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A Few Hidden Costs of Owning a Car

These are the few hidden costs of owning a car that no one thinks about

Buying a car is expensive, but you should know that the initial purchase cost is not the only cost you will have when owning a car. The initial costs are just the beginning! According to the United States Department of Labor, the average cost of owning and operating a vehicle is $10,742 yearly. There are so many hidden costs of owning a car that not everyone thinks about. Let’s talk about a few of them!

Title and Registration Fees

The first extra cost you will face after purchasing your car is the registration and title fees. These fees can vary depending on the state you live in and the car you have chosen. Usually, these fees can cost you anything from between $100 to $500.

Along with just the registration, there will be other fees like emission fees, property taxes, highway use taxes, and many more. Make sure you understand what fees and registrations your state requires before you go about buying your first car.


Depreciation is also something not everyone thinks about when buying their first car. You will sell your car later on, won’t you? Your car starts losing value as soon as it is out of the dealership and on the road. Every mile you add on it lowers the price it will sell for when you decide to sell it. The only cars that are safe from these depreciating costs have earned a name or made a mark in the car world, which collectors may be looking for.


For most people, insurance isn’t really a hidden cost, but many people do get surprised by how much insurance can cost. There is the collision insurance, liability insurance, or comprehensive insurance. Their costs all vary depending on your state, the car you drive, and you and your family’s driving history.

To make it easier to understand just how much insurance can cost you, you can visit an insurance comparison website. Don’t just go on and purchase the first insurance policy you see, as the insurance policy itself may have a few hidden costs hidden in it. Make sure to read and understand the policies completely before signing your contract!

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Maintenance and Repairs

Unless completely brand new, all cars require an annual check-up to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy. And if your car fails this test, you won’t be able to drive it on the roads, at least legally. To make sure you can keep using your vehicle on the roads, you will have to maintain and service your car regularly.

The key issue with this is that the costs of maintaining and repairing a car can be very unpredictable. Most people don’t even understand what’s wrong with their cars and what’s getting fixed by your mechanic, making it very hard to budget for.

If you don’t understand the technical and mechanical aspects of a car, you never know if you are being invoiced too highly for something that might have been a minor issue.

Always keep a check on your maintenance to keep your car running for a long time.

Written By

Travis Barnett is an expert in finances backed by 10 years of experience as a financial analyst at CNB. He graduated from UCLA's Anderson School of Management in 2010 and has been in the field ever since. Travis now enjoys sharing his business experience with others as a financial writer in San Diego. In his spare time, he enjoys hitting the links and working on his golf swing.

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