If you’re looking to buy a used car, you likely have a figure floating around in your head that represents the price you are willing to pay. Your ideal price may be the total purchase price of the vehicle, or it might represent what you can afford as your monthly payment. But there are more things to keep in mind when considering all of the costs of car ownership.
When you go to some Buy Here Pay Here dealers, the representatives you meet are only interested in getting you into the most expensive vehicle possible. They don’t care whether or not you can afford the car — if you fail to make your payments, many of them will remotely shut the car off, then repossess it. This is why it’s so important to deal with only reputable dealers and understand some basic budgeting. Before you buy your next used car, factor in these costs to your monthly budget.
The cost of owning a vehicle involves much more than just your car payment. Depending on your driving history, credit, and some other factors, your car insurance payment might be just as much as your auto payment. The State of Oklahoma requires that drivers carry minimum levels of auto insurance that protect other drivers on the road. If you finance the vehicle, you will also need to have collision and comprehensive coverage to cover damage to your vehicle.
The Cost of Fuel
When you drive a car, you have to pay for its fuel, and those costs might fluctuate. Consider whether you’ll be driving long distances to work each day or whether or not you plan to use your car for vacations and road trips. If either is the case, you may want to consider a car that is more fuel-efficient. Even if you pick a gas guzzler, make sure to understand how these costs might affect your monthly budget. After Hurricane Harvey, gas prices shot up an average of 30.2 cents per gallon nationwide over the previous month. Just know that the price of gas on the day that you buy your car is sure to change.
If you want to keep your vehicle running smoothly and avoid costly repair bills, you will need to put some time and effort into basic vehicle maintenance. This means that you should have your tires rotated and balanced in the range of every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. You should also have regular oil and filter changes according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. These may cost upwards of $40-$50 each, but Integrity Auto Finance offers $14.95 oil changes for the life of your loan.
Potential Gotcha! Clauses
When you buy from a Buy Here Pay Here dealer, you may get hit with some hidden charges or clauses that can create a financial hardship down the road. For example, some BHPH dealers say that they offer a lifetime bumper-to-bumper warranty on cars, but there are hidden clauses that void the warranty should you miss a something in the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Likewise, as previously mentioned, many BHPH dealers don’t worry about honoring their warranty because they don’t expect you to stay in the car due to unaffordable monthly payments. These are sales ploys that won’t provide you with extra service and will instead leave you with costly repair bills on an unaffordable vehicle. Instead, look for a dealer that offers a true service warranty that is licensed by the state so that you have peace of mind and can avoid expensive repairs down the line.
Owning a car is both a responsibility and a major expense. When you plan your next car purchase, understand that your down payment and monthly payments are just one part of the cost of vehicle ownership. If you budget each of these expenses correctly, you should have no problem making the monthly payments on your new car.