The Real Cost of Owning a Car

The real costs of owning a car

When people are considering purchasing a motor vehicle, they often focus on the sticker price. Even though nobody likes to go over budget and pay more than they have to for a vehicle, it is important to consider the actual cost of owning a car. In some cases, people might be able to afford the car’s sticker price but not be able to afford the additional costs that come with it. With this in mind, how can people figure out the actual cost of owning a car? What are some of the factors to consider? We Florida Financial has done some of the research for you.



This is often one of the first expenses that people consider. Calculating the amount of money that you might spend on gas is relatively easy. First, figure out the number of miles that you drive in a given month. Think about the errands around town, taking the kids to school and extracurricular activities, and the miles to and from work. Then, divide this number by the expected miles-per-gallon (MPG) of your motor vehicle. This is the number of gallons of fuel you will consume per month. Finally, multiply this by the price of gas. This is the expected cost of gas for your motor vehicle in a month.


This is another recurring cost that people often have to deal with. Even though maintenance seems expensive, putting off routine maintenance could lead to equipment problems that are far more expensive. Therefore, before purchasing a car, be sure to inquire as to the price of tire rotations and oil changes as these are the most frequent maintenance issues. Also, ask about warranties that might come with the car. This could lead to big savings on other costs down the road.

Taxes and Registration

These are typically yearly costs and will change with the value of your vehicle. These will likely change depending on the county in which you live. For those who would rather divide these costs out and make them monthly, this is typically doable. Remember to factor in property taxes and registration costs.

The Actual Cost: More than the Sticker Price

Clearly, there are a lot of different factors to consider when it comes to car ownership. While people might be able to calculate the costs discussed above, some of the biggest headaches come from unexpected expenses. These could come in the form of an equipment issue, a motor vehicle accident, or a natural disaster.