How Cars Are Financial Anvils

Car ownership gives you the illusion of freedom and mobility while actually sticking you with expenses and stasis. The myriad expenses with which cars saddle you aren’t necessarily an argument against owning a vehicle — you need one if your job requires it or you live in a city that lacks reliable public transportation — but those looking for their next car need to know what they’re getting into.

Always the Planner ticks off the ways in which cars stick it to your budget on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

Regular costs include gas, oil changes and tire rotations, with yearly registration fees and monthly or quarterly insurance premiums also pounding on your door. You’ll need to factor all of them into your financial picture to determine you car’s true cost.

The model and age of your vehicle will play a part in determining several key costs, including insurance, registration fees, maintenance and repairs. When shopping for a car, you’ll probably have to decide between a newer, more reliable vehicle that will cost you more to buy and insure and an older, cheaper car that could use more regular work in the shop. Going with the latter almost always makes the most financial sense, as long as you make sure the seller isn’t hiding anything about its condition.

The Hidden Expenses in Owning a Car [Always the Planner]