Owning a car can be a love/hate relationship. We need them to get to work and finish family chores on a daily basis. But they cost a lot of money. And they can get to a point where it costs more to run them than they are worth, thanks to depreciation.
The sales price of your car is just the tip of the iceberg. After that, you have a long and endless stream of costs just to keep the thing rolling down the road. Fuel, insurance, maintenance, and monthly finance costs will only add to the charges.
There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel. Some of the costs are unavoidable, unfortunately. But many of them can be reined in. Here’s how you can cut down your car costs to save you thousands in the long run.
The way that the world works means that even the car insurance market is competitive now. Because of this, it’s recommended to shop around every year. This can sound like a headache but could actually save you a hell of a lot of money.
Keep an eye out for discounts. Plenty of companies offer discounts for car owners who have a safe driving history or have anti-theft devices installed. So your history of safety could save you a pretty penny. If you have teenagers, make them wait until they join your insurance policy. Adding a 16-year-old could make your bill spike by 90%, whereas adding a 19-year-old will only increase the price by around 60%.
Follow your car’s manual rather than what your dad or grandad did. Changing your oil earlier than needed will cost you money even if your elders say it’s needed. Times have changed, and modern cars just don’t need the sort of maintenance older vehicles did. There is such a thing as over maintaining a vehicle and could lead to accidents. And you don’t want to have to call car accident lawyers sooner than you need.
Trust the indicators on your car to signal when you need changes. Avoid unnecessary repairs, and learn a little about car maintenance. Being able to do odd jobs to your vehicle saves you a lot of money.
Just like you would with your car insurance, shop around when it comes time to look for financing. The manufacturer might offer the best deal, but you won’t know that unless you search outside their doors.
If your credit score has increased since you first took out your finance, look into refinancing. It could cut your payments massively, and it never hurts to ask.
Fuel is a significant expense when it comes to your car. The easiest way to keep your costs down is to be particular when choosing your vehicle. AIm for ones with good fuel economy and that use regular rather than premium fuel. That alone will save you money.
If you can’t change your car, there are other ways to reduce fuel costs. Namely, slowing down and avoiding slamming on the breaks. But, unfortunately, these actions could cost you as much as an extra $1 per gallon. And it all adds up.
Depreciation is the single biggest cost of owning a car. And that’s because a new car will lose 25% of its value as soon as you drive off. So it sounds like you’re losing money from the beginning.
There are a few things you can do to get around the expense of depreciation. Firstly, choose a car that isn’t as expensive in the first place. Second, shop around for a vehicle that has great resale value. Not all cars are made equal, and some depreciate much slower than others.