The cost of motoring represents a major annual expense for UK families. Compared to the price of other household expenses, transport ranks near the top of the list for personal spending. Alternate forms of travel help some commuters find relief from high motoring costs, but families committed to keeping a car can’t skirt the high price of personal transportation.
It’s easy to take your car for granted, as long as it functions properly and carries you to your daily destinations. But when things take a turn for the worse, and your car needs repairs, the cost of fixing it may present financial challenges.
Do you have an emergency fund to pay for car repairs? Will you use your credit card to cover the expense? Is your car under warranty? Answering questions such as these can help you solve financial dilemmas when your car breaks down. But wouldn’t you rather put off expensive repairs, by taking extraordinarily good care of your car? You can’t make your machine last forever, but you may be able to avoid costly car repairs, without spending too much time or money maintaining your car.
Steer Clear of Blown Tyres
Potentially dangerous conditions occur when tyres suddenly fail. Road debris or sharp objects on the motorway can puncture tyres unexpectedly, so no one is altogether safe from the possibility. However, you can take steps to avoid a costly and perilous blown tyre.
A blowout not only sets you back the price of a replacement tyre, but also the cost of removing your car to a repair shop. If you’re unlucky when the tyre fails, you may also have body damage to pay for. And what if other motorists are involved? What starts as a simple blown tyre could grow to become a major expense. Even with help from comprehensive car cover, the out-of-pocket cost for damage caused by a blowout can be a source of financial stress.
If your tyres are worn beyond safe standards, you may have to spend money, in order to save money. Replacing them before they fail saves money in the long run – and maybe your life. For long life and peak performance, periodically inspect your tyres for damage and always inflate them to the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure. Riding on underinflated tyres opens the door to damage and reduces fuel efficiency – ultimately costing you more money.
Slow the Pace of Engine Wear
Constant metal-on-metal contact wears engine components, so special lubricants are used to protect parts from premature failure. Over time, as you use your car, the lubricating oils break down, requiring replacement. Each manufacturer provides frequency recommendations for replacing motor oil, transmission fluid, coolant, as well as fluids for each car’s power steering and braking systems. Keeping up with the car maker’s maintenance schedule slows down engine wear and keeps your car operating at its peak performance level.
Protect Your Car’s Body and Paint Finish
Mechanical repairs can easily cost you thousands of pounds, but restoring your car’s exterior after paint or body damage can also add substantial sums to your motoring budget. Your paint finish wears best when it isn’t exposed to the elements, so storing your car in the garage can extend its life. You’ll also receive a break on the price of car insurance by parking undercover, so it pays, two ways.
Dings and dents to your car’s body panels are a nuisance, but you can take steps to protect your car from careless motorists. Parking in a remote section of a car lot can help you avoid dents from others’ doors, and driving defensively limits scrapes with other drivers, which can result in expensive body and paint repairs. Regularly washing your car is another way to keep its finish bright and unmarred by abrasive airbourne particles.
Transport costs weigh heavily on family budgets, so cost-conscious motorists take steps to reduce the burden. Regular service is one key to lower motoring costs, helping you head off expensive repairs. If you want longer vehicle life and fewer repair bills, mind your tyres, fluids, and exterior care; your car will perform better and hold up over time.