My "How Much?" series is back for 2010! I've picked apart the costs of my hair, face, and pet among other things (check out "The Budgets" tab in the upper right of the blog to get the lowdown on all of these), but with my car on my brain (seriously, I don't know why my car insurance payment has to come right after Chrismas!), it's time to get the lowdown on its costs:
I’m not like most people in that I don’t have monthly car payments to make. In my opinion, it’s worth making sacrifices to find a car that you can either afford to pay off quickly or completely at the time of purchase.
Insurance~ $647.50 twice a year
As tough as it is, I always pay my six month policy in a lump sum for a savings of $58. In addition, I keep the payment totals low by opting for large deductibles. I’d rather have that money in my emergency account than in the insurance company’s funds. EDIT: It's probably important to note that: 1. I have a newer car 2. I was in an at-fault accident last year. I wish I was eligible for some of the super-low rates you all have!
*Thrifty tip: Have a talk with your insurance representative about what policy discounts you qualify for. I was able to get an additional $36 knocked off of my policy for having earned a college degree and owning a home.
State Registration~ $73.30/ year
State Inspection~ $14.50/ year
My car needs an oil change every 5-6,000 miles. As surprising as it might sound, I usually drive a little less than 10,000 miles a year… which works out to a grand total of two oil changes.
*Thrifty tip: check your owner’s manual for recommended oil change mileage. The old standard was 3,000 miles (and that’s what Jiffy Lube will tell you to go by), but most modern motors have a 5,000 mile standard.
Although I love my car, I don’t love the fact that it requires premium gasoline. Although I do pay an average of $.25 more per gallon, my gas bills are more than made up for by the cheaper Texas gas prices and the fact that I only use a couple of tanks a month.
Grand total: $3,948.80 or $329.07 per month (ouch!)
I was stunned after adding up all of the costs associated with driving my car for a year…and I didn’t even account for other minor maintenance costs such as tire rotations or filter replacements! How do your costs compare? Do you spend half as much on insurance or three times as much on gas? Are you a city bus or subway taker?