3 Expenses You Forget About When You Buy Your First Car


Buying your first car is all about excitement and freedom. Sure, you have the expense of buying the car to begin with, but you've anticipated that cost and have saved the money so you can afford it. There are other costs associated with buying a new car you probably haven't thought about. Here are 3 expenses that come along with your new car that may have slipped your mind. 

Sales tax

If you live in a state with sales tax, you will need to pay this at the car registration office when you license your car, even if you bought your car off a private seller. The amount you pay in sales tax is dependent upon your state's sales tax percentage and the total sale value of your new car. When you pay your sales tax at the DMV, you will need to provide a proof of sale or the title of the vehicle.

If you have already paid sales tax at the car dealership you bought your car from (if applicable), this will be notated on your title or proof of sale so you don't have to pay this fee again.


If you think those license plates and their accompanying stickers just magically appear on your car every year, you have another thing coming. When you pay sales tax on your car for the first time you will have to register it with your county (from an outlet such as B & K Auto Tags). This means you will be provided plates and will pay a fee to make your vehicle legal to be on the road for the year. This recurring fee must be paid yearly or every 2 years (you can choose either option).

Your license plates are yours to keep, and don't cost anything beyond your initial purchase. Should you choose to buy novelty plates in the future, you will pay extra for your custom plates.

Smog inspection

While some states, such as Alabama and Nebraska, don't have smog inspections for vehicles, many other states do. If you live in a state that requires a smog inspection, you need to be prepared to pay for this inspection every year. A smog inspection checks the pollution emission and safety of your vehicle, and if your car fails an inspection, you will need to make modifications so your car passes. A smog inspection can cost anywhere from $30 to $90.

Buying your first car is exciting and opens up a whole new world of fun. Along with the joy of owning a car come the fiscal responsibilities. Some expenses will be expected when you buy your first car and you need to be prepared to pay these things as they come up. This is the best way to avoid going into debt before you have filled up your first tank of gas.


19 October 2015

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