People usually wonder about the total price of the car. It is because they want to check if it falls under their budget or not. One should not make a car buying decision by simply looking at the monthly payments and the amount of down payment they can afford to make. The actual cost of owning a car involves hidden charges in addition to the total selling price of the automobile.

Find out whether you can Afford the Car you Desire

Understanding the real cost of buying and owning an automobile is very important before deciding on the budget. Also, if you are aware of all the additional charges that come with the actual selling price of your car, then it becomes convenient for you to know which car you can afford to buy.

There are three types of categories in which we divide the car-related expenses we incur:

1. One-time Cost

A few car buying costs will occur only once. Adding up one-time expenses will provide you with an idea of your car’s price.

The Selling Price of the Car – The first and foremost cost that you need to calculate is the total purchase price of your car. For the same, you need to consider the MSRP or the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. It is the amount recommended by automakers on a new car. The actual selling price of the vehicle is higher than the MSRP or the “sticker price”. Check online to find the MSRP of your desired car models so that you can have enough data when negotiating with the dealer.

Documentation Charges – A few dealers may charge one-time documentation fees to help you with the license and registration of your car. Such costs are proportionate to the base price of your vehicle.

Taxation – To drive your car on the road, you may have to pay sales tax and other local charges. Find out how much the amount goes towards paying taxes.

Auto Loan Processing Fees – Auto financing companies, banks, and credit unions charge auto loan processing fees to help you get loan approval. If you have decided to apply for an auto loan to buy a car, make sure you compare the loan processing fees of different lenders to make a decision.

Cost of Add-on Accessories – There are certain additions to your car that will enhance your experience. The add-on accessories will give you a touch of functionality and keep you safe while driving. However, they will raise the cost of buying a car. So, eliminate unnecessary add-ons.

2. Ongoing Cost

The ongoing costs are the day-to-day costs that you have to incur after you have purchased the car. Such expenditures are essential for the maintenance and smooth functioning of your vehicle. A few of such expenses include:

The Cost of Monthly Payments – If you have applied for a car loan, you will make monthly payments to pay off the loan. The amount comprises the loan amount and total interest amount.

Fuel Cost – Whenever you drive your car, you will incur the fuel cost. Now, if you want to keep your fuel cost in check, make sure to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle. Opting for a gas-guzzling machine will increase your expenditure.

Maintenance Charges – You should always keep your automobile in top condition and ensure its smooth functioning. In addition to maintenance expenses and regular visits to the mechanic’s garage, you must also consider other charges such as parking lot fees, car cleaning costs, insurance premium costs, etc.

3. Emergency Cost – The emergency costs are the costs that you have to incur without any prior intimation or planning. For example, if you meet with an unfortunate accident, you have to spend money repairing the car. Another example is if your car gets flooded during rains, you may have to buy another one. It can put an additional financial burden on you.

All the costs add up to be the real cost of car ownership. If you are well aware of all the hidden charges, it becomes convenient to understand whether you can afford to buy the car you want.

It becomes more important to know these additional costs if your credit score is low and you are applying for a bad credit auto loan. Remember, a few of the hidden car costs are negotiable. Hence, always look for dealers who are ready to negotiate and provide you with the best deal.

Consider all the other hidden charges of the maintenance, taxation, documentation, etc., to know whether the automobile is suitable for your financial condition or not.

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