(WTNH) — It’s no secret that the cost of buying a car goes beyond what you pay for it. Expensive maintenance and repair costs can quickly tire out your bank account. We’re Stretching Your Dollar with five key things to know when buying a car.
When it comes to buying a car, it’s easy to get drawn in by a deal. But there’s more to car ownership than the price tag — maintenance and repairs are often recurring expenses.
“When you start to look at the cost over time, you’re like, oh, wow, You know, after five, six, seven years, if I kept the car that long, it could start to cost a lot of money because the repairs are going to be more expensive,” Benjamin Preston of Consumer Reports said.
And the maintenance costs can vary depending on where the car was made.
“Domestic cars tend to cost less to maintain and repair but then maybe one of the Japanese brands might be more reliable,” Preston said. “So you could end up spending less on repairs.”
And the type of car matters, too. When it comes to ongoing fuel and maintenance costs, electric vehicles typically will save you money.
“They’re simply fewer parts to take care of,” Preston said. “There’s not a gasoline motor with all these complex systems that have to be taken care of and parts wearing out and all that sort of stuff.”
Even though the sport and premium trims on your new car might be tempting — consider this.
“Their complexity means higher repair costs later, because when something breaks, there’s going to be more to fix and they’re going to be more complicated things to fix,” Preston said.
And if you’re buying a new car, maintenance repair costs should definitely be top of mind, like alternators and shocks that wear over time.
When it comes to repairs and maintenance, it’s important to find a great shop. Experts say while you’ll generally find good service at a dealership, an independent repair shop may be able to do the work at a better price, so it’s best to shop around.