Personal transportation is sometimes taken for granted, but a close look at the costs of motoring show it’s too expensive to be taken lightly. The cost of buying your car is only the beginning; a gateway to a series of related expenses. Once you’ve driven off the car dealer’s lot, you’ll face taxes, the rising cost of car insurance cover, volatile fuel prices and a number of additional motoring expenses.
The total amount of money devoted to the privilege of keeping a car has caused some families to reconsider their attitudes. But even those committed to a new car purchase can save money, sticking to a handful of proven car buying rules. If you’re unsure how to get the best value from your motoring budget, consider these clues to your best approach.
Weigh the Costs and Do Without
Until you know how much you’re really spending to stay on the road, it can be hard to put a price on the convenience of personal transportation. Adding up motoring expenses gives you a starting point for comparison. Giving up the family car isn’t for everyone, but once you’ve tallied the overall spending required to own and operate a car, sacrificing your vehicle might not sound like a bad idea.
Before making drastic moves, create an expense ledger documenting everything you spend to stay mobile, including the cost of repairs, car payments, and every day expenses like petrol and parking fees. Does the figure work within your budget? If not, can you make adjustments to accommodate the cost of keeping a car? If you can’t honestly say yes to either of these questions, you may be a good candidate for alternative forms of transportation.
If you’re committed to holding-on to your car, rearrange the numbers until you find an equation that works for your household. If you own two cars, for instance, you might be able to cut one from the picture, becoming a one car family. And if pricey repairs are a stumbling block, upgrading to a single, newer car might be worth the investment.
Squeeze Extra Life From Your Car
If your finances are like many Britons’, your monthly car payment is a substantial piece of your motoring budget. What if you could eliminate the payment obligation – even for a short while? Taking good care of your car can help you do just that, keeping it on the road longer.
Your driving habits, commute, and other factors influence how long your car will last. Parking it under cover, making needed repairs, and staying up with regular maintenance can help reduce wear and tear, extending your car’s life. If you’re fortunate enough to make your final payment on a well-kept car; every month you go without a payment is like putting extra money in your current account.
Older cars may need more attention, so it is up to you to draw the line when it doesn’t make sense to spend on further repairs. But until then, stretching your car’s useful life gives you a break from monthly car payments.
Do the Research
Buying a car is an important milestone. Except your house, a new car probably represents the most expensive item you’ll ever buy. Exploring the market and making wise choices can save you hundreds of pounds in the process, so it pays to do your research.
Fortunately it’s easier than ever before to compare makes and models online, using websites to price cars and weigh the benefits of various features. And when it’s time to lock down financing, online comparisons provide real time quotes and access to the best finance deals available.
Competitive car insurance rates are also shared online, allowing side by side comparisons for buyers. Before committing to a purchase, add monthly car cover costs to your payment, so you’re not caught off guard after you’ve signed a purchase contract.
Working the best possible deal, taking good care of your car, and in extreme cases, living without personal transportation, are three money saving moves you can make to ease the pressure caused by high motoring costs. Explore these and other creative possibilities when car costs become more than your budget can bear.