Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The real cost of car ownership - unpredictable expenses

This post will be a short addendum to my previous post on how owning a car is actually a much more expensive proposition than many people expect.

In the last few days I have discovered how large and unpredictable car expenses can come all at once. In the previous post I said that I normally expect to spend ~$800 per annum on servicing costs. This was based on a basic service at ~$400 twice a year as I have car in reasonable condition that wasn't really giving any problems.

I gave my car in for servicing last week only to discover that I needed to replace my headlights (this one I knew I had coming), replace the battery (no sign) and the brake pads (no sign). I got told I didn't have to do the battery immediately but wait for it to run down and then call road side assistance to replace it however this is a much more expensive proposition and while I had the cash for this service it blew out my expectations. This service cost me $1,100 and I still expect there to be another this year for $400 resulting in a total servicing cost of double what I originally expected.

My intention with this post (other than to vent my frustration at my personal expenditure budget getting blown out again) was to illustrate that unless you know a lot about cars (or even a little bit - I don't know very much at all) these unexpected large expenditures will creep up on you.

If you can afford a car acknowledge that it will cost you far more than originally think. If you don't own one - go through my list and car related expenditures and see whether you can actually afford it.

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