Car Ownership and it’s costs
Vehicles are certainly up there in terms of expenses. In fact, if you compare owning a vehicle to anything else you buy it will by far give you the least return for your investment. Unfortunately in this day and age where most people need to drive to work, school and other locations it is almost vital to have a car to get where you need to go.
So, how can you make owning a vehicle less costly? Well, there are three major expenses associated with having your own transportation: cost to own, maintenance and insurance. By being creative you can find ways to trim the cost and leave more for other things (like your next car).
Here is a rundown on ways you can be a frugal car owner:
Cost of Ownership
Not only is car ownership expensive, but as every day goes by your car becomes worth even less. The more you pay for your vehicle, the more you lose. So how do you cut down on the cost of owning a car? For one, pay as little as possible. This means you should never, ever buy new. As soon as you leave the car lot you basically throw twenty percent of your vehicle’s value out the window.
Look for lease returns or demos if you want a near-new vehicle. Also do some research on what your vehicle is going to be worth when you decide to sell it. Some vehicles may be pricy in the beginning, but quickly lose value. Others maintain a good value throughout, since they are considered more reliable and have a longer lifespan. The more your vehicle is worth in the end, the less you end up paying for it.
A great website for researching the value of new and used vehicles is www.edmunds.com. They have an extremely useful calculator that can tell you the true cost to own a particular vehicle (including depreciation), and offer tons of resources to help you pick the perfect auto.
Keeping a vehicle running smoothly is something that we all spend money on, even if we have a brand new vehicle. Tires, oil changes and routine maintenance is par for the course when one needs transportation, and the older our vehicles get the more we spend on fixing the parts that wear out.
Oil changes, fluid top ups, some tune ups, and tire rotations can be handled personally, or you can recruit a reliable friend to assist. This can save you a few hundred a year and will keep you more attuned to how your car is performing. The major stuff should be handled by a garage, but make sure you shop around to get the best price.
The best way to save on maintenance is to buy a vehicle that isn’t going to give you a lot of trouble. Look for vehicles with high consumer ratings and good reliability. Subaru, Toyota and Nissan are a few companies that offer decently priced vehicles that tend to stay on the road a while longer than the competition.
Don’t we all just love paying insurance? Not really. Although car insurance provides a necessary safeguard against theft and collision, it is a large expense for any family to bear. Save money by shopping around your insurance quote to make sure you are getting the absolute best deal. Ask the insurer if there are ways to reduce your insurance cost. Many companies will offer a discount if you combine your home and car insurance, so ask if this is possible. Also avoid buying a vehicle with a higher insurance cost – again you can research this at www.edcuellar.com.
What is the absolute best way to save own owning a car? DON’T BUY ONE!! If there is any possibility that you can get by without a vehicle, or by cutting down from two vehicles to one, do it. It may take you a bit longer to get around town, but your bank account will sure appreciate it.