Most people don't think to ask about what some routine maintenance items will cost them when they buy a new car. Even for those that do, most dealerships won't tell you. They just say how great the car is and that it won't need maintenance for a long time, and they have a great warranty.

Do you have a newer Infinity, Lexus, Acura, BMW, etc. with H.I.D. (High Intensity Discharge) headlights? If you do, do you know what it will cost you to replace that headlight bulb when it burns out? Most people find out too late. The average cost for a headlight bulb for these headlight systems is over $120. Yes, over $120 for the bulb alone. When people hear this they start to question the auto repair shop where they took the vehicle to have it repaired. Then they go to the dealership and find out that this is actually a deal! They don't tell you this when you are at the dealership about to buy the car. You have to find out the hard way. One customer at a shop I worked at had a headlight bulb blown in her fairly new Infinity. We replaced the $120 headlight bulb only to find out that the ballast had gone bad as well. Now that $120 headlight bulb turned into $480 for the entire headlight assembly. This was the cost of the assembly alone, and did not include the labor to replace the headlight assembly.

It always pays to do your research before you buy. Of course buying a car is a big purchase. You want to go into it with as much information as you can. In my opinion, in addition to the standard specification and gas mileage sheet that you see in the window of every new car, there should also be a sheet with detailed maintenance costs. After all, they tell you the average yearly fuel costs for the vehicle. Why not tell you how much you could be spending on oil changes, headlight bulbs, brake pads, etc. I realize that having this information in plain sight before you purchase the vehicle might scare some buyers off. It's like the old saying, "You wanna ride like a sport, you're gonna pay like a sport".