Hidden Costs: 3 Areas to Consider Before Buying a Car
Purchasing a car is a big deal. Whether you are looking into your first automotive purchase ever, or have years of experience at dealerships – the entire process can be overwhelming. There are countless options, criteria, and other important things to consider, which is why it’s important to be prepared. Before even stepping foot onto used car lots in Lexington, KY, you should have a pretty good idea of what you are in the market for.
New or Used? That is a Very Good Question
Whenever you make the decision to purchase a new vehicle, you should consider your buying options. Opting for a new vehicle has it’s definite advantages, but choosing to buy a used car can save you a ton of money right out of the gate. If budget isn’t your main concern, then you may want to consider purchasing a new car. If you are more budget-conscious, then buying a quality pre-owned vehicle can be a great option.
We recommend sitting down and writing out a list of pros and cons to each buying option, to help you decide which one is right for you. Those drivers who realize the savings potential of purchasing a used car, should be sure to follow important steps to help ensure that they are getting the highest quality, well-maintained vehicle. Whichever direction you choose to go with, it is important to be aware of all of the costs associated with owning a car, truck, or SUV.
Consider More Than the Sticker Price
As it is well known, and as we have previously stated, buying a quality used vehicle can be a great option that will help you save money at the point of purchase. This initial savings can help out a great deal over the time that you own your car.
Let’s face it – owning a vehicle isn’t free. There are a lot of costs associated with owning and maintaining a vehicle, that far exceed the amount you pay when you purchase your car. It’s important to work these costs into your budget, and even more important to do a little research on the vehicle you plan to buy, before signing on the dotted line. Consider each and every factor about your potential new ride, because it can mean the difference between enjoying your new car, or regretting your purchase. A car is a BIG purchase, likely one of the largest of your life, so having any regret about it, is something no one wants to deal with.
Top 3 Vehicle Costs – After You Purchase Your Car
As most people are aware, the cost of a vehicle far exceeds the amount you pay on the day of purchase. From buying gas, to regularly scheduled maintenance, and more – owning a vehicle is a big deal, and can be an expensive, especially if you don’t do the proper research.
As most people are also aware, owning a vehicle is most often, a necessity. With the unavoidable cost of owning a car, coupled with the importance of vehicle ownership – it’s important to know what to look for before you sign on the dotted line. Thankfully, if you do the proper due diligence, you will be able to purchase the right vehicle without killing your monthly budget. Let’s take a look at three different areas that, if you don’t do your research, can end up costing you in the long run.
- Fuel Costs: With today’s cultural focus on gasoline prices, and EPA-ratings, this is one area that is least likely to go unnoticed. Despite the spotlight on this particular area, it is still an important one to address. Gas prices are constantly changing. This week, they may be under $2.00 per gallon, while next week they may teeter closer to $4.00 per gallon. It’s important to take into consideration how you want your vehicle to perform when looking at this category. If you need a vehicle with a powerful engine that can perform essential tasks, then you will end up spending more money when filling up at the pump. If you only need your vehicle to get you from home to work, then a car that has a smaller engine will perform well, without requiring you to spend your life savings at the local gas station. No matter which end of the spectrum you fall on, be sure to buy a vehicle that is equipped with the right engine for your lifestyle.
- Maintenance Costs: Buying a used car, truck, or SUV can save you a TON of money up front, but it is important to make sure that the vehicle you are buying is in good working order. Once you know that your used car has been properly maintained, check out the specifics on the make and model you are considering, when it comes to maintenance costs. There are a lot of great resources available to car buyers, to help ensure that the vehicle they are buying, won’t end up costing them more than the average maintenance costs. It is also important to consider that when you purchase a foreign-made vehicle, that regularly scheduled maintenance and parts may be harder to come by – and more expensive than cars made here in the United States.
- Insurance Costs: Car insurance is not only important to have for protection in the event of a crash, it is also illegal not to have. This is another mandatory cost that goes along with vehicle ownership. If you are considering a particular make and model of vehicle, you can call insurance companies to get quotes for what it will cost to drive. Some vehicles are considered safer than others, and will actually save you money with insurance companies. Likewise, vehicles that are deemed to be unsafe, will actually end up costing you more to stay legal. A little bit of research goes a long way with this particular cost, and your insurance agent will be able to quote you over the phone, prior to you purchasing your vehicle. If a vehicle has a cheap sticker price, but is deemed “unsafe” by your insurance company, it can end up costing you a lot more in the long run.
Buying a new-to-you car can be a lot of fun. Finding the perfect make and model, and the perfect color to match your personality, can bring a lot of joy to your everyday tasks. While it is important to check off your “Must-haves” when you head to the used car lot, it is equally as important to make sure that your new car won’t cost you thousands of dollars down the road. A little bit of research can go a long way with your new car purchase. If you take fuel costs, maintenance costs, and insurance costs into consideration when you buy your new vehicle, you can use the money you saved for endless adventures in your new car.
A vehicle that has a higher purchase price, but low fuel economy, can end up saving you more money in the long run. Just remember that the opposite is also true. If a vehicle has a lower purchase price, you may end up spending a lot more money in fuel, maintenance, and insurance during your years of ownership.