Husband and wife

Five Costs You Should Consider Before You Buy a Car or Boat

Feb 20, 2020
Empower Insights

These expenses are easy to overlook

Planning ahead for your next vehicle purchase can save you a lot of money and help you afford the car or boat you want. As you figure out how much to save, make sure you’ve considered all the costs, including:

1. Registration and insurance

You may be expecting these costs — but you still might be surprised at how large they can be. Consider calculating them ahead of time. Visit your state motor vehicles department website for help estimating registration fees, and shop around for insurance quotes. Many factors affect the cost of boat insurance, but on average, you can expect to pay 1.5 % of the assessed value of your vessel every year.1

2. Document and destination fees

The document fee — sometimes called a processing fee or paperwork fee — is charged for the administrative work associated with your purchase. It’s often $100 or more, but you may be able to haggle it down.2 The destination fee covers the cost of transporting a new car from the manufacturer to the dealer, and it’s usually between $400 and $800.3

Can you afford repairs to new car or boat?


3. Mooring fee or slip fee and/or trailer purchase

If you want to park your boat in the water, you can either moor it (anchor it away from shore) or rent a slip. Slip rentals can run a couple thousand dollars a year, depending on the location.4 A mooring might cost less — the amount and availability vary widely by location — but you’ll need a dinghy to get yourself out to it if the marina doesn’t offer a shuttle service. You might be able to keep the boat on a trailer, but you’ll have to put the boat in the water each time you use it — and many homeowners’ associations don’t allow trailered boats in driveways.

4. State boat tax

Boat taxes vary widely by state, from no tax at all to as much as 10 % of the assessed value of your boat every year.4

5. Major repairs

Before you buy a car or boat, ask yourself whether you can afford the repair if a major component fails. After working through all the other costs of car or boat ownership, it would be a pity not to be able to use it.

When you’ve figured out how much you need for your next vehicle, work toward that goal by saving in an Empower Investment Account.

1, July 2017

2, May 2018

3, June 2019

4, June 2014, as of February 2020

Latest Empower Insights

Home Improvement - couple painting interior room
Feb 20, 2020
Empower Insights

Six Places to Splurge During a Home Improvement Project

Home renovations are a chance to bring your dream house to life one project at a time. As you plan and save toward your next project, take some time to think about where you can save money — and where it might make sense to spend extra.

Paying Cash for Car
Feb 20, 2020
Empower Insights

The advantage of paying cash for a car

Borrowing to buy a car or truck is more popular than ever. In the past eight years, the total auto debt in the United States rose from $710 billion to $1.27 trillion, and the most common term for an auto loans is now 72 months.

Carefully consider the investment option’s objectives, risks, fees and expenses. Contact Empower for a prospectus, summary prospectus for SEC-registered products or disclosure document for unregistered products, if available, containing this information. Read each carefully before investing.

Securities, when presented, are offered and/or distributed by Empower Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. EFSI is an affiliate of Empower Retirement, LLC; Empower Funds, Inc.; and registered investment adviser, Empower Advisory Group, LLC. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal or tax recommendations or advice.  

IMPORTANT: The projections, or other information generated on the website by the investment analysis tool regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes, are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. The results may vary with each use and over time.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

Insurance products are issues by or offered through Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America, Corporate Headquarters: Greenwood Village, CO; or in New York, by Empower Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York, Home Office: New York, NY. 

The managed account service is part of the Empower Advisory Services suite of services offered by Empower Advisory Group, LLC, a registered investment adviser.

The Empower Institute is a research group within Empower.

“EMPOWER” and all associated logos, and product names are trademarks of Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America.

All features may not currently be available and are subject to change without notice. ©2022 Empower Retirement, LLC. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise noted: Not a Deposit | Not FDIC Insured | Not Bank Guaranteed | Funds May Lose Value | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency.