When buying a new car it’s easy to get caught up in the exciting newness rather than the running costs. Some cars however, can cost well over 50% more than others to run.
Let me explain… if you currently own a sedan and decide to change to a 4WD, something as standard as changing front and rear brakes can jump from $1000 to $1500.
And if your new wheels are European, it’s more like $2000. It’s for this reason that when you next find yourself car shopping you want to consider not just the purchase price but the running and maintenance costs. To really be able to compare your options and understand the true cost of your car I recommend knowing these costs at a weekly or monthly level.
Surprisingly, calculating this amount isn’t too difficult, as long as you understand the varying factors. I’ve detailed each of these below, as well as some nifty calculation tools. Have fun!
Registration costs vary from state to state so the simplest way to get your expected annual bill is by calling your motor registry or visiting their website.
Similarly, the best way to get your expected insurance cost is to jump online with your preferred insurance provider and obtain a quote. As a rough guide however, some of the key factors include:
Cheaper to Insure:
More expensive to insure:
Ready to get out your calculator? Fuel consumption is measured in the number of litres of fuel required per 100km driven (L/100km) so the simplest way to calculate expected fuel costs is with this calculation:
(KMs per annum) x (average fuel price) x (fuel consumption rating) / 100 = annual fuel bill
Your fuel consumption rating should be easily available alongside the information about the car you’re looking to purchase, whether that’s on carsales.com or from a dealer.
To put it into a real-life scenario, if you were driving approximately 10,000kms per year, paid on average $1.29 per litre for unleaded fuel and had an 8.9 rating on your car, the expected fuel costs would be $1,148.10 per year (10,000km x $1.29 x 8.9 / 100 = $1,148.10).
While this formula will give you a good indication, it’s important to round up the result as the manufacturer method used to obtain fuel ratings is somewhat artificial, which means that your real-life bill will always be higher.
Repairs and Maintenance
Repairs and maintenance are a reality for any car you own, however the cost of these can hugely change from vehicle to vehicle.
Luckily there is a percentage-based sliding scale based on the typical maintenance and repair costs of every car in Australia, which can give you a fairly good indication of what you’ll be up for…
If you’re purchasing a brand new car, your dealer should also be able to provide a quote on repairs and maintenance expected over the first five years of the vehicle. Be wary of a dealer who quotes you the first three years only as costs increase significantly in years four and five when major services become due.
HINT: Don’t take what the dealer says as gospel, try get your hands on a quote from an independent mechanic as well.
Armed with these tools you’re truly ready to dive into car shopping; comparing not just the glamorous aspects of your new wheels, or the obvious price tag but also the undeniable long-term costs.
For more tips and tricks on anything auto related, check out the Blue Toro Blog.