It Takes More Than You Think: The Hidden Costs Of Owning A Car

Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 1:00 AM | Leave Comment

The first car that you ever drove was probably owned by your parents, and even as ayou went through high school, and maybe even college, your parents took care of many of your car related expenses. Once you get into the real world all of that changes, and you are on your own to pay for everything that comes with owning a car.

Some costs, like the payment, fuel and insurance, are obvious and easy to plan for, but there are hidden costs that you need to budget as well, or you will have problems later.

  • Inspection/Registration

    All over the country drivers are expected to have their vehicles registered with the state government and inspected for the safety of everyone else on the road. It does not matter if you are the wealthiest person in the state or the poorest driver, each and every vehicle on the road has to have these stickers or documents.

    Inspection does not cost much to have done, but you do run the risk of having some issues that need to be addressed before your vehicle will pass. These issues can include anything from needed a new bulb in a tail light r new windshield wipers, to replacing a sluggish set of brakes. Inspection makes sure that you are not a menace to other drivers who share the road with you, so the process can be very rigorous.

    Registration can vary from area to area, with costs as low as $20 and as high as $100 in other states. Make certain that you have money set aside in your budget to pay for the registration on the month that it comes due.

  • Vehicle Maintenance

    Once you have made your vehicle street legal, you are free to drive it. Unfortunately, the more that you drive the vehicle, the more it needs to be maintained. Routine maintenance will check all of the fluid levels for your car and see to it that your tires are all inflated properly.

    You will also need to have your oil changed every few months, or every three thousand miles, whichever comes first. The longer you go without having the work done, the more irreversible damage will be done to your vehicle. This damage cannot be fixed without replacing the damaged parts, and that is more expensive than you might realize. Paying $40 an oil change four times a year is much better than having to shell out $1200 for a new engine.

  • Tires

    Finally, you will have to deal with the issue of tires. Most tire sets are relatively expensive, with a set of four going for several hundred dollars. When you have damage to a tire you might be tempted to try and just replace the one tire so that you can save a little money.

    The problem is that most new tires are designed to be sold in groups of four, and the best pricing that you will be able to get on your tires is when you get a full set at once.

    A good idea is to set aside a small fund that is dedicated to the purchase of new tires when you need them. Tire emergencies are impossible to plan, but they cause the vehicle to be inoperable until a new tire is purchased.

A new car is exciting, especially if it is the first one that you have ever owned on your own. You will need to anticipate the hidden costs of owning that vehicle, otherwise you will face emergencies without any way to handle those situations.

Author BIO

I am Bryan Sanders, and I wrote this article after my 20 year old son destroyed his first car because he could not afford to pay for a new set of tires and wound up wrapping his car around a light post. The tires drivers have to buy are a hidden expense of car ownership that must be taken into account when purchasing a vehicle, and I recommend Hurst Tire Service. They have a huge selection for almost every make and model, with prices that are very affordable.

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