Owning and running a car is a significant expense, so it is little wonder that motorists are always looking for ways to reduce their driving costs. Thankfully, there are so many different ways that you can do this, and when you put them together, they can have a massive impact on your finances in the long run. Read on for a few ways you can save money when it comes to buying and running a car.
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While we all love the thought of driving around in a brand spanking new car, it is far from the cheapest way of doing it. New cars are upwards of $10,000, while you can pick up a decent second-hand car for a couple of grand or less. It is also worth bearing in mind that a brand new car will lose up on average 20% of its value as soon as you drive it off the forecourt – that is a considerable rate of depreciation! There are plenty of quality used cars out there, whether through a dealership or a private seller; it is just a case of spending some time looking around and finding one within your price range and specification.
Many of us rush into buying a new car, whether brand new or new to us, and do not stop to think about precisely what it is we need from the car. This can lead to us buying the wrong car – perhaps it is not big enough or is too big. It may not be efficient on fuel for long-distance driving or is notorious for being unreliable. Spending some time before buying thinking about precisely what you want and need from a car is essential if you’re going to make the right purchase.
This goes for both the car itself and all of the other things associated with being the owner of a car. Go and visit a few dealerships and see what the average price of the car you are after is – you may find one that is considerably lower than the others, or one that offers more for your money. The same goes for when you are looking for the cheapest auto insurance. Do not take the first quote that you get – do your research and get quotes from a variety of different places. Even if you do not find one cheaper, you may get better value for your money.
Do your research
Some cars are better than others. In recent years, there has been a spate of recalls for cars where something has gone wrong. Toyota, for example, had cars recalled because of problems with their braking systems. Volkswagon was hit by a controversy surrounding their vehicle emissions, and Vauxhall Zafira’s were brought back in because they were bursting into flames. Do your research into the vehicle that you are thinking about buying to make sure it has no recalls on it or known common faults – you may want to avoid it.
Are they expensive to maintain?
Some cars are naturally going to be more expensive to maintain than others. It might involve sourcing part from abroad or need to find a specialist mechanic or garage to fix something. Finding out about this beforehand will go a long way towards saving you some money.
Once you have made your decision and bought your vehicle, it is up to you to do what you can to reduce the cost of running it, and one of the best ways of doing this is to drive carefully. If you brake harshly all the time, you are going to wear through brake pads and discs a lot faster than if you do it gently and smoothly. If you drive at speed everywhere, you are going to not only cost yourself a fortune in fuel but cause accelerated damage to the inside of the engine. Driving carefully and smoothly will save you money in the long term.
Keep it serviced
While it will cost you money to service your car, it is one of the best ways of prolonging the life of it and saving you money. Services generally should be done every six months or five thousand miles and should involve a change of oil, new air, oil and fuel filters, new wiper blades, and checking of lubricants and fluids. It is also a good way of seeing if there are any major problems developing so you can get those sorted before they become even bigger and more expensive.