Cars are expensive, we can all agree on that. You have to fork out for your vehicle, whether that’s new or let’s face it, it’s going to be a used model most of the time. Then there’s the insurance and the rising premiums to cope with, and that can put anyone off. Being faced with the prices it takes to even run the car on top of that is just the sour icing on the face of the automobile cake.
With it taking about an average of $6500 to run a car just five years ago, it’s definitely going to take a lot more nowadays to try and keep up with the best kind of maintenance on your vehicle. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do it cheaply. Below are a few tips on how.
Try to Be Realistic
You’re not going to be able to cut costs completely when it comes to owning a car. That means you’re going to need to take some preparatory measures. Start budgeting early after you pass your driving test, or even before if you’re that confident or feel the head start is necessary.
If your car is something you need to rely on, having a daily drive around means the costs are going to be significant on your budget. You may have to set aside a little more each month in terms of fuel and planning money for any unforeseen repairs. Most importantly, don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re not going to need this cash fallback, and try to break out those legs a little more for any store trips (just to make things easier on you!).
Go For a Car Over 10 Years of Age
When a make and model is ready to head into middle school, then now’s the time to invest in it. Most cars that you see on the roads nowadays, and the ones that have those flashy ads on the TV have depreciated most of their value by this time, and thus costs are going to be significantly lower and stay consistent for you.
Try to Keep Driving to a Minimum
Of course we have a car to get around, and to transport things long distances or when they’re too heavy, and to just keep us independent and on our own schedules. However, only using the car when you truly need it is the best plan for you when you’re on a strict budget, and don’t want to spend more than $100 to $200 a month on fuel.
When you have a low mileage, you’re not going to lose an arm or leg over fuel costs. You’ll also be able to keep maintenance costs down, and it’s going to be easier to resell the car when the time comes for you to move on to bigger and better things.
Keeping a low mileage is easier said than done, and there’s always a precarious balance to their standing in the automobile world. It’s an attractive prospect, to have a low mileage car, but that can seem shady after so long out of the manufacturer’s hands, and the inflation on pricing can go wild at short notice.
Find Yourself a Cheap Insurance Rate
First of all, you need to make sure you have plenty of comparisons on your side. As a new customer anyway, you’re going to be faced with the best deals a company has to offer, as that’s what they use to draw people like you in (and that being a first time driver). Being able to save on your car insurance means you need to keep an eye out for the best dealers even before you purchase your vehicle. It’s good practice, and can score you a quick time buy you might not have gotten at any other time.
There’s quite a few components to getting some cheap car insurance cover, such as choosing a no frills agreement. This means you’re only paying for the standard insurance cover, and nothing else is covered under your agreement, such as windscreen damage or anyone else that might be using your car. You can also try the tactic of increasing your excess, as this can lower premium costs. You’ve got to be able to afford this however, so this idea isn’t going to work for everyone.
Budgets are difficult to keep to, and going over it every now and then isn’t a disaster. You can learn from this mistake and budget better in the future for your car use.