Owning a car (and the associated costs that come with it) presents a financial challenge for many people. Thankfully, there are various ways that you can drive down these expenditures to make everything for affordable for yourself. In this blog post, we are going to talk through just a few of these. Hopefully, you will walk away with some tricks and techniques that you can put into action. Start your engines and let’s go!
Drive Your Car for Longer
The simplest way to save money on your car costs is simply to drive your current vehicle for longer. In days gone by, many car drivers would look to replace their vehicle every three to five years. But many manufacturers are now building in 10-year warranties as cars are built to last longer. If you are intending to keep your car for the longest possible period of time, you need to ensure that you keep it in good working order by keeping up with its maintenance etc.
I usually let my car last me at least 3 years and it is always a used car by the way. You know me, being frugal and all.
Reassess Your Insurance Needs
One of your biggest regular car costs is keeping it insured. And while this is something that is necessary to do, you don’t have to pay more than you need to. There are various comparison websites out there which you can check for the cheapest car insurance. Don’t simply stick with your current provider and expect them to always give you the best deal. You can also build up bonuses for not claiming for an accident which you may be able to take advantage of. I always make it a point of shopping around for car and other types of insurance instead of just being loyal to the last provider I was with. After all, none of them is loyal to me! That’s my opinion, I don’t know how you feel about that.
Skip Unnecessary Extras
When you go to buy a new car, the dealer is likely to try to sell you all sorts of extras which you don’t really need. Be careful about accepting any of these as they tend to put a substantial markup on top, and if you want the accessories, you may well be better off getting them at a later date.
Buy Used Cars
No, not one like this. But, you know …
You will probably have already heard the old adage about just how much value a car loses from the moment it is driven off the forecourt. On average, this is around 20 percent, and a standard vehicle loses 15 to 20 percent of its value after every subsequent year of ownership. As long as you know what you are doing in the used car market and you don’t get ripped off, this is a sensible option if you are looking to save yourself significant sums of cash. The type of car that you choose also makes a big difference, so go for one which is praised for its fuel-efficiency.
Do Some of Your Own Maintenance
We already mentioned this briefly, but you can save so much money on your car just by doing some of your own basic maintenance. Of course, some jobs require a decent level of knowledge and experience, but there are others – such as changing a tyre and monitoring fluid levels – which anyone can do themselves. And with so many ‘how-to guides’ and videos available online, you can get most of this information for free.
Related: How to do some car DIY maintenance
Reduce Fuel Consumption
Driving with a lead foot is bound to push your fuel costs through the roof. Instead, you should learn the basics of conservative driving as this will stand you in good stead. To start off with, reduce your speed and avoid any unnecessarily harsh braking and acceleration. As well as this, you can try to consolidate journeys and use alternative means of transportation for shorter trips. There are also various apps out there to help you avoid traffic so that you can avoid the fuel-consuming stop-and-go driving style.
Do Your Homework Before Visiting a Dealer
The internet has brought so much more transparency when it comes to buying and selling cars. So, do your research to find out which dealers are considered the most trustworthy and what is the average price that you should be expecting to pay. Be very wary of gimmicks. Sure, a free cruise or a year’s worth of petrol may sound appealing to you right now, but you need to calculate exactly what they are going to be worth. Shop around and visit a few different places before settling on the deal that is the right one for you.
Whether you are are in the process of buying a new car or you simply want to make owning one a little bit cheaper, these are just a few of the techniques which you can use to improve your financial position.
Let us know your thoughts on these ideas soon.