Your new car needs to be practical, meet your expectations and even your desires. You’re going to travel a long way together, so think about your purchase and try to evaluate the financial impact it will have. There are different parameters to take into account and you need to do your best not to forget any. In Belgium, the average total cost of a car is estimated to be around €700/month.
This is obviously the most important aspect. Whether you decide to use your savings or make use of a financial product, this is going to have a significant impact on your wallet. If you decide to pay an initial lump sum, you need to remember that at some point you will probably have to replace the car. If you are taking out finance in order to buy the car, the interest rate has to be taken into account. Ask your dealer for their best finance offer and take advantage of any special offers there might be at a trade fair or trade show.
Fiscal jurisdiction is regional and therefore varies depending on where you live. Flanders revised its taxation system in 2013 to integrate environmental criteria. In Wallonia and Brussels, the taxation basis is largely based on the power of the car, but this is currently being reformed. These taxes are payable by individuals and professionals:
- Vehicle registration tax (taxe de mise en circulation – TMC): this is only paid once the vehicle goes on the road for the first time. In Wallonia, you are also subject to a loaded premium based on CO2 emissions.
- Road tax (taxe de circulation – TC): payable annually
To calculate the amount of these taxes, simply visit the following sites:
- In Flanders, the tax calculator can be found at https://belastingen.fenb.be
- For Brussels, you can find the table showing the TMC and TC at https://fiscalite.brussels/taxes-de-circulation
- In Wallonia, the table includes TMC, TC and the loaded premium https://www.wallonie.be/en/discover-wallonia/few-figures/walloon-taxation/vehicle-taxes
For professionals, these taxes are tax-deductible, in whole or in part, depending on your status.
The minimum amount of compulsory insurance cover you need is a third-party liability (responsabilité civile – RC) policy, which covers any damage you might cause to others. The amount is based on the horsepower of the vehicle and the age and experience of the principal driver.
In addition, you can opt for a Mini Omnium or Full Omnium to cover, for example, breakage of glass, damage to your own vehicle, theft, fire, collisions with animals, vandalism, etc. In addition to these products, you can also take out driver insurance (only passengers are insured with the base product) and the option of roadside assistance. The website www.mon-assurance-auto.be allows you to compare the different offers.
4. Maintenance and services
This amount will vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle, but the operations to be carried out are very similar for all cars. A basic service is generally carried out every two years or after every 30,000 km. The other types of maintenance to be carried out will depend on the vehicle and how you use it (tyres, brakes, clutch, etc.). You can also choose to take out a maintenance or service contract when you purchase the vehicle.
There are many options available today. The type of engine you have must be well-designed so that it meets your needs as well as any environmental criteria. The salesperson will be able to advise you and help you make the right choice.
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