Car ownership is expensive, but it can become a necessary evil. While there are certain things we have to pay for, this doesn’t mean we need to be spending an arm and a leg on these areas.
Planning ahead and making a few smart decisions can really help you to minimise what you’re spending on your car over the year. Keep reading for some ideas, tips and hacks to reduce your auto expenses and keep them as low as possible over the years to come.
Review Your Insurance
Believe it or not, you don’t have to stick with your insurance company ‘til death do you part. There’s nothing stopping you from reviewing your policy, noticing that you’re spending more than you need to be, and shopping around for a better deal.
Compare quotes from a few different companies and opt for the cheapest car insurance you can find that meets your needs. You might also approach your current insurer and let them know if you’ve found better deals – they might just lower your premiums to keep your business, saving you the hassle of switching.
Get a Second-Hand Vehicle
Oftentimes, a second-hand vehicle is a much better and more affordable option for someone on a tight budget. By going for a second-hand car, you’ll be saving on monthly repayments and perhaps even some other fees.
When you go for this option, you’ll only have to take out a small loan, or you might be able to buy the car cash, depending on what you have in the bank.
Use a Trusted Mechanic
Many people believe that they have to service cars at the dealership they purchased from. While this is your most reliable option, it’s also by far the most expensive.
If you can find a reliable mechanic, you can probably get your car serviced (and have any repairs done) for a fraction of what you’d be charged at a certified dealership. It’s best to use mechanics who you’ve personally had good experiences with, or who have been recommended by friends or family.
Fuel is expensive too, and the more you drive, the more you’ll spend. You might not have known that the better you drive, the less fuel your car burns. Think of this as an incentive for good behaviour on the road.
There are a few tricks involved here, however. You can learn how to drive for fuel efficiency – it might just take a little practice.
Walk and Cycle More
Of course, the less you drive, the less you’ll be spending on fuel overall. No amount of tactical driving can beat the act of lacing up your shoes and walking, which is absolutely free.
Save your driving for the trips you really need to use your vehicle for. Making the decision to walk to the gym or to the grocery store, or even to get your morning coffee, can make a huge difference. As a matter of fact, this will benefit your wallet, your health, and the environment all in one tiny habit.