Driving Straight to the Bank: 7 Tips for Car Ownership on a Budget
Owning and operating a car is a serious investment that can quickly put a dent in your finances. If you’re looking for ways to burn rubber without burning cash, here are seven tips for car ownership on a budget.
Buy used auto parts
When it comes time for maintenance, don’t buy new parts from the manufacturer. Instead, look to vendors specializing in used auto parts and try to do the work yourself.
The more you know about your car, the better, so don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty with simple repairs. Or, if you’re less mechanically inclined, consider contacting a white-glove service like this pick and pull in Utah. Even if you take the vehicle to a mechanic, providing your own used parts will make a difference in your bill.
Buy an extended car warranty
An extended car warranty will cover the costs of repairs. There are even some packages that will cover essential services, like oil changes and windshield wiper replacement. These packages are an out-of-pocket cost, but they can roll into an overall financing deal for your car.
While warranties are not necessarily cheap, they are a fixed cost, and they protect you against the risk of an enormous repair bill.
Cut your insurance costs
Insurance companies factor in lots of information when determining your rate. Everything from where you live to what kind of car you drive and your driving record is part of their analysis. But you can also ask for a less comprehensive policy, shop policies between companies, or take insurance-reducing courses to minimize your costs.
Perform preventive maintenance on time
No one wants to spend money on servicing their car. But performing your required maintenance according to the manufacturer’s schedule can help reduce the risk of incurring more significant repairs down the road. For instance, if you skip oil changes, the risk of damaging your engine skyrockets. Keep on top of your car maintenance Ps and Qs to avoid paying through the nose on repairs down the road.
Minimize fuel spending
Whatever car you drive, you need to provide it with fuel. Even electric vehicles need energy that you pay for out of your pocket. Consider minimizing the power your car needs by combining multiple stops into one trip instead of taking many trips for each different errand.
Downsize and modernize your car
If you’re driving an older gas-guzzling behemoth, you might save a considerable sum of money by trading it in for something smaller and more fuel-efficient. You can research lists of the most fuel-efficient cars and compare their mileage to what you’re getting with your current vehicle. You just might see a considerable upside to upgrading your vehicle.
Trim parking fees and tolls
For drivers, especially those living and commuting in big cities, the costs of parking and tolls can add up quickly. Consider strategies to minimize those expenses. One of the easiest ways to do so is through carpooling, and it also benefits the environment. Alternating driving duties with a co-worker will cut the costs of your tolls and parking in half.
Owning a car is expensive. There’s often no getting around it. However, you can save considerable money with these tricks up your sleeve. Good luck, and don’t forget to buckle your seatbelt.