Understanding the Real Costs of Owning Your Dream Car
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You’ve found your dream car and it’s a Volkswagen. It could be a new 2016 Jetta, or maybe a vintage bug has finally gotten you to take the plunge. Either way, you’re ready to make the investment. However, once you drive it off the lot, the spending isn’t quite over. With ownership, there are many other costs to consider in order to maintain your dream car, unless you plan on leaving it in the garage (regardless of what brand). But especially with Volkswagen vehicles that are notorious for lasting decades, if you want the car to live to its full potential then you must be ready to spend some time and money maintaining it with quality VW parts.
Maintaining and Repairing VW Parts
As with any automobiles, you can always expect to have some maintenance on your beloved VW throughout its life. Everything from tires and oil changes to suspension and engine parts replacements will need to be performed on the vehicle over time. To help minimize the out of pocket costs, you can perform the maintenance yourself. Changing the oil and other fluids, replacing light bulbs and even hoses are pretty easy tasks you can learn how to do yourself with just a few tools.
While you can learn to change the oil and fluids in your Volkswagen or even swap out the brake pads and replace hoses, there might be some repairs that you can’t do on your own or are just uncertain about. When particular parts in your VW are outside your expertise or you don’t have the proper tools, then counting on a certified VW mechanic is best. To reduce the overall cost of repairs, you should still order Volkswagen auto parts online and give them to the mechanic. If you have an older vehicle, make sure to double-check that you’re getting the right VW part number as they’ve changed over the years; you can usually call customer service if you want verification.
Auto Insurance Costs
Auto insurance is one of the biggest costs of owning a vehicle, but it could save you lots of money if you find yourself in an accident one day. All states vary regarding the regulations for insurance. When an insurance company calculates how much insurance you’re expected to pay, they formulate the costs based on the type of vehicle you own and your history as a driver. Whether it’s a family vehicle or a sports car, and whether it’s foreign manufactured or domestic, are both big factors in the calculations. A Dodge minivan is very likely to cost less insurance than a VW GTI due to the nature of each vehicle and the type of driver and purpose each typically has. Getting several quotes helps find the lowest insurance price.
The average cost of a new standard Volkswagen could run anywhere from $18,000 to $41,000. While you may be driving off the lot with a brand new leather interior, perfect suspension system and a shiny set of tires, all these parts of the vehicle (& more) will eventually have to be replaced – the tires regularly needing it usually every few years (40-60k miles). The cost of new tires can vary depending on the size and purpose you’re looking for, and how often you have to replace them. If you live in an area with a lot of snow or ice, then you should change tires each season. Winter tires will help make your drive safer and more comfortable in the winter. Ideally, you should rotate your tires every 5,000 miles or so, which will help extend their lifespan.
Fuel costs are another expense you want to be prepared for when you go to purchase a vehicle. Volkswagen’s engines have always been good on gas mileage. A 1990 Jetta, for instance, had an MPG (mileage per gallon) rating of 21 in the city and 26 on the highway. Today, a 2016 Jetta has an MPG of 25 in the city and 35 on the highway. While the MPG of Volkswagen’s have improved over the last decade, the value of fuel savings in a new VW should still be weighed against how much more that new vehicle costs than an older one.
Fuel costs can vary depending on the economy, the time of year and obviously the fuel-efficiency of your automobile. To save on fuel costs, you want to accelerate slower and decelerate early instead of braking hard, avoid stop and go traffic when possible, and try not to bog down your trunk with heavy objects.
Most of us don’t think beyond the sticker price when we consider the cost of an automobile, especially if it’s our dream car. The truth is, however, the amount you’ll pay for car ownership will go well beyond the sticker price over the years and largely depends on the kind of automobile you get – not to mention, how well you maintain it – so it makes sense to do your research on the above items. The most advantageous thing to do is be proactive: stay up-to-date with maintaining OEM VW parts when necessary, give the exterior body and paint and interior accessories some TLC, and always find feasible ways to save money like checking ahead for lowest gas prices or buying your Volkswagen’s parts online. By following these tips and advice, you’ll get as much use and fun as possible out of your amazing dream car.
Photo courtesy of: Pexels
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