I'm doing some financing for our future (my wife and I), and we want to purchase a used car - we'll be getting a loan, but along with the monthly payments we'll be making, we want to know what the 'real cost' each month will be for paying for this car - maintenance, gas, sales tax, and monthly insurance premiums (For New York State, Albany County).

How can I find out what these 'additional' costs will be when looking to buy a car?

  • 4
    Tip: "monthly insurance premium" usually has some annoying fees involved (specifically for car insurance). Strive for semiannual payments if you can afford it.
    – TTT
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 19:49
  • 1
    This might be different based on your location (at the very least taxes and insurance are likely to be different). Please at least add a country tag.
    – user
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 23:30
  • @MichaelKjörling Excellent point - I've added a country tag AND added my state and county of residence.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


How can I find out what these 'additional' costs will be when looking to buy a car?

If you know what model you're interested in buying you can try out Edmund's True Cost To Own calculator. This will estimate the depreciation, taxes and fees, financing costs, fuel costs, insurance premiums, maintenance, repairs, and any tax credits for owning a certain model for various periods of time. You can improve the accuracy be substituting your own calculations, like if you already have an insurance quote.

Consumer Reports has a useful chart to demonstrate how much each of those additional costs will add up, percentage-wise. They also list the most and least expensive cars to own.

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    Some of these additional costs are one-time payments (like the Sales Tax) or simply the 'value' of the car depreciating (Depreciation, which I assume is what that means) - are these things I can 'write off' if I'm trying to calculate the practical monthly/yearly cost of owning the car?
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 13:57
  • Good point. You can deduct state and local sales taxes from your federal tax. However, depreciation of a car is not tax deductible in the same way that depreciation of a television is not tax deductible.
    – Nosrac
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 15:06
  • That's not what I meant - I just mean that I will probably be paying those things only one time, or that they don't equate to what I'll actually be 'paying' over the course of owning that car - so if I'm trying to create a monthly budget, can I ignore those things?
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 17:59
  • Just depends on what you're trying to budget for. It sounds like these are things that you'll want to leave out of a budget though
    – Nosrac
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 18:37

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