Car Ownership: The Essential Costs

car ownership

Needless to say, a car is an expensive asset. But, if the purchase price is enough to get your jaw-dropping, you have other costs to cover. First-time buyers are often not well informed about the additional expenses that come with buying a car, which is why many people regret their purchases. If you are planning to buy a vehicle, it’s important to be aware of all the costs you’ll be required to pay. This helps you make better decisions in terms of choosing the model or brand because some are costlier to register or maintain than others. Now, let’s discuss the extra expenses of car ownership.

Financing Fees

If you’re not paying fully in cash, taking out an auto loan is necessary to afford your car. This practice includes added fees, with the amount of the charges depending on your interest rate.

Dealership Charges

Oftentimes, a documentation fee is charged by car dealers, which serves as a payment for the processing of the sale and paperwork it entails. If the transaction includes an oil check and car wash, then a preparation fee is also charged. In addition, if the manufacturer needs to deliver your vehicle, a delivery payment will be asked from you. However, don’t be too stressed out by dealership fees as they are usually negotiable.

Sales Tax

Any vehicle is subject to sales tax, and the amount varies depending on the city or state where you live. Moreover, if you’re looking into buying an automobile outside your state, assess all possible tax pitfalls and tax benefits that can stem from the deal. Ask your dealer or a tax expert to know the exact amount you’ll owe in taxes, and take it into account when budgeting for your car.

Car Insurance

woman driving a car

Car insurance is mandatory everywhere except New Hampshire. Therefore, driving a car uninsured can lead to legal consequences. Moreover, even if it’s not a legal requirement, having vehicle insurance in Cicero, Illinois is a must so you will be financially protected at all times.

Being insured is especially indispensable because road accidents are common and inevitable. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2014, a shocking 296,049 crashes involving automotive vehicles occurred in the state. Car insurance can cover costs incurred in an accident if you ever get involved in one. To acquire a good deal on insurance, shop around, ask for quotes, and compare the premium against the coverages.

State Registration

Just as how you can’t drive uninsured, you also aren’t allowed to bring an unregistered car to the road. Registration and licensing come with fees set by your state. There are also different factors that affect the amount, such as taxable value, your driving history, vehicle manufacturing year, and purchase price.


Owning a vehicle entails spending on routine maintenance such as tire rotations and oil changes. If you buy an older car, expect to pay more for repairs and part replacements. To supplement such fees, check if your car insurance provides coverage for regular car repairs.

Indeed, car ownership is an extremely hefty expense. Therefore, you must take ample time to determine all types of hidden costs of purchasing a vehicle, so you can budget accordingly and make the optimal choice.

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