Cost of Vehicle Ownership
When determining the best vehicle for you (and your family) there are other important factors to consider other than the down payment and your regular car payments. Because our main goal is for you to be happy long after you purchase your vehicle, take the time to create a budget. Make sure to include the expenses for the vehicle you are considering, and ALL it's associated costs. We want you to have a clear picture how this new vehicle will impact your current lifestyle.
Our representatives can help you create a realistic budget, but here are a few things you should keep in mind when you are building your own budget:
State Inspection & Registration
By purchasing your car at Drive Casa, you won’t have to worry about getting your vehicle inspected or registered when you first buy your car – we take care of this for you. However, when your Registration & Inspection sticker expires, you’ll need to consider the expense of getting your car inspected and registered every year after that.
With the new “Two Steps, One Sticker” in Texas, you’ll now register your car as soon as your car passes Inspection from a certified inspection location. As of January 2016, it typically costs between $25 – 40 to get your vehicle inspected and then $50.75 for your annual Registration (for most cars & light weight trucks). To learn more about the “Two Steps, One Sticker” program, visit The Texas DMV.
Include in your budget a vehicle fuel expense. Depending on the size and type of vehicle, this segment of your budget may be higher than you anticipated...so plan for it! You’ll want to look at the estimated miles per gallon your vehicle gets, about how many miles you expect to drive and current gas prices. However, don’t forget that over the past 5 years, gas prices have ranged between $2 to $4 per gallon, depneding on where you live.
For example, if your vehicle gets 27 miles per gallon (mpg) and you drive 50 miles a day, your daily fuel usage would be just shy of two gallons per day. If gas costs $2.25/gallon, your fuel cost per day would total $4.33. Therefore, your fuel cost per month would be $134/month.
Regular Maintenance Expense
You should also plan for the regular service maintenance of your vehicle for things such as tire replacements, tire rotations or alignments. Because you are purchasing a used vehicle, shocks, brakes and other regular wear and tear parts may also need replacing. You'll need to plan for those expenses as well.
Because you are planning on purchasing a vehicle from Drive Casa, you do not need to include the cost of regular oil changes unless you drive over normal monthly mileage averages. Most vehicles require oil changes every 3,000 miles or every 3 months. If you drive more than 1,000/miles a month, you will have to plan for an occasional oil change out of your own pocket.
Don't forget about auto insurance. Here are Drive Casa, we require you demonstrate proof of insurance at time of purchase. Your "newer" vehicle may require higher rates. We highly recommend you check with your insurance agent to determine how much your coverage will cost.
Create a Budget
We highly recommend you create a budget for your monthly expenses and income. Plan for every "known" expense such as rent/mortgage, utilities, food/clothing and any other "set" expenses, such as credit cards, medical bills, alimony, etc.