Budgeting carefully is one of the most important steps to take when you’re planning to buy a new or previously loved car. But are you sure you’ve taken into account all the costs associated with purchasing a vehicle?

Understanding the extra charges will help you in deciding whether it is the right time to buy a car. According to Imperial Auto, it’s worth considering the long-term costs of running your vehicle too – the expenses that will hit your wallet long after you drive your new prized possession off the showroom floor.

On-the-road charges
Also known as the ‘delivery fee’, on-the-road charges include the costs that the dealer incurs in getting the vehicle ready for you to take ownership. This includes registering the car and having new number plates made, a pre-delivery inspection as well as fuelling of the vehicle. Make sure that you’ve factored this into your final price, and pay for it in cash if you can – it doesn’t make sense to pay interest on this part of the purchase price unless absolutely necessary.

If your car is financed, you won’t be able to take delivery of it unless it’s comprehensively insured. The finance facility that you use to secure the loan to buy your car may well offer you a quote, but you are not compelled to take it and can shop around for the best insurance deal. It is worth noting that there are a range of insurance options that not only protect you from vehicle loss, but cover costs relating to terminal illness or the loss of a family member.

Service plans
Many new vehicle prices include limited-period service plans, which are a great value-add and cost saver in the shorter term. If your car doesn’t come with a service plan, find out how much services usually cost and calculate your expected mileage to determine how often your vehicle will need to be serviced, to see if buying a service plan will help you in the long run. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of interest if you choose to include this in your financing deal.

If you’re buying a pre-loved car, it’s worth investigating the costs of extending the warranty on the vehicle. This will make sure that you’re covered for specified mechanical issues that would otherwise not be covered by the dealer’s warranty or guarantee.

Fuel consumption
Even though the fuel price fluctuates each month, it’s worth estimating what your fuel costs are going to be – particularly if you’re upgrading to a different class of vehicle. Most brands publish fuel consumption figures based on a combined urban and rural cycle. Consider the routes you drive most regularly, and research a bit more to find out what your specific fuel costs are likely to be.

Your dream vehicle may have extra appeal because it’s got bigger wheels and tyres, but find out what replacement tyres will cost, as you should get a new set at least every 50 000km. Standard sizes tend to cost less, while unusual sizes are likely to put pressure on your cash flow – particularly if you need to replace all four at one time. Remember that it’s never a good idea to replace a single tyre; you should always purchase new tyres in pairs to ensure equal traction at the front or back of the vehicle.

Replacement parts
Research what replacement parts for your new car are likely to cost, and compare component prices with other brands and models too. It’s also worth finding out if the dealership keeps stock of parts on hand, or if they have to order in parts from abroad on demand, as the latter scenario is likely to cause long delays in the event of a repair.

Via WOW South Africa