The Hidden Costs of Car Ownership

Owning a car is one of the most pleasurable experiences that a modern American can have.  The freedom of the open road, the independence from public transit, even the feeling of wind rushing through the windows on the freeway, all add up to make the driving experience pleasurable and highly sought after.  Cars are very expensive though, with a high initial purchase price and a subsequent maintenance and ownership cost.  If you’re looking to get a no credit check car loan, then check out Some car owners do not consider all of the costs that come with car ownership, costs in addition to those stated on an auto loan ownership



Except in rare cases, such as meticulously maintained classic cars, cars depreciate in value over time.  For every mile that you put on your vehicle, the vehicle is worth less and less.  Depreciation is due to the market’s tendency to pay less for cars that are older or higher mileage, and it varies in severity depending on the reliability of the car.  Some automotive brands, like Toyota, depreciate slowly because people expect the cars to function smoothly for a long time.  Luxury cars and many imports depreciate extremely fast as electronic systems become outdated and obsolete.

Emergency Repair Costs

Many automotive lenders will encourage buyers to set aside money each week for regular car maintenance.  This can include anything from tire changes to brake inspections, and it is easy to plan for because each manufacturer has a published maintenance schedule that they recommend following.  Emergency repairs, those repairs not connected to regular maintenance, are harder to plan for.  Unless your car is still under warranty, any mechanical problems that prevent your car from functioning will need to be fixed out of your own pocket.  Catastrophic problems like transmission malfunctions or engine seizures can cost thousands of dollars to fix.  Make sure to shop around for a trustworthy mechanic, but be prepared to dip into your emergency fund to make the payment recreational vehicle financing bad credit.


Depending on where you live, parking can be a significant cost.  Parking on the street in a metropolitan area like Chicago can range from five to ten dollars per hour, and can rapidly add up to even more money than gas.  Some employers subsidize parking during the day, and longer term parking passes are available, but parking is still a substantial hidden cost for using an automobile in the city.

Property Taxes and Road Use Taxes

Every city and state has their own approach towards taxation, but taxes will indubitably be a major part of your car ownership expenses.  Many cities charge a property tax supplement in addition to the taxes you must pay for registration and while buying gas, anywhere from one to five percent of a car’s assessed value every year.  Failure to pay these taxes can result in fines, civil penalties, and the eventual revocation of your car title, so they are important to consider.

How to Budget

While car ownership is expensive, it doesn’t have to be prohibitively so.  Before purchasing a car, be sure to research the average operations costs for the car you are buying.  Many websites, including Kelly Blue Book, offer ownership cost estimates that are based on the reported costs of thousands of previous owners.

The Hidden Costs of Car Ownership