Car costs

Buying a car is not just a short-term financial commitment. A car will continue to attract costs long after you drive it out of the dealership.
When you are budgeting to buy a car, factor in all the following costs on top of the price of the car:


If you are buying a new car, you will most likely be presented with a list of optional extras. Most cars come with standard issue colours and features and swapping from them will cost. It is up to you to decide which, if any, extras you are happy to pay for.

Stamp duty
Stamp duty is one of the non-negotiable features of buying a vehicle. The legislation regarding stamp duty varies state to state, so make sure you know the details that apply to your situation.

Dealer delivery
You may be charged for dealer delivery when buying a new car, even if you drive the car out of the dealership yourself. The dealer delivery fee is for preparing and delivering your car, but it can be highly inflated and you should be prepared to negotiate.


You should always have insurance ready before you get behind the wheel for the first time. Policies can differ so read the fine print to ensure you have adequate cover for your needs. Use a reputable insurer and make sure everyone who will drive the car is covered.

Registration and roadworthy
Every new and used car needs to be registered for the road. As soon as you buy the car you will need to pay for the registration and roadworthy fees valid in your state and possibly for new number plates.

All new cars come with a manufacturer’s warranty, valid for a few years. Licensed car dealers have to provide a statutory warranty for used cars under 10 years old that have travelled less than 160,000 kilometres, valid for 3 months or up to 5,000 kilometres. You can purchase an extended warranty, but you will need to research this to see if it’s best for your situation.

Servicing and repairs
No matter whether it is new or used, at some point you will need to have your car serviced. Regular servicing ensures the car is running properly and is safe to drive. You should also be prepared to cover repairs should you have a mishap, which can be expensive depending on the damage. Find a reputable mechanic for any work.

There’s a reason most motorists keep an eagle eye on petrol prices. Fuel is probably the most frequent expense in keeping a car running. Some fuels such as gas are much cheaper, so you should factor the fuel type into your initial purchase decisions.