12 Common Expenses of Owning a Car (and some tips to minimize)

Are you thinking of buying a car? Read this article and think again!

Note: I am warning you that some cases may or may not not be applicable to you cause I am writing this article based on my own experience.

So among all the things, why I choose car as the topic to discuss? Maybe I am a little biased because I am a little bit of a car enthusiast. I love watching modified cars with shiny chromed engine and nasty cold air intake with tri-y headers HAHA. Enough with that! The main reason is because having a car can greatly affect your financial status. But if managed properly, it should never be a problem.

The first thing to do in managing your car expenses is just knowing them! So my main objective in this article is to expose all possible expenses for having a car, whether on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis.

1. Car Amortization

Image result for client buying a car
Photo credit: buyacarapp.com

Unless you are a multimillionaire who can afford a spot cash payment, you will end up paying this monthly for 36 to 60 months! Here is my breakdown, after roaming around the malls and internet for the pricing: (Assuming lowest possible down payment and 60 months period)

Economy Sedans (Wigo, Picanto, Eon, and the like) – Php 10k to Php 15k per month

Compact Sedans (Vios, Civic, City, Rio, and the like) – Php 15k to Php 20k per month

SUVs and Pickups (Montero, Innova, Ranger and the like) – Php 20k to Php 35k per month

This excludes sports  and luxury cars (such as Toyota 86, Ford Mustang, BMW, Audi and the like)

Finance Tip # 1:  Once you have decided to buy a car, start saving for the down payment. Try to target the 50% down payment and the minimum amortization months (36 months usually). The longer the duration of the loan and the smaller the down payment, the greater the interest and the greater financial loss on your part.

Finance Tip # 2: If a brand new one is not that necessary, you can always choose a second hand car (5 – 10 years old). The only disadvantage is that you should save a bigger amount for the down payment (100k up) so that the amount to be loaned will be lesser. 

2. Fuel

Image result for Shell gasoline station image
Photo credit: flickr.com

I know you already expected this on the list. Your car will not run without this piece of liquid. Fuel expenses will depend on your daily mileage and also the flow of traffic on your route.

Finance Tip #1: There are some gasoline station branches that are relatively cheaper than the others! 

Finance TIp #2: Make you sure that you have a Reward Card! I dont know about Caltex but Petron and Shell do have a reward card. I use the BDO reward card for shell and it accumulates 1 point for every P250 worth of gasoline. It is about Php 500 worth every year.

3. Annual Vehicle Registration and Insurance

Image result for LTO registration
Photo credit: autoindustriya.com

If you want to avoid a Php 10,000 penalty, then make sure you register your car yearly and on time. This will only cost more or less Php 3,000, to Php 5,000 including the TPL. It is also recommended to insure your car with a comprehensive insurance. Accidents and natural phenomena (flood, earthquake, etc) are out of control so make sure your car is protected.

For more details regarding vehicle registration just visit this link:


Finance Tip: Make sure to register your car weeks before the deadline to avoid penalty. 

5. Drivers License Renewal

Image result for Drivers license image philippines
Photo credit: philippinelifestyle.com

Never drive a car without a drivers license in your wallet! You will be penalized by an amount (Php 10,000 more or less) and your name will be remembered inside the LTO office.

Finance Tip: Never entertain a backer or a fixer. It will cost you twice the price and you will miss the seminars and exams by the LTO which is very important.

6. Parking Fees

Image result for parking space toll gate payment
Photo credit: oursausalito.com

This may seem a minor but I tell you, a small drop of water can fill up a bucket of water! If the parking fee is Php 20 and you do it four times a week, it will become Php 320 per month, Php 3,840 a year! That is a lot of cash spent just by resting your beloved car for a few hours.

Finance tip: Avoid parking fees or find a parking space that will cost a minimal parking fee. But take note, do not compromise the safety of your car for just a Php 20 peso fee.

7. Car wash

Image result for car wash
Photo credit: bubbles.ca

Your car needs to be washed at least once a week, waxed once a month, and detailed at least once in a couple of years. As time goes by, dirt, mud, and other messy elements may accumulate in your car.

Regular car wash is priced at Php 100 – Php 200 depending on the type of wash, size of the vehicle and the car wash itself.

Finance Tip #1 : Buy your own tools and wash on your own! Microfiber towels and car shampoo are not that expensive, so as wax applicator and a bottle of car wax.

Finance Tip #2: Find the cheapest car wash near your area. Check this link for a very cheap car wash services in Consolacion, Cebu.

8. Minor Maintenance

Image result for car battery replacement
Photo credit: hondaofconyers.com

Your car is a machine and it consists of moving parts, within the engine itself and also the contact between the car and the road. From time to time, you also need to maintain the running condition of your car to avoid major maintenance. Here are some of the common minor maintenance for a car:

  • Flat tire : Php 50 – Php 10o per tire
  • Battery: Php 5,000 – Php 7,000
  • Tire replacement : Php 3,000 – Php 6,000 per tire
  • Light scratches:  Php 200 per bottle for a scratch remover
  • Change oil and oil filter: Php 1,500 – Php 4,000 (depending of oil type)
  • Change spark plugs : Php 1,000 – Php 4,000 (depending of engine type)
  • Change air and fuel filter: Php 1,000 – Php 3,000
  • Brake fluid : Php 200 per bottle
  • Coolant : Php 200 per bottle

9. Major Maintenance

Image result for car engine overhaul
Photo credit: shutterstock.com

As your car gets older, it is also a step closer to a major maintenance due. To minimize the damage, make sure that you always perform minor maintenance on time. Here are some of the common major maintenance services:

  • Radiator: Php 2,000 – Php 7,000
  • Transmission :  Php 5,000
  • Top engine overhaul: P10,000 – P20,000
  • General engine overhaul: P40,000 – P70,000
  • Exterior body repair: P10,000 – P40,000
  • Suspension: P10,000 – P30,000

10. Membership / Registration

Image result for car sticker for entrance
Photo credit: lancasterresidences.blogspot.com

If you live in a private community such as a subdivision or a village, you might need to register your car for an entry pass and the parking space. Condo units also require the unit owners to pay a certain amount monthly for the parking space. This expense though will depend on the area you are residing.

12. Extra Car Accessories


Some people see their car much more than transporting with it from point A to point B. Some car owners treat their cars as pets and modify it by installing some accessories and upgrades such as wrap around kits and spoilers, flashing LED exterior lights, wide concave rims, and other stuff. Of course, the cost of these will vary depending on the owner’s desires.

These are just 12 of the common expenses upon owning a car. With proper financial foundation and planning, these expenses should not be a problem and should not affect your financial stability. Owning a car is a greater experience than commuting daily via public transportation specially here in Cebu, Philippines.

Now, are you planning to buy a car? Are you ready for these 12 expenses? Think again!





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s