Many people make the mistake of buying a car that is too expensive and end up owing thousands of pounds on their car finance. It is also easy to spend too much money on the running costs of a car and find yourself with no money left to actually make use of the vehicle. If you want to enjoy using your car and get good value for money, there are some useful tips to follow that will ensure you buy a car within a realistic price range and can afford to run it without overextending on monthly costs and even with the rise in the price of gasoline.
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Do You Need The Car?
First of all, ask yourself if you really need to buy a car. Do you live in a city where parking is difficult to find? There may be decent transport links that will allow you to visit your friends and family and get to work. In this way, you may not need to even consider buying a car. When you think about, insurance, fuel, and maintenance, it could turn out to be much more cost-effective to rent a vehicle as and when you need it.
There are plenty of other ways to get around instead of owning your own vehicle. Look at trains, buses, bikes, and walking. However, if you live in a locality where these transport options are limited, you may need to buy a car. So, how can you do this while still saving money on car costs?
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The first consideration is whether to buy a new vehicle or go for one that is used. Although we would all love the shiny latest model straight out of the box from the showroom floor, it is not always the best option. As soon as a new car hits the road, it loses a lot of its value. Yes, there are warranties and guarantees that give you peace of mind in case something goes wrong, but you can also get warranties with second-hand cars. Thus, you cut costs when buying the car, and it will give equally good service.
How To Save On Car Expenses
- Driving your car longer
The longer you hold onto your car, typically, the more money you will save. Exceptions include if you are constantly dumping money into a problem car to keep it running.
New cars are expensive, and they depreciate quickly. Did you know that the steepest depreciation happens in the first 5 years of a car’s life? Keeping your car for 10 years or more is the best way to get the most out of your money. Opt to keep your car for longer to save money on car expenses.
- Buy a Fuel-Efficient Car
As fuel prices rise now that there is fuel scarcity, people are spending more money on fuel. A smart vehicle purchase is one that meets your needs size-wise, but within that, you should buy as fuel-efficient as you can. Saving just N1,000 per week on fuel can lead to over N500,000 in savings per year. Amplified over 10 years, you could be saving enough to buy your next vehicle.
- Have Cars That Are Easy To Maintain
Another important thing to keep in mind when buying a car is how much that car is going to cost you to repair. Luxury brands will almost always cost more to repair. Other cars to watch out for are German brands and hybrid and electric vehicles. Japanese vehicles like Toyota and Honda are notoriously easy to work on, which makes them less expensive to repair because more mechanics will service them.
If you want to save money on car expenses, do your research when buying your car. If you are deciding between vehicles, choose one that will cost you less to repair when it eventually has mechanical issues.
- Drive Less
A way to keep car expenses low is to limit how much you drive. Other things, like saving gas, are important. You won’t pay as much in maintenance costs, and your cars will last longer the less you drive them. to an extent! Leaving a car and not driving it at all is also bad for a vehicle, and you can find the car infested with rats, wasps, and other pests.
Opt to drive your car once a week, and if you live in an area where this is possible, choose other forms of transportation like biking, walking, or public transit like busses, subways, and trains.
- Keep your car under warranty
A warranty is a great way to save money on car repairs. Most cars come with a warranty when they are purchased new, but most people don’t know that you can buy a warranty for your vehicle when your dealership warranty runs out. Having an extended warranty or a vehicle service contract can help you pay for car expenses that you simply can’t afford.
Car warranties are essentially insurance policies for car repairs. You pay a monthly premium, and when your car breaks, a small deductible is applied and the rest of your car repairs under your contract are covered.
A warranty is typically meant to cover the most expensive components of the vehicle, like the transmission, exhaust manifolds, and engine.
Car expenses can really eat into your budget and leave your monthly income dwindling. You should be able to manage your car expenses without cutting into your insurance and other necessities. How you go about this hold should be planned out accordingly to avoid any financial issues.
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