The True Cost of Car Ownership

It’s not your first rodeo. You know cars are an expensive investment that cost more than just the sticker price. But as your friendly neighborhood credit union, we wanted to give you some insight into exactly what “true cost” means.

Normal wear and tear on a car can add up, so when you sit down to figure out your budget for a new car — or your tried and true ride — make sure you remember these things:

Maintenance

Maintenance falls into two camps. The first is your routine maintenance like oil changes, tire rotations, windshield wipers, fluid top-offs, etc. And then there are the bigger ticket items like new tires that you should plan and budget for.

Gasoline

The bad news? The cost of gas is set to rise this summer to be higher than it has been in a while. The good news? You won’t care because you already planned your gas budget. Hello, open road. Goodbye, digging spare change out from under the seats (unless you’re jonesin’ for a cold soda).

Repairs

Who among us has not felt the embarrassment of standing in a crowded car shop trying to reproduce the sound our car is making? Or let out a defeated sigh when the check engine light comes on? It’s enough to break your spirit. Thankfully, anticipating and budgeting for these moments can cushion some of the blow of these car problems.

Emergencies

Even worse than the symphony of clangs and rattles can be the repairs that don’t give us fair warning. And with all the miles we bank on a yearly basis, it’s pretty likely you’ll find yourself stranded by car trouble at some time in your life. The last place you want to be is broken down with no money for a tow, a repair, or a ride home, so a widely accepted rule of thumb is to set at least $1,000 aside for auto emergencies. 

While we’re on the topic of emergencies, CommunityAmerica offers extended warranties that can help cover even surprise costly repairs. See more on navigating unexpected bumps in the road here.            ­­­

Parking

If you’re in a city or community living space, like an apartment or dormitory, you may need to factor in the price of parking your car in a shared space. Or searching for alternative, cost-free parking nearby.

Registration & Insurance

Don’t forget the most important part of any ride: being legal and safe on the road. That means factoring in annual or one-time costs, like title fees, vehicle registration, inspections and full-service insurance coverage. 

We’re happy to say that now you can include CommunityAmerica in your auto insurance shopping. From liability to full coverage, we can help you get coverage that fits your needs and your budget — just one less thing to worry about when you hit the road. See more about our auto insurance here.

Here’s the bottom line: owning a car is expensive enough without a loan that costs you an arm and a leg. We want to work with you to keep you on the road. We offer low rates and guidance on how to navigate the road to four-wheeled freedom.

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