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5 Hidden Costs of Buying A New Car, Some Things You May Not Think about When “in the moment” of Purchasing your Next Ride!

The cost of buying and owning your dream car involves more than simply the purchase price and a big rebate.

When calculating how much you can afford to spend on your new car, it is important to consider other hidden charges such as the ones listed below.

1. Fuel Economy – How Many Miles Are you Going to Drive?

Nowadays, it is hard predict the stability of fuel prices because they keep on fluctuating at different times of the year.

They rise and fall, sometimes by surprisingly considerable amounts. With this in mind, you should make sure that you are getting nothing but a fuel-efficient car that has a powerful engine and burns less fuel such as the Toyota Yaris or the RAV4 if you are looking for an SUV.

Best Vehicles with the Highest Gas Mileage

Below is a table of vehicles with the best gas mileage as of 2017. All of the cars are under $30,000 except the Chevy Volt. The MSRP for it is $33,220.

All of the vehicles get at least 43 miles per gallon in the city. The highest is Toyota Prius at 58 mpg.

VehicleMPGPriceEngine
Hyundai Ioniq57 city / 59 highway $22,2001.6-liter four-cylinder
Toyota Prius Prime55 city / 53 highway$27,100Standard gas engine / electric motor
Toyota Prius58 city / 53 highway$24,6851.8-liter engine paired with two electric motors
Kia Niro52 city / 49 highway$22,8901.6-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor combination
Honda Accord Hybrid49 city / 47 highway$29,6052.0-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid49 city / 43 highway $27,8751.8-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors
Toyota Prius c48 city / 43 highway$20,1501.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with an electric motor
Chevrolet Volt43 city / 42 highway$33,2201.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, two electric motors, and battery
Ford Fusion Hybrid43 city / 41 highway$25,7852.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine and one electric motor

2. Government Charges – Be Wary of Taxes

When buying a new car, you should be prepared to pay the registration transfer fee, stamp duty (if in another country), motor vehicle tax, and compulsory third party insurance.

The registration transfer fee and stamp duty vary from one state to another and are paid once.

Motor vehicle tax and third party insurance, which covers injuries you cause to other people, are paid monthly or annually which vary from one state to state. There is a fee calculator on most states licensing websites.

Property & Sales Tax Rate by State for New & Used Vehicles

I have provides a list below for the amount of tax you may pay every year for a $23,000 vehicle. The amount paid every year is the “Property Tax” of the state. A lot of states have $0 property tax.

Included is the sales tax rate for each state. As you can see some states have one or the other. While some have both. There are only two states which you pay no sales or property tax – Alaska and Oregon.

StateProperty Tax RateAnnual Tax Cost $23,000 vehicleSales Tax RateDealership Median Doc Fee
Alabama0.75%$1742% + county rate
+ city rate = total
$499
Alaska 0.00%$00% + municipality$200
Arizona1.68%$3885.6% + county + city$429
Arkansas
1.04%$2406.5% + county + city
= rate on 1st $2,500
-- plus --
6.5% on balance
$129
California
0.65%$1507.25% + local$80
Colorado
1.79%$4122.9% + county + city
+ district
$598
Connecticut2.41%$5556.35% for vehicle $50k or less
-----------
7.75% for vehicle over $50,000
$499
Delaware0.00%$04.25% "Motor Vehicle
Document Fee"
$292
District of Columbia
0.00%$06% "Excise Tax" for
vehicles under 3,499 lbs
-----------
7% for vehicles 3,500
to 4,999 pounds
-----------
8% for vehicles 5,000
pounds or more
-----------
0% for hybrid vehicles
rated over 40 mpg by
fueleconomy.gov
$300
Florida0.00%$06% + local "discretionary"
= rate on 1st $5,000
-- plus --
6% on balance
$799
Georgia
0.00%$04% + county$599
Hawaii 0.00%$04.166% "maximum
visible pass on rate"
-----------
4.712% for Honolulu
County (Oahu Island)
$245
Idaho 0.00%$06%$299
Illinois 0.00%$06.25% + local (+ 1.25%
more in Chicago)
$169
Indiana1.30%$3007%$198
Iowa 1.00%$2315% "One-Time
Registration Fee"
$180
Kansas 1.80%$4166.5% + local$399
Kentucky1.25%$2886% "Motor Vehicle
Usage Tax"
$450
Louisiana0.10%$235% + local$200
Maine 2.40%$5545.5%$499
Maryland0.00%$06% "Titling Tax"$300
Massachusetts 2.25%$5196.25%$395
Michigan
0.62%$1426%$210
Minnesota1.30%$2996.5%$75
Mississippi3.35%$7735%$260
Missouri1.92%$4434.225% + local$199
Montana0.37%$860%$299
Nebraska
1.44%$3315.5% + city rate
OR county rate
(if no city tax)
$299
Nevada1.72%$3986.85% + local$499
New Hampshire 1.80%$4150%$372
New Jersey0.00%$06.875%$399
New Mexico0.00%$03% "Motor Vehicle Excise"$339
New York0.00%$04% + local$75
North Carolina1.31%$3023% "Highway Use"$599
North Dakota0.00%$05% "Motor Vehicle Excise"$299
Ohio 0.00%$05.75% + local$250
Oklahoma
0.00%$03.25% "excise tax"
for new vehicles
-----------
$20 on first $1,500
+ 3.25% on balance
$299
Oregon0.00%$00%$75
Pennsylvania0.00%$06%
7% for Allegheny County
8% for City of Philadelphia
$134
Rhode Island4.77%$1,1007%$220
South Carolina2.37%$5465% ($500 max)$350
South Dakota0.00%$04% “motor vehicle excise"$129
Tennessee0.00%$07% + local rate on first
$1600 + 2.75% single
article tax on second
$1600 (to $3200)
$500
Texas 0.00%$06.25%$150
Utah
0.00%$04.70% + local$299
Vermont
0.00%$06%$180
Virginia

