Six Costs To Consider When Buying A Car

Blog post   •   Feb 15, 2011 09:46 GMT

If you’re planning on heading out to look for a new car over the coming weeks, take a look through the following six points and keep them in mind at all times to ensure that you aren’t met with any unexpectedly high costs.

1. Initial cost – the most obvious cost that you’ve got to consider, what you have to keep in mind is that just because a car has a price tag that’s out of your budget doesn’t mean that you necessarily can’t afford it and you just have to look at car leasing, for example.

Imagine you had a budget of 30,000 pounds and you wanted a new car.  Whilst you might not be able to have a choice of a wide range of cars if you were to simply use the 30,000 pounds cash, should you carry out car leasing and pay for the car this way, it will open up a whole new range of models to you, as you aren’t paying for the car in full outright and are instead paying a monthly premium to drive around in the car for a set number of months.

2. Fuel – an aspect that people didn’t once consider in any great depth but which is becoming a particularly important cost to take in, simply put, if the car you’re looking at has a low MPG (generally speaking, anything under 30 MPG), you’re going to be spending more than average on fuel.

3. Insurance – the bane of many a car driver’s life, the price of your car insurance can vary substantially depending on a range of different factors, from the car you’re driving right through to the Post Code where it’s kept at night.

Fortunately, you can check how much your insurance is going to cost on a car that you’re looking at by using the internet.  Jot down the registration number, jump online to an insurance comparison website and in a matter of minutes you’ll have quotes from a number of different insurance companies.

4. Vehicle tax – whilst vehicle tax is a set figure and only varies between the different bands, what you have to realise is that from 1 April 2010, the UK government introduced a First Year vehicle tax rate, which applies to new cars only.

Introduced to try and stop the purchase of environmentally unfriendly cars, the vehicle tax for a new car that falls into the highest band is just short of 1,000 pounds – almost double its standard cost.

5. Servicing – having your car serviced regularly is an important process, as it ensures that your car is running as smoothly as possible and can help spot any minor problems before they develop into serious ones.

The cost does vary, however and although it’s generally recommended that you take your car to an official dealership for its service, this can often work out over 50 percent more expensive than your local garage.

6. General maintenance – being able to carry out general maintenance on your car is something that everyone should be able to do, as it can save you a fortune, especially if it’s only something minor.

If your car is a particularly rare one or a foreign import, however, you may not feel comfortable carrying out the work yourself and therefore taking your car to a garage is the only option – and this is where substantial additional costs can arise.