When you purchased your current car, do you recall what the total price was? You probably do. And there is a very good chance that you know the amount of your monthly payment. However, do you have a good understanding of what your annual cost of ownership is for your vehicle?
If you have at least a good idea of what you are paying for car-related expenses, you can look for ways to possibly save money. And if it seems that your current vehicle is unaffordable to own, you can identify the problem and make sure that your next car is easier on your wallet.
The CAA Driving Costs Calculator
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) offers a driving costs calculator on their website. Through various filters, this tool allows you to estimate what you spend annually to operate your specific vehicle. The calculator is free and easy to use with its simple, 4-step process.
- 1) Select your current car's make, year and model.
- 2) Enter details about your driving habits and fuel costs. Here, you select your estimated annual mileage, how much of that mileage is city/highway and the current cost of fuel.
- 3) Provide information about your yearly vehicle expenses. How much are your license and registration fees, finance charges and insurance costs?
- 4) Determine how much your vehicle has depreciated in value during the year, the amount that you have spent on maintenance costs and any additional auto-related expenses that come to mind.
After you have completed these four steps, your results will show on the final page. Here, you will be able to view your total average driving costs, cost per kilometer of driving, your average fuel economy and approximately what you are paying for gas every year. You will also be shown the environmental cost of your driving with a 5-year estimate of how much greenhouse gas (in kilograms) your vehicle will emit.
There is a separate calculator for hybrid and fully electric cars, but if you do not currently own a "green" car, you will get a greenhouse gas estimate for a comparable hybrid or electric vehicle so that you can compare your vehicle with a "green" equivalent.
If you are thinking of buying a particular car, you can go through the same steps in order to get a cost estimate for it. You can then compare this amount with what you are paying annually for your current car. And if the environment is your top concern, you can go to the Eco Choice tab and take a look at the fuel economy and emissions estimates for several different vehicles from a variety of categories.
The CAA even provides an Alternative Transportation tab so that you can get an idea of what it would cost you if you decided to use public transit instead of driving. Organized by province, the chart on this page shows the average cost per ride and what a monthly pass for public transit might cost you. There are also links for major cities available in case you are planning a trip.
Planning Ahead to Save Money
It is always a good idea to purchase an affordable car that comes with a manageable monthly payment, but the cost considerations shouldn't end there. What you actually pay for the vehicle itself is just one part of the total cost of driving, and some vehicles are more affordable to maintain than others. So, the next time you are shopping for a car, keep overall costs in mind and, if possible, select a vehicle that will save you money both at the time of purchase and down the road.
Saving Money on Financing
If you need to finance a car while dealing with credit issues, it may seem impossible to get a loan with fair, affordable terms. But when you work with Canada Auto Loan, you can be confident that you will get the most affordable financing possible. We can help to simplify the process by connecting you with a dealer right in your area who is qualified to work with your unique situation.
For absolutely no charge, we can make your car buying experience easy and hassle-free. There is absolutely no obligation attached when you fill out our fast and 100% secure online application. So, you have nothing to lose by getting started today.