The Hidden Costs of Buying Your Dream Car
For many people, cars are just a way for us to get from Point A to Point B. But for others, cars can occupy a special place in our hearts. Maybe even as a kid, you hung up posters of your favorites (for me, it was a Lamborghini Diablo).
Now that you’re an adult making way more than a 13-year-old’s allowance, the idea of owning your dream car is a little less far fetched (well, maybe not the Lambo. That’s still a little rich for my blood.) But even though you can afford the sticker price, you may not be aware of all the potential hidden costs that go into that amazing vehicle. Here are a few things to know before you think of signing on the dotted line.
Sports cars are not known as the most durable machines, even when they’re brand new. They are precision pieces of equipment that means little hiccups that wouldn’t bother a normal daily driver can be big trouble on your track day toy. And if your dream make and model is from before the Reagan administration, you’ll want to be even more cautious about its condition before you buy.
If (or more likely, when) your dream car breaks down, it’s not going to be as easy to fix as your neighbor’s Camry down the street. Finding a mechanic to work on your specialized machinery is going to take some searching, and parts are going to be fewer and farther between. And for those of you not driving something domestic, you could be looking at some expensive shipping costs from foreign countries to get your baby back to being roadworthy.
Rideshares, Taxis And Rentals
And what are you supposed to drive when your car is in the shop? You may end up paying a lot just to sit in other people’s vehicles.
Here’s one a lot or people forget or don’t take enough into account. That slick little sports car is pretty picky. It’s not going to put up with regular old unleaded. Get ready to shell out 50-100% more at the pump to get the premium gasoline your car requires. And like their durability, sports cars aren’t really known for their fuel economy either, especially if you’re driving them like, well, sports cars. Those costs really add up over time.
You knew this one was coming, right? Turns out that driving a car that costs more money and is less safe raises your car insurance rates? Who knew? That being said, there are a lot of car insurance providers and options available to you, so while your premiums might be higher than for a Ford Focus, they don’t have to be through the roof.
Remember that Uncle Sam is going to want his cut too. Good old personal property taxes at work.
Now that you have this nice car, where are you going to leave it? Surely not in the driveway where it could get damaged by the elements. Or maybe you live in the city? Are you going to trust that your vehicle won’t be broken into, vandalized or straight up stolen? It only makes sense to have some sort of private parking for your new ride, and that won’t come cheaply.
A Second Vehicle
Oh, here’s an idea: You could have a second car that’s more reliable, has better mileage and has easily available parts. Smart thinking. But at the end of the day, it’s still a whole extra vehicle with its own taxes, parking needs and insurance and those are not insignificant costs.
Look, this may seem like we’re trying to talk you out of your dream, and in some ways, yes, that’s what we’re doing. But more than that, you need to be ready for costs like these so they don’t end up putting you in a bad financial spot down the road. If you just want to go fast, consider purchasing a sport version of a more common car like a Volkswagen Golf GTI or a Honda Civic Type R that’s both fun and less expensive to maintain.
If none of these things swayed you, then getting that classic or sporty car may just be for you. But you should still make sure you’re spending your money wisely. Thoroughly inspect any car you’re considering buying, especially if it’s older. Ask for the car’s history and know which parts are factory stock and which have been replaced over the years. Check the gauges to make sure they’re in working order. Don’t forget to look underneath the car for signs of rust.
And when you do make that purchase, make sure you’re not overpaying for car insurance. Check out Freeway Insurance reviews to find out how they can help you on that one.