Sunday, July 30, 2017

How to Handle Hidden Costs When Buying a New Car

Buying a new car is an exciting time, and it is very easy for buyers to overlook things that in any other situation might give them pause. As with any purchase, price is a paramount consideration, and most people would be surprised to learn a considerable portion of any car dealer's profit doesn't come from the car itself. 

In fact, most of those additional sources of revenue are well-enough hidden that the buyer often doesn't recognize them until they are hours, days or even weeks into owning their new vehicle.

One of the keys to making sure you don't overpay for your new car is to spot these hidden costs as early as possible, evaluate whether they are tied to options or features you actually need and see if there are alternatives that might reduce the overall price of the vehicle. This has two major effects. 

First, it may reduce the amount you need to borrow. Second, it may eliminate options and features you don't really need. Here are some things to consider. 


Dollar for dollar, nothing is more expensive than borrowing money to buy a car. The easiest way to avoid overpaying for your vehicle loan is to try and get pre-approved. This will give you a chance to negotiate the cost of your financing separate from the purchase itself. 

Even a few percentage points will make a tremendous difference, so this should be at the top of your list.


Your choice of vehicle will have an impact on your insurance premiums. Whether you are buying a Subaru, a Ford or a Bugatti, you will be required to carry insurance on the vehicle itself in addition to liability or other coverage. 

The more expensive the vehicle, the higher your insurance premiums. Since insurance is an open-ended expense, extra premiums can add up in a hurry. Make sure you evaluate your insurance costs before you buy. 


Since there are now so many options for drivers to reduce fuel costs, this is a category that should certainly be considered before purchasing. Like insurance, fuel is an open-ended expense, so saving even ten to fifteen percent over the entire term of ownership could add up to thousands. 

Fuel economy also doesn't automatically mean hybrid or electric either. Some vehicles get considerably better gas mileage than others. Further, your driving patterns may help you find less expensive options for city vs. highway driving as well.

Extended Warranty

The extended warranty is likely the most complex category simply because of all the factors involved. If at all possible, you should make certain any warranty beyond the manufacturer's is backed by an authorized dealer or the manufacturer itself. 

Warranties by third-party companies can often be far more expensive and far more difficult to enforce than ones offered by a reputable provider. A good source of information on this subject is the Auto Club.

Knowing where additional expense is likely to be found is the first step towards avoiding overpaying for a new car. Driving it will be more fun too.

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