Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Hidden Ownership Costs

Aside from a home, buying a car is likely the second largest purchase you’ll ever make. Not because of the price tag, but because what comes after you drive the car out the lot.

Not only will something break, leak, or squeak. You’ll have to pay for things like gas, insurance, parking, and traffic tickets.

Edmunds automobile buyers guide reckons you’ll spend roughly 150% of what you paid the dealer on maintenance costs in just the first five years of ownership.

The problem?

Hardly anyone calculates those costs into their car-buying budget and ends up paying a price they can’t afford. Now they may have to take out a loan, cancel this year’s holiday plans, or tell little Timmy that Santa is too busy to visit this year.

All because nobody told us about the hidden ownership costs.

So although millions of us are buying cars, few of us are willingly paying the hidden price.

And it’s not just dollars we’re paying, we’re paying in human lives too. About 1.35 million people die every year from car accidents. 

Imagine if every dealership had a sign outside that read something like, “Don’t base your budget on the car’s sticker price, you’ll pay 1.5 times that in the next five years on gas and maintenance costs. Also, every car purchase will directly increase the odds of vehicular manslaughter. Thanks for shopping at Carl’s Car Lot, please come again.”

Similar signs may not change our purchasing behavior, but at least we’ll willingly pay the full price.

Just like when we’ll embrace the driverless car: with all the ongoing studies and experiments, we’ll know exactly what we’re getting ourselves into when we step into the potential death machine.

And that’s the way it ought to be.

Before you purchase anything, consider the hidden ownership costs.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach