With tax return season nearing its peak, many consumers are looking at purchasing a new or used car. For many, tax returns are enough to provide or supplement a down payment for a new vehicle. However, there’s more to the cost of a new car than the purchase price.
Here are a few expenses to consider before buying a new or used car.
Hidden Expenses of Buying a New (or Used) Car
One of the most well-known additional expenses of bringing home a new vehicle is insurance coverage. If you’ll be taking out a loan, you’ll need full coverage insurance, which can be pricey for many makes and models. Even comprehensive coverage can be expensive, so be sure to check with your insurance agent before choosing your next vehicle.
Many newer vehicles require special synthetic oils, which can cost $50 to $60 for 6 quarts. Also, larger vehicles, like full-sized trucks, require more quarts of oil than a smaller car.
Additives and Gasoline
Some vehicles, like my 2012 Chevy Equinox, require Top Tier fuels according to the manufacturer. This can mean driving further to a Top Tier filling station to avoid voiding your warranty. If you can’t use Top Tier fuels, a special additive from the dealership is required with every oil change, which is an added maintenance cost.
Check the required tire sizes before buying a new vehicle. If your car or truck requires an uncommon tire size, you’ll want to check prices and decide if the additional cost will affect your decision to buy.
Automatic Climate Control
If your chosen vehicle is equipped with automatic climate control, this can seriously affect your gas mileage and air conditioning charging costs every year.
Buying a used car is always a gamble. That’s why you should always get the opinion of a trusted mechanic and an auto body technical before buying any used vehicle. If a vehicle has been involved in a serious accident, it could have frame damage or may have been poorly repaired. Major defects, such as leaf spring fractures, body mount rust, or rusted gas lines would be found by a skilled mechanic’s inspection.
Common Mechanical Failures
Some cars on the market have a history of common mechanical failures. These failures may result as a flaw in the design of the car, and a trusted mechanic can tell you what to expect in future repairs for any make and model of vehicle you’re considering. Always check with a mechanic before purchasing a used vehicle.
Some dealers offer extended warranties on particular vehicles. Some of these warranties come directly from the manufacturer, while others are available through a third party. Depending on the policy you’re offered, these warranties can offer substantial savings in case of major mechanical failures. Carefully consider the cost of such a warranty and consider purchasing a vehicle with an available warranty if you’re worried about repair costs.
What hidden vehicle costs have you encountered? Do you have advice for those looking for a new or used car?