A new car can cost you more than the sticker price

With new car models rolling out, you might be interested in purchasing a new set of wheels. Before you stop by the dealership, be sure you understand there are other costs associated with buying a new car that’s not related to the sticker price. This is especially important if you’re buying your first car and are unfamiliar with the costs of owning a vehicle.

Auto insurance

If you’re financing your vehicle, your lender will require that you submit proof of full auto insurance coverage of your new car at the time of purchase. The cost of auto insurance varies by insurer, type of coverage, your age and driving history. The cost generally averages more than $100 a month.

Routine maintenance

Automakers provide a regular maintenance schedule for their vehicles so owners can keep them in top performance. The costs will depend on the type of work needed, based on the car’s mileage and where you go for the service. Regular maintenance servicing can cost hundreds of dollars with each visit, but these tune-ups can extend the life of your vehicle, especially if you plan to keep it long after you’ve made your last auto loan payment.

Fuel costs

If you’re using your new car to commute to work or school, be sure to factor in the cost of gas. Calculate the miles you’ll drive on an average week and divide that by the miles per gallon your vehicle can achieve. Once you know how many gallons of gas you’ll use in a week, you can multiply that number by the current price per gallon of gas to get your weekly fuel cost.


Auto industry experts say the average vehicle depreciates about 65 percent over five years, meaning your vehicle’s value at the time of your purchase drops by that much over that period. This loss in value is the largest cost factor in owning a car, and some vehicles depreciate faster than others.

Are you ready for your sweet new ride? We can help you get prequalified first so you’ll know how much car you can afford. You can apply online, at one of our branches or by giving us a call at (800) 877-8328. Also, visit www.traviscu.org/auto-loans for more information on our auto loans and auto refinance options.

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