Car Buying

The Essential Car Costs You Need to Remember

Essential car costs can be a tricky thing to understand, especially if you’re buying used. We’ve broken it down into 4 easy steps anyone can understand. Take a look. Buying a car is a lot more complicated than you might expect. It’s easy to think that it’s a simple deal. You find a car or dealer, head to see it, take a spin and make the choice, and that doesn’t have to be wrong. What probably is wrong, though, is what you think it’s going to cost you if you haven’t done your homework. You’ve missed out on a whole range of money-saving tips after all, and there can be some seriously scary bumps in the road if you’re not prepared.

To make sure you do know what it is that you’re getting into, we’re here to help. We’re outlining some of the biggest and smallest car costs you might not even have thought about, all to help you make the most of your money. Let’s take a look.

Price of the car

The first thing you need to look at when you’re looking at how much a car will cost you is how much it really costs. It sounds simple, but it isn’t. You can break it down into two different factors.

  • Car dependent

The cost of the car is, of course, the biggest player in how much buying a car costs. If you’re buying a brand new 2020 plate Ferrari, you’re going to spend more than you are on a 2005 Fiat Punto. This much speaks for itself, although with used cars, it’s much more complex.

  • Dealer dependent

The second big factor about how much you pay outright when buying a used car is where you’re buying it. Sadly, there are no rules here. Sometimes, dealers might be the best choice. They have the most options and the least hassle… sometimes. Private sellers are anyone’s guess. You might get the best deal ever, or you may get seriously stung. It’s hard to find out. Either way, they do have different effects on car costs.

  • Payment

Last but not least is the payment. How you buy the car has a massive impact on the costs of it. Cash often comes to mind, but it’s not without its issues either. Paying by cash often gets you a good deal, but it might make things a little less serious, and less secure, even with part exchange. Credit cards are the other end of the spectrum and give you a level of insurance that cash just can’t, but you enter the realms of interest. Even on top of cards, there’s finance, but even that comes with risk (and interest too).

Cost of insurance

Like all of that wasn’t confusing enough, you also have insurance to think about when you’re pricing up your new vehicle. It might seem like more of a problem for the younger generation, but if you really want the best deal, it’s something that you need to remember.

The car you’re going to buy is the biggest determining factor about what your insurance quote is going to look like. It’s all down to what insurance group it falls into. How big is the engine, how many seats, what are the safety features… how likely is it to get stolen. These are the things that need thinking about in your price, for obvious reasons. The safer the car is, the safer the insurance company is. It makes sense.

On the other side of the coin, you have the user, and even the type of coverage that you want too. That’s you. This is probably old news, but this one is all down to how you’ve been driving and how you live your life. It sounds farfetched, but it’s actually a serious point to remember. You need to think about your location, your history, your job, your experience… The works. It all has a massive impact on your car costs.

Cost of Tax

We’ll keep this one short and sweet. The basic cost of getting a new car on the road also has to include car tax. If you’ve been driving a while, this legally has to be something you know about. You just can’t go without. The thing is, this is dependent on your new car too, and not just the size of your engine anymore. Check it online before you buy.

If you have a bigger engine, your tax will be more money. Or it used to be. Now it’s all in the emissions. If you’re driving a new high tech hybrid, or even something nice and economical, your tax is probably going to be free (but you still need to register. Don’t forget that part). Conversely, a sports car from the 80s is probably going to cost a lot more.

So that’s just about everything covered to get your new car in your name and on the road. That’s great. Getting your new used car really up and running though isn’t always that easy. That’s where car services like CarExamer come into place.

Cost of Fuel

Another serious cost of a car that is quickly forgotten about in the excitement of buying a new one is the costs of the fuel you’re going to need to run it. It’s actually one of the biggest costs you need to keep in mind since it’s one you’ll be paying for regularly.

This is one of the biggest reasons you need to have a long hard think about what size engine you want and what kind of driver you’re going to be too. You need the right car and the right engine for the lifestyle you have. That has a huge toll on what it will cost to keep you fuelled up, and it actually a massive reason to look into the argument of diesel vs petrol too.

Cost of Repairs

All cars, even those bought from a dealer, can have their fair share of issues. You have a lot of things to think about. Even big used car dealers only have to follow some basic guidelines to be in the clear when selling you a car that can go wrong. That can be a serious issue for both you and your wallet if you get caught out.

MOTs, parts, repairs and even admin fees can cause your total car cost to double if you happen to fall in some of the basic traps. Before you make the decision of even buying a car, it’s always a good idea to:

Check the MOT history

Comprehensive services like ours or even lower quality government services tell you if the car is MOT’d and what has been wrong.

Check the service history

The service history is a great way to see how well the car has been looked after, and it can really help to justify a higher cost than you expect too since you know the car has been well looked after. Don’t take it too far though.

Check the payment history

The last thing you need is a car someone else hasn’t finished paying for. Checking a car’s financial history is a great way to watch out for the car costing you a fortune in legal fees or even being confiscated.

Check the crime history

Stolen cars are easy to get a great deal on, so if something is too good to be true, it likely it. Always check for criminal history to make sure you’re safe and that the car is too.

Check the car

Hidden issues are not rare, especially in a car’s history. There are so many things to look out for, and price checks are always worth doing. A little spend on checking can save a tonne of regretting.

If all that sounds like a lot of work, or even if you’d like more help, get in touch with us at and see what we can do for you.

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