We can all think of things to consider when buying a car, whether it be new or used. Things like:
– Asking price
(noises, whines, clunks)
– How many miles/km has it travelled?
But, what about the things we often DON’T consider? Some of which may have a fantastic influence on the actual cost to maintain, and run the vehicle we intend to purchase? These can really creep up on you, and leave you with buyers’ remorse very quickly, if you are not prepared for them.
In this article I will cover 3 of the most commonly overlooked factors when buying a car so you don’t get caught out next time you’re thinking of buying. Here they are:
The size of the tyres fitted to the vehicle you intend to buy, as well as their kind, can affect a number of things going forwards, including:
Ride quality: Lower profile tyres can be harsher to drive on, due to there being less rubber in the sidewall to absorb shocks and bumps in the road.
Road noise: Once more, lower profile tyres could be noisier on the street, as wheel as big four wheel drive tyres (All terrain and Mud terrain tyres), which is super noisy in comparison to regular passenger car tyres. This may surprise and surprise you if you’re used to a quiet ride.
Ongoing costs: The size and type of the automobile on the vehicle you intend to buy can have a enormous impact on the prices going forward, in the cost to replace the automobile, as well as fuel costs.
Something fitted with a large four wheel drive tyre with more rolling resistance will cost you more, since the car will chew through a lot more fuel than normal road tyres, sometimes surprisingly so. This is certainly something to be aware of if you’re considering a four wheel drive or SUV.
When it comes to replacement costs, always be certain you note down the size of the tyres fitted to the vehicle you’re looking at purchasing, and call around at least 3 tyre shops to get estimates on replacing them. This is among the most frequent causes of surprise extra costs I visit every day, and people normally aren’t prepared for it, or aren’t expecting it.
This is another commonly overlooked factor when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.
The servicing costs of different transmissions vary greatly. Which transmission type is in the vehicle you’re looking at? It could be, to name just a few:
– Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
– Regular automatic
– Double clutch automatic
– Manual transmission
All these (and another types found in vehicles today ) demand different oil types, filter types, distinct servicing methods and different service intervals, which will, you guessed it, have an effect on the costs related to upkeep and if something drastic happens and you need to replace the whole transmission.
As with the tyres, I recommend taking note of the type of transmission that’s fitted to the vehicle, and calling around at least 3 stores to get estimates on transmission services. Do not get caught by surprise with the cost, since some of these may be big dollars!
Another factor that’s normally overlooked in regards to transmitting type, is how much fuel will it cause the car to use?
This is a relatively minor matter, but something to think about, nonetheless.
The Size, Type, and Capacity of the motor fitted to the vehicle you’re looking at may also have a drastic impact on the ongoing costs associated with it, in much the same manner the transmission can.
How many cylinders does it have? Is it turbocharged, supercharged, double billed, naturally aspirated? Is it gas, LPG, diesel, hybrid, straight electric?
This all has an effect on the servicing costs, for instance the more electrons an engine has, the more components it takes, ie a 8 cylinder engine will take 8 spark plugs, 4 cylinder will require 4. This may seem silly, but when you are talking around $30 per spark plug or more in some cases, it can drive costs up quickly.
Along with this, the engine oil required, both the kind, as well as how many litres the engine retains, will change based on these factors too. It’s not uncommon for some diesel engines to hold up to 10 litres of engine oil, as well as needing higher quality oil that, yep, costs more.
This is exactly the same with a great deal of forced induction engines (turbocharged, supercharged, etc), which typically require a higher quality oil to prevent engine damage.
And how about gas prices?
Larger capacity engines with more cylinders, require more fuel to run, therefore your costs increase. The sort of fuel required will change too, as some engines need the higher octane premium fuels to run without risk of collapse, and with the costs of fuel sky rocketing net, this is definitely something to consider.
As with the other two points, take note of the dimensions, type and capacity of the engine in the vehicle you intend on buying. I would always suggest calling around for some quotes on servicing of any car you’re contemplating purchasing.
It would pay to get estimates for some of the more routine/common maintenance items also, if the car isn’t still under logbook servicing, such as spark plug replacement, fuel and air filter replacements. Some of the costs on these can vary quite considerably.
So there you have it, 3 of the most commonly overlooked variables when it comes to buying a car. Hopefully you’ve learned something new, and remember to keep this in mind the next time you’re shopping for a car!