Running a car can be expensive, with a whole heap of costs mounting up weekly, monthly and yearly. Even so, there is always room to save money, and it’s particularly sensible to aim for economical motoring if you rely on your vehicle to live your life as you wish to each day.
To that end, here are some of the most impactful pieces of advice to follow which should drive down the cost of car ownership significantly.
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Make sure you’re getting the best possible rate for your insurance
Most importantly of all, you need to get online and find lowest insurance rates rather than sticking with the same provider for the sake of convenience.
Car insurance could be your single biggest annual outgoing as a motorist, and it’s only by comparing quotes from several brands that you can hope to hit upon the best value deal for your needs and budget.
It’s also worth noting that you can be proactive in reducing the cost of your car insurance across the board. To do this you’ll need to look into the factors at play, and make changes where possible.
Improving your credit score is a good example of a positive move you can take to reduce car insurance costs, because this is something that providers consider when calculating premiums.
Don’t skip over recommended maintenance
If you are trying to enjoy cheap car ownership, you might think that the best way to do this is to avoid adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance intervals, and to allow small issues to go unaddressed, rather than fixing them immediately.
This is definitely a false economy, because minor flaws can spiral out of control, and a poorly maintained car is essentially a ticking time bomb. You might save a few hundred dollars by sidestepping a service or two, but this will only end up costing you several thousand dollars when disaster strikes the mechanicals.
Choose a car that you can afford to own
One thing that a lot of people forget is that not every car has the same ownership costs involved, even if the sticker prices are identical. There are a lot of variables involved here, so when choosing which car to buy, don’t forget to look into as many as possible.
For example, premium automotive brands come with higher prices for parts and labor when they need to be maintained and repaired. Mass market models will have more demand for spares, so costs will be lower than if you chose a less popular make.
This is why it can often be better to purchase a newer, more popular family-focused vehicle than an older, high end equivalent which is roughly the same asking price at the dealership. Your bank balance will thank you!
Ok this one might seem counter intuitive, but if you’re worried about whether you can afford to keep your car on the road at all, it might be worth thinking about how and where you use it.
Only jumping behind the wheel for essential journeys, such as getting to and from your place of work, and choosing alternative methods of transport for other types of trips is an option, for example.
If you can walk to the store instead of driving, or you own a bike that will get you around for short local journeys in place of burning through gas, and cash, in your car, it can make a surprisingly big difference over an extended period.
You might even realize that going car-free altogether is the answer, although giving up the freedoms that come with owning a vehicle is tough.