Take the time to figure out the real costs of a car before you make any decision.

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