The Real Cost of Owning Used Cars - Calgary
The Real Cost of Owning Used Cars - Calgary

The Real Cost of Owning Used Cars - Calgary

November 10, 2023

Owning a used car in Calgary is not merely about the initial purchase price. As every car owner knows, several other costs must be considered to get a clear and comprehensive picture of the total expense. From insurance and maintenance to fuel and repair costs, these can all add up, often surprisingly, over time.

Purchase Price and Taxes

The purchase price is, of course, your starting point. However, don’t overlook the sales tax. For those in Alberta, the good news is there’s no provincial sales tax (PST), but the 5% federal goods and services tax (GST) would apply.

Aside from the purchase price and GST, another upfront cost is the Alberta vehicle registration, which comes to around $93.65 annually for a passenger vehicle.

Insurance

Insurance policies in Calgary, like elsewhere, depend on various factors, including the make and model of the car, your driving record, and even your age and marital status. Alberta ranks in the top three among Canadian provinces with the highest average auto insurance rates, ranging between $2,000 and $4,000 per year.

However, rates can fluctuate. Work closely with your insurance agent to find a policy that fits your budget and needs.

Fuel Costs

The gas price can be volatile and hard to predict, but budgeting a reasonable monthly amount is feasible. The fuel efficiency of used cars Calgary will play a deciding role, so consider vehicles that offer good mileage, especially if you use your car for daily commuting or long drives.

Maintenance and Repairs

Used cars will invariably need more upkeep than new ones. Depending on the vehicle’s age, make, model, and overall condition, you should budget for regular maintenance items like oil changes, brake services, and tire replacements.

In some years, it might be a couple of hundred dollars, while in others, a major repair could run up to a thousand. A decent guideline for budgeting repairs and maintenance for a used car is about $100 a month ($1,200 a year).

Depreciation

Depreciation, the loss in value of your car over time, is another cost to account for. While this isn’t a direct out-of-pocket expense, it impacts the car’s resale value. On the bright side, used vehicles depreciate slower than new ones.

Parking

In Calgary, parking can be surprisingly pricey, especially in downtown areas. Parking costs can range anywhere from $100 to $500 per month, depending on the proximity to major urban centers.

The Unexpected

Finally, always have a little extra put aside for unexpected costs. This could be anything from a necessary part replacement due to sudden failure or increased costs from a harsh winter requiring more maintenance.

Conclusion

When budgeting for a used car, looking beyond the initial purchase price is essential. Only about half of the total cost of ownership comes from upfront costs like the purchase price and registration fee. Ongoing costs such as insurance, fuel, parking, and maintenance make up the rest, along with the vehicle’s depreciating value.

By being aware of each potential cost and factoring it into your budget, you will be prepared to handle car ownership in Calgary successfully.

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Our dealership has been Serving Calgary Alberta since 2013.

We specialize in used cars and always try to get the best deals for our customers.

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Award-winning, family owned car dealership of pre-owned vehicles with several locations across the city. Lowest prices and the best customer service guaranteed.

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