As much as we need to travel, the costs of owning a car aren’t something that we can avoid. We’re going to need to fork out cash to get the car we want and there’s no getting around it. That doesn’t mean you have to be at the mercy of the same bills and costs or even your own financial situation. A smarter approach to car finance can make it easier to own and a lot easier to keep going.
Financing the car
Perhaps you’re falling at the first hurdle, which is being able to get the car you want. If it doesn’t fit your budget but you can’t get a loan, you might want to look at places that specialize in providing car loans with bad credit. You should also change your expectations of what car you get and how you get it down the price you want. Instead of getting caught by the many services and charges that can come with dealerships, you should consider looking at the private used market instead.
Another fixed, regular cost you can get a much better deal on is your insurance. First, it’s a good idea to look at the truth of any policy provision, how likely you are to use it and how easy it is to claim from it. Some clauses might sound reasonable, only to be bogged down by details that make it difficult to really make use of it. More importantly, however, you should take the time to look your deal every year. Insurance agreements aren’t static and you might find that a better deal is available more often than you would think.
Keeping it going
Then you need to look at how you’re tackling irregular costs like how much it will take to repair and maintain the vehicle. You can immediately save on repair costs by doing more to maintain and even replace the simpler parts of the car yourself. Don’t pay a mechanic to do what you can yourself and need them to make the fixes you can’t by keeping the car in better shape. But you should also think about setting money aside in a budget for a ‘car repair fund’ so those nasty surprises aren’t forcing you to get into debt to pay them.
Keeping it fed
It’s not quite as unexpected as repair costs, but that doesn’t mean that your fuel costs are necessarily fixed, either. Driving less will help you save on fuel costs, obviously, but if you need to drive then how you drive can have a big impact, too. For instance, spend less time idling the car where possible. Idling for fifteen seconds uses more fuel than simply letting the engine turn off and restarting it. Driving steadily, avoiding sharp acceleration, also reduces the drag on the car. Drag costs you a lot more fuel to keep the car going at its speed than most assume.
Be a bit more watchful of how you use and pay for your car. Be willing to do more for yourself. These are the two best methods of getting your car to better fit your budget.