Restarting the industry: Car promos pile up but be wary of pitfalls

Mobility is important, and that has stood out more during this coronavirus pandemic. Taking public transportation seems like a very unattractive option right now, especially with a virus that spreads through physical contact. 

With these points laid out, and the fact that you’re here reading this article, we know what’s on your mind right now: you want to buy a car.

We can’t blame you. We’ve seen a lot of attractive offers in the market today. Toyota Motor Philippines even released a quite flexible payment scheme for its customers, ranging from hefty six-digit cash discounts down to around P6,500 monthly payment on a Vios. We’ve also learned that banks have been more lenient with the approval of car loans.

Heck, some car dealerships even offer a ‘Buy One, Take One’ scheme. It’s going to be hard to beat that.

With several enticing car deals out there right now, this July 2020 might as well be the best time to buy a car. But be wary of several pitfalls when buying a vehicle – not because you can doesn’t mean you should. There are several things you need to be wary of, and most of them need you to shed some cash beyond your monthly payments.

Costs of car ownership dont end with monthly payments

Maintenance costs are often the most overlooked part of your car ownership journey. Just like any machine, cars need regular maintenance in order to work flawlessly and to ensure longevity. Not doing so makes your car prone to break downs and repairs, which further increases the overall costs.

During the first three or five years of owning a car, it’s wiser to have your car serviced at the dealership or casa, as colloquially known, so to not void its warranty. Of course, this type of servicing is much costlier than doing it yourself or through your favorite mechanic.

Meanwhile, some brands like Mazda, SsangYong, and Chery, among others, offer free servicing during these first few years, which is a plus. This month, however, other brands such as Ford and Toyota offer free servicing on certain vehicles as well, so you might want to check them out.

Fuel Money

If it isn’t obvious, your brand new car runs on fuel, which, of course, you need to purchase regularly. While fuel prices are relatively lower at this time (or is it?), the money spent on fuel is still something you should consider.

To give you an idea, a 35-liter fuel tank of a small hatchback like the Honda Brio will last for two weeks with occasional grocery runs and other errands. At P44 per liter, filling it to the brim will cost around P1,500 if you’re starting with an empty tank.

Of course, that estimate cost changes with the car’s fuel efficiency, especially with bigger midsize SUVs. And no, going for diesel doesn’t always mean savings on fuel money.

Comprehensive car insurance costs

Compulsory Third-Party Liability (CTPL) is a requirement by law, which means it’s something that you have to pay for during your car’s registration. Some car promos cover this for the first three years together with your car registration, but after that, you have to shoulder that yourself. A typical CPTL costs around P650.

Now, if CPTL isn’t enough for you – meaning you want to insure your vehicle from theft, road accidents, and natural calamities – there are comprehensive car insurances out there that you can avail. A good car insurance roughly costs around P12,000 a year, even more if you want extended coverage.

Car wash, upgrades, and accessories

Car washing isn’t really a requirement, but if you want dignity and respect, you might want to take this into account. A typical neighborhood car wash will cost you around P100 to P150, depending on the size of your vehicle. If you do this weekly, prepare to shed around P500 just to keep your car clean. If you want to do it yourself, you would need to buy a good set of car soap and even a pressurized cleaner – things that don’t come cheap. And oh, get ready for an increase in your water bill as well.

Now, upgrades and accessories are other non-required costs, but trust us, when you’ve owned a car, it’s almost always that you’d want to personalize it through accessories and other upgrades.

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