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Extra up-front costs of car buying

Extra up-front costs of car buying

Apart from the ticket price of the car you’d like to purchase, there are other initial costs that you need to budget for. Here’s what you’ll fork out (over and above the car’s price) before you can get your wheels on the road.

Dealer delivery

This is a dealer-defined cost. It covers dealer expenses like car detailing, compliance, administration, insurance and holding.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty varies across the country. It’s best to refer to the governing body in your state for all the information you need. 


Buyers often see the sticker price on a car and that’s the total price of taking the car home. The advertised price usually only covers the minimum – the base model with stock standard everything. Extras like ABS, automatic transmission, metallic paint and upgraded trim will cost more, so don’t forget this when making your calculations.

If you’re buying new you can be caught out with all of those optional extras that are dangled before you once you’ve chosen your car. Floor mats, reverse camera, stereo upgrade, sill plates, mirror protector, body kits, spoilers, exhaust tips… the list goes on.

Then there’s window tinting and paint protection and rust proofing. You get the idea.

Ongoing expenses

Finally, there are some ongoing costs you need to be aware of. Registration, compulsory third party insurance, third-party/fire/theft or comprehensive insurance can all be easily forgotten when caught up in the rush of buying a car. You’ll need to pay these when you first take ownership, but also renew them annually for the life of the car.