For many of us, owning a car is a vital part of modern life. Unfortunately, it’s often one of the most costly aspects of day-to-day living too. Not only do you have to buy a car, but you also have to insure it, maintain it and regularly fill it with fuel too.
If you’re one of those people who wants, or needs to run a car, but you’re struggling to afford the associated costs, here are a few things that could make care ownership more manageable for you…
Buy at Auction
If the cost of buying a car is too steep for you, buying a car on auction could be the answer to your prayers. Buying used cars makes most sense for most of us, most of the time because new cars are very expensive, and they depreciate at a rapid rate.
It is shocking to hear that as soon as you drive a new car away from the dealership, it drops in value immediately becomes less valuable, and within just one year it could be worth 30-40 percent less than it was when you bought it! That’s money down the drain, and since car auctions make buying the ideal car for you fast, easy and affordable, it doesn’t make sense for many people to buy new. Why not get a bargain instead?
Compare Insurance Policies
One of the biggest expenses that come with car insurance is the cost of insuring your vehicle. The average cost of car insurance in the UK is currently £471 for a fully-comprehensive policy. It’s easy to spend far less than that if you use a price comparison tool to help you seek a better deal.
So many of us simply keep renewing with our current insurer but they use our laziness against us by chargingus ever-higher premiums, even if we’ve never had to make a claim. Say no more to this madness by hitting the price comparison sites right now.
Walk More Often
Something that is so simple that so many of us do not even think of it when we’re trying to cut car-related costs is the simple act of walking more. It’s pretty obvious, but if you and your family do more journeys on foot, you will spend far less on fuel, which means more money in your pocket. If a destination is in easy walking distance, walk it! Not only will you save money, but you’ll get fitter as a family too.
Put a Little in the Piggy Bank
Saving a little cash whenever you can is a great way to offset the costs of car repairs, MOT, etc. when they come around. It can be difficult to find a lump sum to pay these costs, particularly when they come due at the same time, which of course happens all of the time, and it means that you won’t have to scramble around for cash to keep your car on the road. Even if you can only afford to save your loose change it can all add up to more than you might expect, and make a great deal of difference to your finances when you need it most.
Limit Your Fuel Consumption
You can limit your fuel consumption by using your car less as I mentioned earlier, but you don’t have to do more walking to make your fuel last longer. There are several things you can do to stretch your fuel further, and since the average driver uses £1,200 of fuel each year, that’s got to be music to your ears!
The first thing you can do to limit fuel consumption is to ensure that your fuel cap is on tight. By doing this, you can minimise fuel evaporation and ensure you get the use of every single drop you pay for.
Another thing you can do is stop idling whenever it is unnecessary to do so. When you’re idling you’re burning fuel without moving an inch, which is basically the equivalent of throwing your money down the drain. Idling is also really bad for the environment, adding to harmful emissions with no purpose. There is rarely a need to do it, so don’t.
A third thing you can do to use less fuel is to drive steady. If you break and accelerate smoothly, you’ll use less fuel and save lots of money.
Finally, you should aim to drive with as little weight in your car as possible, because the heavier the load, the more fuel you’ll burn. There are always going to be times when your car is full – after a huge family shop or when you’re going on holiday for example – but most of the time, you do not need to carry much more than yourself and your passengers. So, clean those boxes out of the boot, take the bike off the rack when you aren’t using it,and lighten your load.
These may all seem like simple measures, and you might not think they’ll make much difference, but every little adds up and if you apply these measures consistently, you should notice a drop in your fuel consumption.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Keeping your vehicle in good working order may cost you a little money, but it will undoubtedly be cheaper than the amount of cash you’ll have to fork out if your car breaks down. Doing simple things like changing your tyres when they start to go bald or replacing the brake pads at regular intervals, and topping up your oil before it runs dry are all simple things that will prevent a bigger crisis which could see you stranded at the roadside, and even worse, hit with a huge garage bill.
Take a Class
If you’re serious about saving money, as well as simply learning how to do the basics like topping up the oil and changing a tyre, you might want to think about taking a car maintenance course. Thee are lots of evening classes, and even books and online courses, that will teach you every aspect of car maintenance and repair. Yes, this may cost you in course fees and tools and equipment, but it is an investment that will enable you to save lots of money in the long term, and it could become a great new hobby to boot. You might even be able to earn a little money from your new skills too.
Become a One-Car Family
Most families now have more than one car. Sometimes this is absolutely vital because everyone works and it isn’t possible to drop each other off at work and school on the way, but sometimes having two or more cars is simply a convenience – it isn’t essential. It might be worth, therefore, sitting down together and discussing the logistics of having just one car. If you can all get to where you need to be when you need to be there, sell the extra car(s) and save the money. Yes, it might not be quite as convenient, but think what you could do with the potentially thousands of pounds of savings. Tempting, isn’t it?
As you can see, there are so many things you can do to cut the cost of car ownership that it has to be worth making an effort. Even if you start with just one of the ideas on this list, you should be able to save something, Pf course, the more ideas you implement, the more money you’ll save and the easier it will be to be a car owner.