The true cost of owning a car is not in the purchase price but in the maintenance costs. Purchasing a car is often a one-off payment, and even if it’s through a loan, you always know how much it’s going to cost you in the monthly payments. Maintenance costs on the other hand are unpredictable and many new car owners find them overwhelming because they didn’t plan for that.
These include the insurance costs, fuelling and servicing the car. So how then do you manage to juggle all these with your other financial obligations?
There many ways to cut down on your car expenses.
Service your car regularly
Of course, this costs money but it saves you much more in returning. Holding off your car service for longer is not recommended since a poorly maintained car has a lower fuel economy and therefore consumes more gas. There is also the danger of a major breakdown occurring that costs you more money but which could have been avoided had you taken your car for service when it was due.
Take your car for minor service for every three thousand miles or every three months whichever comes first. You should also take it for a major service after every 15,000 miles or one year depending on whichever comes first.
This is just the general guidance on ideal driving conditions tested by most manufacturers. If you drive in rough conditions then you should take your car for service earlier than the schedules give above. Diesel cars like those featured on Black Smoke Media also require more regular service than gasoline cars used in the illustration above.
Image Source: Pixabay
Being smart in your driving saves you money in fuel consumption and reduces the wear and tear on your car as well.
Avoid peak hours when the traffic is likely to be gridlocked costing you fuel in idling time. Plan your routes and time such that you can drive without getting stuck in traffic.
More importantly, driving gently. When accelerating, step on the gas gently such that the acceleration is gradual. On the same breathe, driving at high speeds then slamming on the brakes like a maniac will cost you much more in fuel and repairs and replacements.
Shop around for insurance deals
Most car owners don’t know they can get better insurance deals by simply asking for it. Most insurance companies on the grounds of a good driving record and installing a few safety features that don’t cost much in your car.
You can also ask for discounts for being a loyal customer to the insurance company. Having a good working relationship with your insurance provider doesn’t mean you can’t shop around for better deals – the grass may be greener on the other side.
Don’t use the car
The best way to save money on your car is not drive it. You won’t have to fuel it or service it as much if you don’t drive it.
You instead opt for carpooling options to save money or even use the bus or train during your daily commute to and from work.