Saving money on a car isn’t all about the price you pay when you drive it off the lot. Saving on car ownership involves small decisions made each day that you own the vehicle. Of course, choosing the right car for savings is important; see this list of cheapest cars to insure in Canada for good examples. But no matter what car you own or plan to own, there are expensive ways to own it and affordable ways to own it.
Insurance – Insurance is necessary for every car on the road, but not all owners pay the same rates. Car insurance varies according to many factors. Sports cars are more expensive to insure than towncars. This is the case for many reasons. Luxury vehicles cost more to repair, because their parts are rarer and more expensive, as well as because the repair work may be more specialized. Faster and stronger vehicles are more likely to be driven at speeds that could cause greater damage. Finally, desirable vehicles are more likely to be stolen. Think about these kinds of considerations when choosing any vehicle at all, not just sportscars. Choose one that will be easy to insure, insofar as that is a high priority for you. In some countries, old vehicles can be insured for next to nothing.
Maintenance – It costs more to maintain a car over time than it does to repair a catastrophic mechanical breakdown. It may seem like you’re saving money pushing your car to the limit, skating by on nothing but oil changes. But, this tends to shorten the life of your car and make it more expensive to keep on the road in the long run. It may seem disheartening to regularly maintain a vehicle. “I just had this thing in the shop a month ago!” Even so, this is better than having to sell your car for scrap 6 months down the line, only to buy a new one. Buying a new car is almost always the most expensive part of owning said car, and should be kept to a bare minimum.
Don’t Rely on Your Car for Everything – There’s such a thing as over-driving a car. Your car might be built for high performance, and may be able to stand up to some abuse. But why drive when you could transport yourself by bike, ride share, walking, or public transportation for as cheap or cheaper? This will save on fuel costs, wear and tear, and will be more resource-efficient than constantly driving your car, even when you don’t absolutely have to.
There are lots of ways to make owning a car affordable. Expenses of car ownership are associated with predictable uses and behaviors. If you can cut down on these, and up the ante when it comes to preventative maintenance, you’ll find that you can affordably drive your car for many years to come. Keeping it in a good condition will also increase its resale or trade-in value, further adding to the money you save over the lifetime of your vehicle.