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Most of us already have cars, but some of you might not have one. Up until now, you’ve not needed a personal vehicle as you can walk everywhere or get public transport. But, the situation has changed – maybe you’re starting a family or have moved to a new place – and you need to buy a car.
It’s a big moment and a very serious financial decision. As such, you’re curious to see how much it genuinely costs to own a car. Well, I can’t give you any specific figures, but I can show you some of the main costs you’ll incur, which will let you go out and do some further research to figure out how much car ownership costs.
The initial car price
To start, you have the cost of the car you’re buying. This can vary dramatically depending on the actual car you’re purchasing. Basic, low-end, cars can be bought for under £100 on the used car market, and for just a few thousand pounds brand new. Higher-end ones are more expensive, but you have used car companies like Century Cars that provide you with more affordable options. If you bought them brand new, then you’re looking at tens of thousands of pounds. On a used site, you can get luxury cars for under 10k.
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Your car needs fuel for it to run. So, you’ll be paying for this all the time. If you fill up a full tank of petrol, then that should last you a few weeks. Still, you’ll end up with a substantial monthly cost of petrol every month. Even if you have an electric car, it still needs to be fuelled in some way. The difference is that the fuel is electricity. It’s not free to use electric charging stations, though it can be more affordable. Plus, you can charge them at home, which adds to the savings. My advice is to estimate how many miles you’ll drive each month, then calculate what this will cost in fuel.
Lastly, cars need maintenance. If your car is older than 5 years, it will need an MOT each year. Then, you have to pay for any other servicing or repairs throughout the year. Hopefully, they’ll be done, but you never know what can happen. Then, there are things like oil changes, tyre pressure, and so on. It costs money to maintain your vehicle, and you can also throw things like insurance and tax into the mix.
As you can see, cars do come with lots of extra baggage. I haven’t even included things like washing your car – mainly because you can save money by doing this yourself! So, if you’re about to buy your first car, then make sure you take all of these expenses into account. Now, you can go off and do some detailed research into things. Look around for different cars, get a sense for how much they cost, calculate your rough fuel costs, take maintenance into account, etc. It will give you a clearer idea as to whether or not you can afford to buy a car, or if it’s better to look for other options.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.