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Published on September 12th, 2018 | by Jones

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The total costs of buying a car

So, you are finally able to afford a new car. You have saved up every month, researched your favourite makes and models online (bright pink Fiat 500s are right up your alley) and you have created a budget for your new wheels. But you might not have taken into account the total costs of buying a car.

 

If you have used a finance calculator for a car, you are one step closer to knowing the total cost of buying your new car. Read on below for some sound advice on what goes into the total costs of buying a car.

“One-the-road” charges

These are also known as the “delivery fee” charges, and include the costs that the dealers incur by getting the vehicle ready for your ownership. Some of these costs include registering the car and having new number plates made, a pre-delivery inspection, as well as fuelling of the vehicle (which many bank repossessed cars from a car auction will include).

 

You will need to make sure that you have factored these into your final budget for your new car. Include them when you use a finance calculator for a car, so that you are not hit with any surprising extra costs. Paying cash for the on-the-road charges is your best option, as you will not have to pay interest on them by doing so.

Account for inflation

After you have decided on a deal and have considered the costs of fuel and insurance, you will need to account for inflation. Fuel prices have been rising significantly in recent months and this can have a negative effect on your budget.

 

If the fuel price increases by R1 or R2 per litre, then your monthly spend will increase between R200 to R400, if you fill up at least four times a month. If you do not account for inflation when calculating your new car budget, you might find yourself coming up short in months or years to come. Your insurance might also increase by 10 percent each year, which you will have to include in your budget in order to find an affordable car.

Service plans

Many new vehicles include limited-period service plans, which are great a great value-add and are money-savers in the short term. If your car does not come with a service plan, you will have to find out how much services cost for your particular vehicle and calculate your expected mileage in order to find out how often a service will be necessary.

 

You should find out from your dealer if there is any option of a service plan for a certified pre-owned vehicle, as often these vehicles still have a portion of their warranty left. It will save you money and allow you to cut costs on services. If you choose to purchase a service plan, you will need to factor in interest to reach the true total of your new car.

Don’t forget fuel consumption

An important factor that you need to consider when buying a new car is the fuel consumption of the vehicle. If you have a rough estimate of how much you spend on fuel each month, then you should add this into the finance calculator for your car.

 

Most brands of vehicle publish fuel consumption numbers based on a combination of urban and rural cycles, so you will need to consider the regular routes you take carefully. This will allow you to do more research into what your fuel costs will be. An effective way to calculate your fuel costs is to fill up your tank with fuel, record your current mileage as shown on your odometer, drive until you need to fill up again and record how much fuel you used. Use your odometer to see how many kilometers you travelled since you last filled your tank. To work out how many kilometers your car can travel on one litre of petrol divide the total distance travelled by the total litres of fuel used.

Tyres are important too

Your dream car might be extra appealing because it has bigger wheels and tyres, but you will need to find out what these will cost to repair and replace. You should get a new set every 50 000 km, so be sure that you can afford to do this.

 

Standard sized tyres tend to cost less while unusual sizes will most likely put a strain on your wallet. This is especially true if you have to replace all four at once. It is more costly to replace only one tyre, so you should aim to replace the whole set if you need to. This will ensure equal traction for your car, which is important for long-distance driving or if you live in an area with dirt roads.

Build an inclusive budget

You new car budget should include everything from the on-the-road costs to the service plan, and everything in-between. This will help you to calculate a budget that you can truly afford and will help you to avoid coming across any surprise costs. You will need to be realistic about all the costs involved with buying a car, and remember to include fuel consumption and the cost of new tyres on your list.

 

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