The price tag of a brand-new ride is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of car expenses. Just because you have the money to buy it now doesn’t mean you can afford to cover all ownership expenses in the long run. First-time buyers should be well aware of this before they pull the trigger.
You have to pay for preventive maintenance service (PMS) regularly, and that doesn’t exactly come cheap. There’s also motor-vehicle registration (every year after the first three years) with the Land Transportation Office as well as insurance. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to shoulder any major repairs over the first few years of ownership. Emphasis on “if you’re lucky.”
We’re not here to scare off first-time car buyers. On the contrary, we’re here to help—by giving you an estimate of how much basic maintenance and other necessities will cost. Of course, we wouldn’t really be able to come up with a standard breakdown of expenses that every car owner can refer to, so we’re going to be a bit more specific for the purposes of this article.
We’ve chosen to go with the Toyota Vios, the king of subcompact sedans, one of the country’s bestselling models, and a top-of-mind pick for a starter car. We consulted one of our contacts from a Toyota dealership and were able to get some ballpark figures on first-year costs. Take note that these include only the usual expenses after the purchase.
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Here’s what our guy told us: “Usually, kada-PMS, it would range around P3,500 to P5,000 depending on the oil. Within a year siguro, 10,000km average mileage, so thrice ka magpapa-service: First is 1,000km, then 5,000km, then 10,000km.” Meaning you’d need to spend P10,500 to P15,000 in the first year just on basic PMS alone.
We were then told that the first comprehensive insurance renewal would cost around P20,000. That means a rough estimate of expenses in the first year range from P30,500 to P35,000. Just take note that this total could change greatly—for instance, if you get involved in a road mishap and the car requires repairs as a result. And it doesn’t even include the usual expenses for fuel (the Vios has a 42-liter tank and, in our test of the 1.3 XE CVT variant, averaged 10km/L in mixed conditions), parking, cleaning, and general upkeep.
In a nutshell, this just means if you want to buy your own car, you need to have cash on hand that’s more than the SRP or the down payment. The costs will be lower or higher as you go from the most basic entry-level daily driver to something more upmarket. Either way, the need for liquidity is bigger than most people might think.
So, do you have any questions or anything you want to add to this discussion? The comments section is open.