Getting a car loan is a serious issue. There a number of loan calculators online that will help you work out what you can afford. What they cannot do is help you budget the real costs of owning a car. Car loans, and car ownership, needs a little care. Cars are something that cost more than we can calculate. There is never a car owner who spends less on their car than they had prepared.
Getting by in Australia without a car is near impossible. If you are living in one of the major cities, you can probably get by on public transport. Unfortunately, most of us in Australia, do not live downtown in the major cities. Have you ever tried living in a rural area without owning a car? It is practically impossible.
Those living in the suburbs will find it hard enough to live without owning a car. It is hard to complain about the lack of public transport in a country that is so large compared to its size. The only real option for most of us is to get a car loan. Online loan calculators can easily show us how much we can loan in total based on our monthly allowance. Here is a look at some of the other important costs you should consider before committing to buying a car.
1- Maintenance Costs: Owning and driving a car will mean maintenance costs. Do you know what the general service costs of the car you are intending to buy? Do you know how much you should be putting aside for the cost of maintaining your car is? Car maintenance cannot be avoided.
Your car will cost you a whole lot more if you neglect it. You need to know what you should be putting aside for when your car needs a service. Tyres are one of those costs that we rarely think about. You will wish you did when it comes to purchase. A tyre budget must be included in your maintenance costs. Tyres are not something you own. They are only something you will replace.
2- Fuel Costs: Have you calculated the amount of kilometres you will be travelling? Do you know the total cost of fuel you will be using each month? It is easy enough to calculate the cost of fuel for such activities as going to work, but we also need to think about other costs, such as what we will do on the weekends.
3- Loan Insurance: Car loans, like any other loans, need to be taken seriously. We are loaning into the future based on the confidence of our situation. If something goes wrong, and we cannot make the payments, the damage to our situation can last for many years. Loan insurance should also be calculated into the total cost of getting your car.
4- Registration and Insurance: Having a car without insurance is just asking for trouble. Many of us forget that we will be paying rather large registration fees. It was only a few weeks ago, a friend of mine was telling me that they had bought a car on a great deal. By the time the paid the insurance and registration, the cost had nearly doubled. I began to wonder was it worth it for my friend to own this car for pure leisure purposes. Check the cost of registration on the car type you are buying. Some cars can cost a whole lot more than you think.
5- Hidden Costs. You know what happens when you get a car? Your options on what to do with your spare time increase. You can do many more things compared with your life before. This is where the true hidden expenses of owning a car seem to come out of nowhere.
Be prepared to be spending more money because you have more things that you can do. This is one of the real reasons why many people find they do not have anywhere near the money they expected each month.
Be sensible with the loan payments you think you can make. Reducing the amount by 20% to cover all of those hidden costs, is a sensible way to look at your financial situation.