Car ownership can be an expensive thing, particularly if you haven’t taken steps to identify and mitigate the major costs. Not only do you have to worry about the cost of the car itself; you’re also going to have to settle all of the other running costs that come along with it. Over the years, the additional costs can mount up – but with a little forward planning, they can be easily guarded against.
Buying Second Hand
It’s no secret that buying a second-hand car will save you money over buying a new vehicle. This is reflected in the price you pay up-front, but also in depreciation. New cars tend to depreciate quicker, especially during the first few months. Thus, if you’re looking to sell again, you’ll end up out of pocket.
When buying second-hand, there are a few key factors you’ll need to consider. Firstly, the mileage and age of the vehicle, both of which will roughly correlate with its value. Secondly, the condition of the car: nicks and scratches give you grounds to negotiate a better deal.
Going to an approved used dealer will provide you with a layer of protection against fraud. If you are buying direct from the previous owner, make sure that you insist on inspecting it thoroughly, and taking it for a test drive. You never know what defects might appear!
In recent months, legal changes have come in which make insurance less of a hassle for the average customer. Put simply, insurers are no longer allowed to penalise you for being loyal, and you won’t have to spend time phoning around in search of a bargain.
But there are still ways to make your premium that little bit more affordable. You might fit your car with a black box, so that you can demonstrate just how safe and responsible a driver you are, and how small the risk is that you’ll be involved in an accident. You might also bump up the excess you pay voluntarily in order to reduce the overall cost of your insurance.
Cars are complex machines, and over time they have a tendency to wear down and eventually break. Thus, maintenance costs are a fact of life for motorists.
There are ways in which you might minimise the strain on your car. Stay on top of the maintenance that you can do yourself. Keep your oil levels topped up, and don’t allow yourself to get too low on fuel. Try to drive in the appropriate gear at all times, and keep your speed down to reduce the wear and tear on your brakes (and minimise the likelihood that you’ll be involved in a collision).