Blog Owning a car: Costs you should consider

Owning a car: Costs you should consider

21 September 2020

Find the right car loan for you

When you’re buying a new car, don’t just look at the price tag. Owning a car comes with a lot of extra (often expensive) costs that you need to consider too.

Here are the running costs of a car.

Fuel

Fuel is almost certainly a car expense you’ll pay the most regularly and it can be hard to predict how much it will cost because the price is always changing.

Most of us forget to factor in the cost of fuel when purchasing a car, leading some of us to buy a fuel-guzzling vehicle instead of something more fuel-efficient. When you think about how often you need to fill up the car, the costs can quickly escalate especially if your vehicle isn’t very fuel-efficient.

The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) March 2019 Transport Affordability Index found the average two-car Australian household (two adults, two children) pays $68.99 for fuel every week - that amounts to over $3,500 per year!

Car insurance

By law, every vehicle in Australia must be insured with compulsory third party car insurance (CTP). CTP covers you for the liability costs in case you (god forbid) injure or kill someone on the roads and it’s the bare minimum amount of insurance you’re legally required to have - but it’s wise to take out a higher level of coverage because CTP doesn’t insure your or other driver's cars against damage.

Higher levels of car insurance includes:

  • Third-party car insurance (cover for damage to other people’s vehicles)

  • Third-party fire and theft car insurance (all of above plus fire and theft protection for your car) 

  • Comprehensive car insurance (the highest level of cover – all of the above plus coverage for damage you’re on the receiving end of)   

Not only that, but the cost of a car insurance premium can vary based on many factors such as:

  • Your car

  • Your age (younger drivers generally pay a higher premium)

  • Your driving history 

  • Your gender (males pay more as statistically they’re more likely to be involved in accidents)

  • Your suburb

  • How far you travel, where you keep the car overnight, etc

According to the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) the national average weekly cost of comprehensive car insurance is $24.63 - a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Maintenance

Repairs and regular servicing are hidden costs of car ownership but if you want your vehicle to remain roadworthy (highly recommended) you’ll need to pay for maintenance.

Servicing your car can get pretty expensive but most new cars come with ‘capped price servicing’ which essentially means new car owners will know ahead of time exactly how much they’ll be charged - rather than being surprised with a nasty bill at the end.

The costs of maintaining your car can be hard to predict given how many things can go wrong with cars, but the AAA found the average household paid $29.55 each week, or $1,536 each year for maintenance and servicing.

Registration

All cars in Australia being driven on public roads must be registered. Registration typically comes in the form of an upfront fee, plus an ongoing annual or semi-annual fee. Don’t forget you’ll also need to pay to renew your driver’s license every few years as well.

According to AAA, the average annual cost of registration, CTP and licensing for a two-car Australian family is $1,588 in capital cities and $1,472 in regional areas. You can save money by paying your rego annually, instead of semi-annually or quarterly.

If you’re in the market for a new car, why not consider a green car? A green car eliminates some of these ongoing costs such as fuel and maintenance. Car loan rates are also cheaper for eligible green cars at loans.com.au. To find out more about your next green car book an appointment with one of our friendly lending specialists to get pre-approved today.

Get pre-approved