6 additional cost that you need to budget for when buying a car

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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You have a car locked in mind and you have already zoned in on the agreeable price tag that sits on its windshield winking at you. But there is more to what meets the eye. There are additional car expenses that you need to budget for. Expenses that go beyond the sticker. There are mainly six expenses that you have to account for during and after you close in on the sale.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty on a car can be taken care of if you buy it from a dealership because it is already integrated with the price you find on the sticker. It is a form of tax that you have to pay when buying a car and differs from state to state in which you buy your car from. You can use a stamp duty to calculate how much you can expect to pay in fees. It is also referred to as dutiable value on the transfer documents of the vehicle. If you plan to buy your car from a private seller you will need to pay stamp duty to transfer the ownership of the vehicle.

Registration fees

Owning a new car might come with the ushering of shiny new things, but it also comes with registration fees that need to pay in order for your car to be registered. Used cars don’t escape the fee as you have to pay a fee for the transfer of ownership which can vary between $20 to $30 depending on which state you are in. Once again costs will vary from state to state.

Maintenance and fuel

This will be something you have to factor in before you even buy the car. According to ASIC, Australians spend $1,737 on petrol a year.

If you drive a hatchback Holden Barina that has done 30,000 km on the road you are likely to pay $229 in servicing costs. This will also differ from state to state.

Websites such as RACQ break down various operation cost that comes with owning various models to help you see how much it will cost to take care of your vehicle. How much you spend on car fuel will be determined by how much you drive.

Monthly car loan repayments

The most popular form to buy a car in Australia is through a car loan. 59% of Aussies have a car loan attached to their car, with the average loan amount being $18,049. To get a competitive deal on your car loan you will have to compare car loans and their features. This will also determine how much you pay in monthly instalments.

Car insurance to protect your car

Your car needs car insurance to protect you from accidents and theft that might happen. No one is invisible and by having car insurance you can ensure that when things take a left you are covered. You can have Compulsory Third Party Insurance or Comprehensive insurance cover to keep you and your wheels protected on the road. The same manner in which you compare a loan can also be implemented when choosing car insurance to help you walk away with the best deal in town. You can speak to an insurer who will be able to guide through the process of choosing something that is financially suitable for you.

Be aware of modification costs

Your dealer might suggest throwing in a few extras and modifications which can significantly increase the cost of the car. Some of these extras can be sourced from elsewhere for a cheaper price, but sometimes these are just additional modifications you do not need at all. It is vital that you check the fine print before signing the contracts. If these modifications alter the performance of the car you could end up paying more in insurance costs.

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