Despite the heavy traffic in the metro, many people still choose to buy a car because it gives them comfort and allows them to get from point A to point B relatively faster. No one can blame them because the public transportation system in the country still needs tons of improvement. But the car purchase doesn’t end when you finally sign on the dotted line. Beyond the actual car purchase and the annual registration and insurance renewal, you’ve got to budget incidental expenses. Expenses which are necessary to safeguard your investment.
Be warned that a car advertised at 14km/L will do about half that in city driving. For example, the distance from your home to office is 10 kilometers (one-way), and the price of fuel is P55 per liter, each trip will amount to approximately P157.14 each day or more than P37,700 annually! Careful trip planning and economical driving will be necessary to balance the books here. This means avoiding rush hour traffic by leaving earlier or later. Using apps to navigate around traffic hotspots. Driving more conservatively, by being gentle on the gas pedal and merging with traffic smoothly, rather than performing aggressive lane-changes and overtakes.
2. Periodic maintenance
The dreaded Periodic Maintenance Schedule (PMS) is necessary to ensure the smooth operation of your vehicle. Given the average PMS for a subcompact car costs around P1,500, with major ones costing up to P15,000, it can be tempting to have everything done at a cheap roadside shop. It’s usually an easy expense to schedule for, and some manufacturers even provide the first few PMS visits free of charge. But high mileage or long trips can move your schedule up a month or two, leaving you short on your budget. Unfortunately, dealership PMS is often required to keep your new car warranty, and complete service records help when you’re trying to sell your car later on. In cases like this, it’s nice to have a credit line that allows you to spread out these payments between paychecks.
3. Roadside emergencies and damage repairs
It happens even to the best of us. You run out of fuel or battery in the middle of nowhere. Or you figure in an accident. Towing costs are anywhere from P1,500 to 3,500, depending on whether your car can be towed or needs to be loaded onto a flatbed carrier due to accident damage. Or more if your breakdown occurs far away from home. And even with insurance, participation for repair costs can sometimes spiral out of control.
4. Exterior care
Taking care of your car's exterior is not just for the looks; don't think that washing and waxing your car are only necessary when your ride becomes extremely dirty. The combination of sun, smog and/or rain can do nasty things to your car’s paint. Without the protection of a good waxing (once every month or two, depending on how bad conditions are), your paint will degrade under the harsh tropical sunlight, which will require expensive paint job—anywhere from P20,000 to P70,000. A typical wash can cost as little as P100 or as much as P250. Waxing can range from P100 to P500. Washing your car twice a week, and waxing it once a month will cost you from P20,400 to P30,000 every year. It would be best to shop around for a local shop that does good work at a reasonable price.
5. The bling
Let’s face it, stock is boring. There comes a time in every new owner’s life when they get the urge to accessorize. Be it a new stereo system, wheels or simply some seat covers to spruce up the cabin, every car deserves a personal touch.
Even if you do make the responsible choice and avoid loading up your new car with ‘borloloy,’ you can spend around P3,000 pesos a month on gasoline if you’ve got a 20-kilometer round-trip commute. Add to that another P25,000 per year for maintenance, and an extra P20,000 or more for insurance and registration, and it’s obvious that the expenses can pile up fast.
If you are looking for a credit card that can assist you with your auto expenses, a product like the Shell Citi Card is what you need. This card offers savings of up to P10,000 per year as you earn up to 5% rebate on Shell fuel purchases, NLEX and SLEX toll fees, and auto repairs, accessories and services nationwide. Hence, if you are spending P37,700 on fuel annually, you can save up to almost P2,000 on rebate. And these savings are just for one car! You just need to make non-auto-related purchases such as dining, shopping, and utility bill payment of at least P10,000 per monthly statement to maximize the rebate.
To ease the burden of paying big purchases, you can avail of Citi PayLite at participating merchants to pay in light and easy installments using your Shell Citi Card. And to manage your finances, you can always check your statement details and transactions on the go with the Citi Mobile App.