Owning a car is expensive. While vehicles provide a great deal of autonomy, independence, convenience and ease of mind, there’s a reason they’re a liability on most balance sheets.
Now, we’re not saying don’t own a car – because modern life almost always requires one especially if you live in a regional or remote area. We’re saying that they do cost money, but with a few tips and tricks, you can reduce the overall cost of keeping a car on the road. So let’s drive-by foresight and learn how you can lower your vehicle expenses.
Consider the Size of Your Vehicle
Larger cars cost more in the long run. They require more money to purchase, they cost more to insure, and they have more expensive fuel bills. Small cars, on the other hand, cost less to start with, are cheaper to insure, and are generally more fuel-efficient. So consider a smaller car, and you’ll pay less in finance repayments, insurance and for fuel. It’s a no brainer.
Shop Around for Insurance
Like power or the internet, insurance is a product where loyalty doesn’t pay. While some people stick with a brand they know for years, they could be paying hundreds more in premiums each year. When your insurance is up for renewal, shop around and see if you’re getting the best deal that you can. If you find a better deal, take it to your current provider and see if they can either match it or beat it. If you threaten to leave, they will try hard to retain you – it costs more to snare a new customer than it does to keep one.
Regular Servicing and Maintenance
A car that misses services or scheduled maintenance can end up costing a lot of money. Motors are complex moving machines that need some care and attention to keep them functioning at peak performance. So make sure your vehicle is in the shop for a check-up and a tune-up every six months or every 5 thousand kilometres. Don’t skimp on this – you might save a few hundred, but you could spend thousands in the future.
Find the Best Petrol Prices
You shouldn’t pay top dollar for fuel every time you need to fill up. There are apps that report fuel prices in your area. Or you could take advantage of major loyalty points offers – most providers will have ongoing fuel discounts available. Even if you need to drive another few minutes to fill up, you could save ten dollars on every tank.
Repay Your Loan Quickly
The more you pay off the principal of your loan, the less interest you’ll pay over time. So, if you have a variable rate loan that allows flexible repayments, take advantage and put any spare cash on the loan. This could save you hundreds of dollars throughout the loan. If you have a redraw facility, you can even get this money back for emergencies or a rainy day.
A Cost-Cutting Conclusion
So there you have it, a few easy ways to save money on car costs. Consider a smaller vehicle to save money on repayments, fuel and insurance. Shop around for the best car insurance on the market, and don’t be afraid to ask your current insurer for a better deal. Make sure that your car is regularly serviced and maintained, and shop around for the best fuel costs. Finally, if you have a variable rate loan put any extra money towards paying it off, and you’ll save heaps over the term of the loan.