4 Things to Budget for as a Car Owner

When you buy a car, you need to budget for a number of different things. Not only are you going to have to spend the money to buy the car initially, but you have to be responsible for all of its upkeep and other expenses. This can get very expensive, so it is important to be prepared. Here are some things you’ll need to budget for as a car owner.

1. Insurance

In most places, you’re required to have car insurance. This ensures that you and your car are protected in case something were to happen, like an accident or a breakdown. No matter how safely you drive, you need to have insurance. You don’t need to be a speed demon. An AC Cobra Coupe reached 186 miles per hour (299 kilometers per hour) on a British motorway in 1964, but your ordinary car is also at risk of unexpected events. Insurance does not need to cost a lot of money, so make sure that you compare different options that will give you the coverage you need. If you’re prepared to buy car insurance as soon as you have the car, you’ll be in good shape to start driving.

2. Maintenance

Your car will need certain maintenance on a regular basis. It will also have unexpected repairs to consider, many of which will be expensive. Keep some money in your budget for these repairs. If you don’t, you’ll either have to spend money you don’t have or you’ll put off repairs until they’re even worse. Put some money aside for a maintenance budget. That way, you’re covered for things like oil changes and new tires when you need them. You’ll also be able to cover some of the other major repairs that insurance won’t pay for. Look for a good mechanic near you before you actually need one. Independent repair shops make up 75% of aftermarket repair work, while the other 25% is done at the dealership. If you find a good place to bring your car, it can save you money in the long run.

3. Fuel

Your car needs gas if you want to drive it. Fuel costs can be notoriously expensive and they vary from place to place. You need to budget for fuel from the very beginning. Calculate how much gas you’ll need each month, then add that to your budget. Without gas, you aren’t able to drive your car to work or anywhere else you need to go. If you don’t budget for it, you’ll end up having to take that money from another expense, making your life more difficult.

4. Emergencies

You should always plan for the unexpected. When it comes to your car, there are a lot of expenses you can plan for, but there will always be something strange that you weren’t expecting. Try to put some money away for these circumstances. That way, no matter what happens with your car, you’ll have some wiggle room when dealing with it. If you find yourself in a situation where you need body or glass work unexpectedly done, there are options available to you. It is estimated that there are 17,500 openings for auto body and glass repair open annually. It’s a healthy market, with many people working in it.

A car is an expensive investment. Not only are you paying the initial cost of the car itself, but there are many expenses that go along with it. If you don’t want to lose control of your finances, you need to make sure you know what those expenses are and how much they’ll cost. Use the tips listed here to help you start your car budget.

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