Calculate The Car Purchase Correctly

Video: Calculate The Car Purchase Correctly

Price-conscious people enjoy bargains. Even when buying a car. But if you don't do the math correctly, you might be making bad business. Because the purchase price of a car has nothing to do with the total cost of ownership - and they are often higher than expected.

By Thomas Geiger

"3000 euros discount, and that after only five minutes of negotiation" - a teacher from Brandoberndorf can hardly believe her luck. In a good mood, she drives a new mid-range station wagon from the car dealer's yard. But did she really get a good deal? “That doesn't just depend on the purchase price,” says Ralf Mühlbichler. "When looking for the cheapest car, many people forget that not only does the dealer hold up their hands, but that many more costs arise over the life of the car." Mühlbichler works for the market analyst Audacon in Weikersheim. For example, the company determines the operating and maintenance costs of all common vehicle models for fleet managers and fleet operators.

Rising follow-up costs

Although the advertising always suggests new bargains and the manufacturers advertise customers with, in some cases, large discounts, drivers often have to dig deeper into their pockets than they suspect: "Like so many other expenses, operating costs are constantly rising," observed Mühlbichler. This can be read off precisely from the car cost index from ADAC and the Federal Statistical Office.

According to the automobile club in Munich, the cost of purchasing and maintaining cars rose by an average of 3.7 percent in 2010. "This means that the cost of the car has run away from the general cost of living," says ADAC spokesman Andreas Hölzel. "Their rate of price increase was only 1.1 percent in 2010." According to the ADAC, the reason for this is not the acquisition costs for vehicles: They only increased by 0.3 percent. What drove the index up were fuel prices (plus 12.4 percent), prices for spare parts (plus 2.1 percent) and repairs (plus 1.1 percent).

49 cents per kilometer

All of this adds up to the "Total Costs of Ownership", so to the total operating costs, explains Nick Margetts from the market watcher Jato Dynamics. He puts the national average at 49 cents per kilometer. The difference between the purchase price and the resale value of a car accounts for the largest part, at 49 percent. But the sample calculation for a leased or financed car with 75,000 kilometers of mileage in three years contains many other items: 19 percent for fuel, 9 percent for insurance and 5 percent for maintenance and wear parts. In addition, there is 13 percent for interest and administration fees, 1 percent for the vehicle tax and 4 percent for the tires.

Anyone interested in a new car is therefore well advised not to just look at the purchase price. “The operating costs should always be in view, only here can the driver positively influence his balance,” says Mühlbichler and advises: “Also compare the consumption values, the vehicle tax and the insurance classification. And take a look at the maintenance intervals. " These dictate when and how often a car has to go to the workshop so that it does not lose its warranty. According to Mühlbichler, studying these deadlines is particularly important for used cars: "Many expensive standard repairs such as replacing a toothed belt are due so late today that they only affect the second or third owner." If you do the math honestly, you often have to add two or three thousand to the purchase price.

Intervals of eyewash

Car manufacturers like to boast about falling operating costs and justify this with extended intervals - for example for oil changes. The Audacon expert calls such statements window dressing: “They then prescribe a higher quality oil. The bottom line is that you might end up paying the same amount or even more. " On the other hand, you can save with insurance. If the engineers develop repair-friendly constructions, the insurance companies have to pay less in the event of damage and reward this with cheaper comprehensive insurance classes. In addition, you naturally have an influence on fuel consumption and thus on operating costs with your gas foot.

In spite of all cost control, however, savings must not be made at the wrong end: "Evaluations by manufacturers and testing organizations show that cost-conscious vehicle users often extend the maintenance intervals or do without them entirely," says Mühlbichler. He warns of a milkmaid bill: “You save now and pay for it later. Because the older a poorly maintained vehicle gets, the higher the maintenance costs."

This is not just about the money, but primarily about safety, explain testing organizations such as the GTÜ. According to your latest defect report, last year 18.8 percent of all cars presented for the main inspection did not receive a badge due to significant defects, including road safety. That is the highest value since 1998 and the evidence of a risky development: Many drivers save on necessary repairs and regular service - and thus run an increased risk of accidents. (dpa / tmn)