Owning a car is more than just a thrill or a responsibility. It’s also a cost. In fact, for the vast majority of people, it tends to be the second biggest cost we’ll ever have in our lives. Just behind the money that we spend on our homes. So it’s important for daily life that we ensure we take care of those costs. That we budget them and look for ways to improve them. Here’s how you should consider living with the costs of your car.
The car itself
Of course, the largest part of your costs is going to be paying for the car itself. When you’re going to buy a car, make sure you get pre-approved so you know how much for sure you’re able to spend. Take into account not just the car payments, but the tax involved in the purchase as well. When buying a car, avoid blunders like not getting an inspection or financing directly through the dealership. Make sure you know all your options and put yourself in the best negotiating position possible.
After the car, the next biggest cost will be your insurance. Insurance is mandatory by law, so don’t imagine that you can skimp out on it, too much. At the same time, you don’t want to necessarily stick to the minimum amount of insurance you can. You want coverage for some of the more likely scenarios. So that means reducing the costs in other ways. For example, opt for a higher voluntary excess. Don’t pay by direct debit. Think about how much you actually drive so you can agree to a lower mileage cap on your insurance, reducing the price.
For most car owners, maintenance and repairs aren’t what you would consider a regular cost. However, they will come at some point. If you don’t have the money prepared for them, you’re going to find your car finances eating into your regular living finances. You don’t want that to happen, so save up a car maintenance fund. Take a thorough look at the car services around you to see what they offer for their price. Again, maintenance isn’t something you want to skimp on. But that doesn’t mean you can’t afford to be competitive with finding quotes.
The last of the very regular costs worth consider is fuel. Not just for your wallet’s sake, but for the world’s as well. Taking care of your spark plugs is an essential to making sure you’re getting efficient use of your fuel. As is how you drive your car. For instance, if you’re likely to rocket off from a stopped position or brake too harshly, you burn a lot more fuel in those moments. As well, you should simply consider when it’s equally as viable to walk instead of taking the car.
The above tips should have hopefully given you a better idea of the costs involved with buying and running a car. Make sure you take all of them into account before your next purchase.