When we get a car, we know that we’re buying one of the most expensive assets we’ll ever own. Not just in terms of initial price, but the gas, insurance and extra prices that come in down the line. All that said, there are still plenty of people who fail to account for costs that seem to come out of the blue. However, when you take a look at the experiences of the average driver, these costs shouldn’t be all that unexpected, to begin with.
Maintenance and repair
No-one should be under the impression that they’re never going to need more in terms of maintenance and repair than they expect. However, there are some people who think that all they need to worry about is getting their scheduled checks, which means they leave their car more at risk of serious disrepair with steep costs down the line. Beyond learning how to recognize early signs of common problems and repair then, you should keep a running total of how much car repair and maintenance costs you in a year. From that, you can budget for a repair fund and set it aside so that your regular finances aren’t always taking a hit when the car needs some work done.
Permits and permissions
If you want to drive and park that new car of yours, you had better be ready for the costs that come with that, as well. Budgeting a little extra when it comes to registration and title fees is as simple as checking the stats on how much you have to pay per state. It’s one of the ‘hidden’ fees that you usually pay directly to the dealer and can get as high as $600 if you’re buying a completely new car. If you commute and park in the city, then you’re going to have to anticipate some hefty parking permits, too. Costs have some huge variations in them, but in busy downtown areas, you could be looking at as much as $200 a month. With those costs in mind, it might be worth considering parking a little further from work and spend more time hoofing it the rest of the way.
Tickets and violations
Few of us set out on the road with the intentions of committing a traffic violation and getting a ticket. Bad habits we pick up and oversights lead to them more than anything. Besides trying to avoid tickets by parking smartly and knowing how to interact with police, it’s best to take care of any violations and tickets as soon as possible. Neglecting to pay a fine and then subsequently getting caught with another violation is going to drastically increase the amount that you get fined.
The cost of a crash
Similarly, no-one wants to get involved in an auto collision. Statistically, however, being unprepared for one is a reckless move. Every single driver is likely to get in an average of two accidents in their lifetime. Sometimes, it’s just motor damage that you have to prepare for. Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental death and more get injured than die from them. So, knowing how to deal with the aftermath of a collision is crucial. Having car accident attorneys to contact. Calling the emergency services and your insurance provider as soon as possible. Collecting contact and insurance details from other drivers. Getting witness details and beginning the process of collecting evidence. These are all essentials in ensuring that you’re not left to foot all the bills yourself.
Most of us realize that our vehicles are going to drop in value as we own them. But there are plenty of people who don’t realize just how quickly and how deeply depreciation can set in. The value of a car starts to drop as soon as you drive it out from the dealership. Even if you were to sell it the very next day, its value would have taken a hit. Depreciation can’t be entirely avoided, but it can be fought. For instance, buying cars that tend to stay in-demand is a good decision to make from the start. Keeping a comprehensive list of past checks and maintenance, usually in the handbooks that come with cars, is vital, as well. When it comes to sprucing a car up to sell it, besides the essentials of how the car handles, you want to focus on the most visible aspects of a car’s condition.
With a bit of foresight, you’ll be able to avoid some of the costs mentioned above outright. However, for those you can’t guarantee avoiding, you should make sure that you at least account for in your budget. Don’t let an unforeseen event take your finances for a ride, especially when you really could have foreseen it to begin with.