Car

How To Save Money When Buying And Running A Car

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No matter your age, gender, or circumstances, buying and running a car is a big expense. Often people pass their driving test years before they buy their first car, simply because they can’t afford to buy and run one at the time. Although buying and running a car is never going to be the cheapest thing on the planet, there are lots of ways of making it cheaper for yourself, meaning that you might be able to get the expenses low enough for you to purchase your own car. Here are some of the biggest expenses of owning a car, and how to make them that little bit cheaper for you:

Buying Your Car

The most obvious expense of buying a car is actually buying the car. The first thing that you need to consider is whether or not you really need a brand new car. If you’re trying to save money, then your answer really should be no. Just because the car has had a previous owner or two, it doesn’t mean that there’s necessarily anything wrong with it, especially if you ensure that you take it out for a test drive, check all of the relevant documents, and give it a once-over. It’s no secret that buying a used car is going to be massively cheaper than buying a brand new one, so you should at least consider it. Be sure to shop around for the best value for money, and try to haggle with the car owner to get an even cheaper deal. It may not work, but if you don’t try, you’re never going to succeed.

Car Insurance

As long as you have your car, you are going to need to have insurance, so it makes sense to try to save money on auto insurance too. Like with buying the car (and anything else really), shopping around is the best way to get the best deal. Different car insurance companies will offer you different rates for about the same thing, so it pays to do your research and check several different companies websites to find the best rate. Don’t just go for the cheapest offer, as it’s unlikely to offer you much cover. Instead weigh up what it is that you actually need covering for, and compare the prices of these policies. Ensure that you only pay for the miles that you actually use, and ask for a discount if you don’t intend to use your car all day, every day. If you prefer to ride your bike to work, or simply work from home, you will be using many fewer miles than if you drove to work every day, meaning that insurance companies could offer you up to or even over a 10% discount on the cost of your insurance per year. You are also likely to get a much better price if you have a good credit score and credit history. Good credit history shows that you are capable of paying your bills effectively and suggests to insurance providers that you are going to make fewer claims. If your credit score isn’t up to par, you may want to consider ways of increasing your credit score before buying a car.

Fuel

Petrol or diesel is another thing that you are going to have to pay for the entire time you have your car, so you should try to make it go as far as you possibly can on as little money as possible. Start off by finding the cheapest place to buy fuel in your area and always go there to fill up. It may be inconvenient at times, but saving just 5p on every liter of fuel could save you up to and over £100 a year. Then you need to consider ways of using less fuel in the same distance. Simple things like driving too fast or revving the engine will use extra amounts of fuel that you can’t afford to waste. The weight of your car will also cause you to use more fuel, so try to make your car as light as you possibly can. You can do this by not storing anything heavy in your boot, removing your roof rack when it’s not in use, and carrying passengers as little as possible. Also be sure to turn your engine off whenever you’re not driving, rather than leaving it running while waiting for someone, as idling wastes about half a gallon of fuel per hour. Alternatively, you could carry passengers, and car share when heading to work. Not only does this mean that you have to drive less, which is something that you might not like to do first thing in the morning, but you also only have to pay for half of the fuel for going the same distance.

Repairs & Maintenance

The first place you should start is with a reputable auto repair shop. Note, that I said reputable and not cheap; Cheap work often involves cutting corners, meaning that you’ll be back at the shop in a few weeks with more problems, therefore meaning that you’ll have to spend even more money. Instead, as family and friends if they have a repair shop or mechanic that they trust and always visit. If they don’t, ask your Facebook friends for some advice, or post the question on a forum or two. Check the suggestions out online, looking for reviews of their work or testimonials from their customers. You should also ensure that the shops are certified. Unfortunately, reputable mechanics don’t usually come cheap, so if this is still too expensive for you, you may want to consider saving money by being your own mechanic. There are a lot of helpful guides and videos online for you to read through and watch, that explain to you how to complete basic repairs yourself. As long as you have the right tools, a little patience, and a willingness to learn, you should be just fine completing simpler repairs and maintenance work.

Parking

Although parking doesn’t seem like a massive expense in the short term, it certainly adds up. Sure, if you head out on a day trip and have to spend a few dollars on parking, it’s not too big of a deal, as it’s just part of the overall expense of the day. But if you have to pay to park every single day, such as outside of your workplace, a few dollars quickly turns into fifteen to twenty dollars every week, which will be a couple of hundred dollars every year. Because of this, you may want to do some research and see if there is a parking permit available for you to buy for places that you frequently park, such as outside your workplace. This permit will likely cost a lot less than the price of purchasing parking tickets every single day. Whether this is an option or not, car sharing would be useful here too. This would mean that not only do you only have to pay for half of the fuel, but you will only have to pay for half of the parking, thus saving you, even more, cash in the long run.

Garage Hire

It’s not just outside your workplace that you have to worry about; You may not have any parking available to you outside your property either. In this case, there may be garages available not too far from your home, which you can use for a fee. These garages might be owned by your local council, but possibly could have been brought from them and is being privately rented. The rent on these garages is likely to be paid weekly, but you may be able to pay the rent for an entire year, depending on who the owner is. If this is the case, you may be able to haggle yourself a discount on the overall cost of the rent of about ten or fifteen percent. Once again, this isn’t a ton of money, but it is money that could easily be spent elsewhere, such as on a nice holiday abroad or redecorating your house.

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they think how much easier their lives would be if they had a car. They could drive themselves to, and from work, school, or anywhere else, rather than have to rely on unreliable public transport, or pester friends and family members for lifts here, there, and everywhere. Buying your own car is fun and exciting, but it definitely isn’t cheap, so you need to be sure that you’re ready for the financial responsibility before you start looking online and in local newspapers. Hopefully, this has given you some ways to cut costs a little when it comes to buying and running your own car and has helped to make your dream of owning your own car look a little bit more like reality. There are many other tricks to save money on your car, so be proactive if you want to make your money go further.
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