Hidden Costs That Cost a Lot

Have you ever added up the cost of being allowed to keep a vehicle? Not what it cost you to buy it – nor what it cost to maintain it.

The other costs – for things you didn’t buy.

And probably don’t want.

Like the annual (in most states) “registration” fee – in quote marks to emphasize the etymological disingenuousness of the term since it is in fact just another tax. You aren’t getting anything in return for the money mulcted – other than permission to use yourvehicle (that probably also ought to be placed within quotation marks) for another year.

It’s analogous to the tax applied to your home, which the government will allow you to live for another year, if you pay the tax  . . . on the house you thought you’d paid off years ago. Amazon.com Gift Card i... Buy New $25.00 (as of 06:10 EST - Details)

Same with vehicles. No matter how much you paid for it, you never stop paying for it.And what you pay in taxes is grossly disproportionate to what you paid for the vehicle –  because each year your vehicle is worth less while the “registration” tax never goes down.

In my state, the annual “registration” tax is about $60. It may not sound like much, but consider the principle of compounding interest – which is what this amounts to – on the purchase of something not worth much anymore and worth less with each passing year.

My truck is almost 20 years old. It’s worth about $4,000. Over the course of the 12 years that I have owned my truck, I have been mulcted for $720 in “registration” taxes alone.

Which amounts to about 20 percent of its current market value.

The longer I own the truck, the less it will be worth – and the “registration” taxes will become more disproportionate, to the point of confiscatory.

Let’s say I keep the truck another eight years – which I plan to since the truck, itself, is paid for. That’s another $480 in addition to the $720 – so $1,200 in total. Which is what the truck itself will be worth eight years from now.

In effect, 100 percent taxation – and that’s just for “registration.”

Which is the smallest tax applied to vehicle ownership.

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