4.19%$9664.15% ($75 minimum)$599
Washington
0.00%$06.5% + local + 0.3%
"motor vehicle sales/
lease tax"
$150
West Virginia1.70%$3926%$175
Wisconsin
0.00%$05% + county$229
Wyoming1.80%$4154% + county$500

3. Ongoing Operating Costs such as Parking, Storage, Maintenance, etc

Apart from fueling, you will also need to consider parking and maintenance fees. Since you’ll be travelling around the country doing business, visiting friends, or just exploring places, you’ll have to deal with parking fees.

Below is a table of average maintenance, auto insurance, and annual gas costs.

StateRepairsInsuranceGasoline
Alabama$352$793$1,237
Alaska $341$1,077$730
Arizona $362$963$888
Arkansas $361$813$1,055
California $390$906$940
Colorado$385$848$890
Connecticut $385$1,058$929
Delaware $314$1,110$967
Florida $377$1,124$1,015
Georgia $385$927$1,096
Hawaii $370$906$869
Idaho $349$664$988
Illinois$343$805$852
Indiana $329$709$1,162
Iowa $315$630$998
Kansas $352$764$991
Kentucky$367$848$1,073
Louisiana $354$1,277$924
Maine $328$682$1,109
Maryland $388$1,030$951
Massachusetts $358$984$827
Michigan $317$1,064$994
Minnesota $346$782$1,033
Mississippi $356$901$1,231
Missouri $353$780$1,099
Montana$360$822$1,067
Nebraska $347$709$1,025
Nevada $364$1,078$771
New Hampshire $328$767$975
New Jersey $393$1,244$783
New Mexico $345$895$1,131
New York $365$1,196$713
North Carolina $390$708$1,032
North Dakota $344$662$1,207
Ohio $328$698$947
Oklahoma $338$839$1,175
Oregon $380$807$893
Pennsylvania$364$908$781
Rhode Island $371$1,142$800
South Carolina $368$860$958
South Dakota $312$654$1,056
Tennessee $353$762$1,021
Texas $364$1,001$860
Utah $371$810$918
Vermont $270$730$1,178
Virginia $382$758$964
Washington $375$910$866
West Virginia $310$975$1,033
Wisconsin $329$658$1,031
Wyoming$324$792$1,588

With so many cars available in the country today, the demand for parking spaces is high, explaining why parking fees are high.

As you use or drive your car every day, it will need regular maintenance in order to stay in good working condition and serve you well for long.

Always check the air conditioning unit, tires, engine, and other parts of your car to see if they need repairs or cleaning. You may also want to take the car to your local mechanics for professional checks.

Note: As vehicle price declines as it gets older the price of maintenance goes up. A vehicle which is less than 4 years old has minimal repair bills. While a car over 8 to 10 years old can have $1,000 annual repair expenses. This is one of the primary reason Honda and Toyota vehicles are popular. They retain a high value and the maintenance costs are lower compared to other vehicles.

To stay safe, it is advisable to buy a car with a longer warranty or guarantee to protect against huge service or repair bills in the future and go for a model that will be less expensive to maintain.

Unlike other car manufacturers, Toyota offers capped price servicing to help you reduce the burden of servicing your car.

4. Comprehensive Insurance – Or Any Coverage for That Matter

After buying your new car, one of the most expensive elements of vehicle ownership you’ll have to deal with is comprehensive insurance.

Comprehensive coverage is meant to protect your car against damages that may come about as a result of perils that are not related to a collision or accident.

Note: If your are buying a new car this wouldn’t apply. One way to find additional savings is for you to take on more risk. As illustrated in the chart above, if your vehicle is less than the amount of cash you have in the bank then buy liability insurance or minimum coverage.

These include theft, vandalism, fire, falling objects, natural disasters such as a tornado, and civil disturbance like riots.

Insurance companies offer different comprehensive car insurance quotes depending on the car owner’s age, marital status, driving record, type of car to be insured, and the condition of the car.

Be sure to visit different insurance companies and compare rates whether you live in San Diego, California or Anchorage, Alaska.

5. Resale Value – What is the Vehicle Worth a Couple of Years from Now?

The last thing you need is a car that loses its value too quickly or is worth a fraction of its original price when it comes time to sell. In fact, depreciation can cost you more, even over fuel and maintenance combined.

Note: As illustrated by the chart, you can see a $25,000 vehicle loses 5K in value in one year. If you have a loan for $25,000 you are probably “under water” at this point. The best time to buy a vehicle is when it is 2 to 5 years old depending on the type, etc. For example, the same $25,000 car can be bought for $12,500 when 4 years old. This is particularly important since vehicles are made well now. The bonus to you is substantial savings.

So, you have to consider a car’s resale value when buying one. Some companies, have memberships in place that will guarantee your resale or trade in value, such as Toyota Access, so make sure you investigate all offers available to you.

Erin Warbrook
Erin Warbrook is a freelance writer from Perth, Western Australia. She is a car and travel lover, often going on road trips around the great Aussie outback.

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