How to calculate what it costs to maintain a car?

It is very common that when buying a car, they are not included in the respective calculations, that is, what the maintenance of the vehicle will cost during its useful life.

Although it seems that the most difficult thing is to achieve the purchase of the car, its annual maintenance also represents a serious commitment, as far as money is concerned. In fact, according to the data managed by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), 18% of the money that enters a household is destined to the maintenance of a vehicle.

It is very important that you take into account the various factors that involve a maintenance expense for your car, and more importantly, it is that you know how to calculate these expenses. On the other hand, you should also consider the payment installments, in case you have a loan for your car.

There are two types of expenses that you should consider, fixed expenses and variable expenses. We will present each of the expenses that you must take into account and calculate.

Fixed expenses


Vehicle inspection

Depending on the car manufacturer, the revisions are usually carried out when reaching 15,000 or 20,000 km, and the price may vary depending on the vehicle model and the adjustments and changes that are required to be made. These reviews generally involve changing the oil, filters, brakes, among others.

Regarding the cost of a revision, if we take as a base a utility vehicle of about 95 hp and with an age of between 2 and 6 years, the price could range between 130 and 150 euros.


Fuel consumption

The fuel consumption of your vehicle will depend on the kilometers traveled, and of course the price of gasoline or diesel. Another factor that also influences fuel consumption is high speed when driving.

To get an idea of ​​how much the fuel consumption of a vehicle represents in money, let's take as a reference an average of 15,000 km per year, for a car that consumes 5 liters of diesel per kilometer, at a cost of 1.30 euros per diesel, adds a total of 975 euros per year. If we take the same mileage for a car that consumes 7 liters of gasoline per kilometer, with a fuel price of 1.39 euros, the annual cost of will be 1,460 euros.

Calculate fuel costs for your car:

To obtain a real figure of what you should invest in fuel per year, you can perform the calculations following these indications:

  1. Take note of the kilometers that the odometer of your car indicates, when the fuel tank is at minimum.

  2. Fill the fuel tank and make a note of the number of liters or gallons it took to fill it. Don't fill the tank to the top.

  3. When the tank is low again, take note of the information on the odometer. Calculate the difference between the first and second mileage values, and you will get the distance traveled on one tank of fuel.

  4. Divide the number of kilometers you traveled by the number of liters of fuel it took to fill the tank. This will tell you how many kilometers or miles you travel per liter or gallon.

  5. To calculate the liters you consume per month, you just have to take note of the distance traveled each month and divide this by the number of kilometers you travel per liter of fuel. This will tell you how many liters of fuel you need per month.

  6. Finally, you must multiply the monthly amount of liters required by the price of gasoline or diesel. This will tell you the amount of euros you spend on fuel, per month.


Car insurance

Vehicle insurance is a legal obligation, the premium of which will depend on factors such as the benefits of the car, the type of policy, age and sex of the driver, among others. On average you can estimate about 800 euros for the insurance.


Road tax (IVTM)

The cost of this tax depends on the horses that the car has, and is determined by the City Council of the municipality that is listed in the Provincial Traffic Headquarters. The cost varies between locations up to 600%.

For example, for a vehicle of more than 20 horses located in Melilla the tax would be 56 euros, and if it is located in San Sebastián it would be 346.32 euros.


Technical Inspection of Vehicles (ITV)

This inspection aims to verify the state of the car with respect to road safety, environmental protection, regulation inscriptions, reforms, and, if it applies to your car, validity of the certificates to transport dangerous and perishable goods .

According to the type of vehicle, the inspection must be carried out with certain periodicity. For passenger cars, the first inspection must be carried out at the age of 4 from registration, and must be carried out every 2 years until reaching 10 years of age. From then on, the review will be annual. The cost of the ITV depends on the province where it is carried out, the average is about 50 euros.

According to the data managed by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), 18% of the money that enters a household is destined to the maintenance of a vehicle.

Variable expenses


Tire change

Each vehicle according to its model and category, must use certain tires. Once these tires have reached their life span, they must be replaced.

On average, good quality tires must be replaced after 40,000 km, and those of lower quality after 10,000 km. The cost of a tire for a medium-sized car varies between 60 and 70 euros.


Various repairs

In addition to the standard revisions, you must take into account the repairs for unforeseen events that may arise, as well as the changes that must be made after a certain mileage. An example of these changes is the replacement of the timing belt, which must be done after 6 or 8 years, depending on the vehicle and model. It represents an estimated cost of 400 to 700 euros.

Other changes that may be required are bulbs, battery, and other components. This would range between 200 and 300 euros. Parking, fines, tolls and washes. These costs should also be considered, since it is very likely that you will incur them. Especially in the parking lot and washing, with some regularity.

Adding up all the expenses, you can get to pay from 2,000 to 3,000 euros a year, for the maintenance of your car. In this lies the importance of calculating and being aware of what the maintenance of your car implies in addition to the purchase. Maintenance that will allow you, in addition to having a safe vehicle, to have it as collateral for a car pawn process or to request a loan for your car, in case you require it.

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