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The real cost of buying a car

The real cost of buying a car

You’ve just passed your driving test, you’ve got the money, and now you are in the market to buy a car.


But there may be some extra costs you need to factor in before you drive away from the car showroom.

Dollars per week

Research shows that a car, new to five years old, doing 15,000kms per year, costs on average between $100 - $300 per week.

To find out what you might be up for, start with this great car operating cost calculator.

To get an idea of what you need to budget for, factor in the cost of these:

1. Registration

Car registration (rego) is a compulsory cost and there’s a range of factors that determines the cost of registration, such as your age, type of car, engine capacity and weight.

Check your local motor vehicle authority as these factors vary widely state by state. 

You can get an estimate of your car rego costs using this calculator from myrta.

2. Insurance

Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance is compulsory in all states and territories (in some states it's included in your rego, in others it has to be paid seperately).

CTP covers the at-fault driver for the cost of injuries or death they cause to a third party in an accident.

You should also consider other car insurance, which can range from basic to comprehensive.

The type of insurance and make and model of the car, plus its age and the driver’s age are some of the factors that determine the cost of a policy. Do some research and find the best policy for you.

3. Fuel

Fuel is a significant (and often overlooked) factor in the overall running cost of your car and this will be determined by how much you drive, a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, and fluctuating petrol bowser prices.

You can get more information on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions on Future Climate Australia’s Greenwheels website.

4. Roadside assist

Things can and do go wrong on the road especially with older used cars and it’s a good idea to be a member of a roadside assist service to give you peace of mind. 

Motoring associations around the country have roadside assist services that can cost around $100 annually.

If your car is new, roadside assist may be included in the purchase price for the first year or two.

5. Car repairs and upkeep

All cars need to be repaired at some point in their lives. 

You need to budget for new tyres, have funds for replacing broken or worn out parts such as batteries and to put your car through necessary servicing.

Disclaimer: Insurance issued by Insurance Australia Limited trading as NRMA Insurance. To see if a product is right for you, always consider the Product Disclosure Statement available from NRMA Insurance.



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