Car ownership can be expensive. Check out how How to Make Your Car Ownership A Little More Affordable
How to Make Your Car Ownership A Little More Affordable
Car ownership isn’t a joke; you can count on being stuck if you live outside the city or anywhere that doesn’t support public transport. Not only are you going to have to rely so heavily on a car, but owning one can be so expensive too. It’s a necessity, and all those mechanic visits are simply needed. There is no doubt that if anything goes wrong with your car, you’ll be limited on daily tasks (running errands, doctor visits, taking kids to school, etc.), and you’ll have a hefty amount to pay to get the car repaired.
Sometimes, it’s not even the car repairs itself, but parking, tolls, and the type of fuel it needs. So, when it comes to car ownership, here are some ways to make it cheaper for yourself and your family!
How to Make Owning a Car More Affordable
Can owning a car become cheaper? Sometimes, the idea itself just sounds as if it’s so far out of reach, but thankfully it is true; you can make it cheaper. Granted, some of these tips are not one size fits all, but you can at least expect them to become more affordable.
Consider a Lease
Depending on your situation, such as only needing a vehicle for work, this is an option. A lease is a way to get into a new car without having to buy it outright. It’s an option that can make car ownership cheaper, but it also comes with some drawbacks. One of the biggest is that you need to build equity in a leased vehicle. That’s because you’re paying for depreciation. Another drawback is that a lease usually has limits on how many miles you can drive each year. Depending on their lifestyles and car use, there may need to be more for some drivers.
Look for a Car with Good Gas Mileage
One of the basics is looking for a vehicle that gets good gas mileage. While this may seem obvious, many drivers ignore fuel economy when they’re choosing their next car. This can make a world of difference! Why drive a large diesel-fueled truck when you can get a car that goes 30 miles per gallon? It’s not just the model itself, as there are other influences. A car’s gas mileage is also influenced by the type of driving conditions it drives in, such as city or highway driving. Plus, if you’re using the air conditioning or heating, you can count on these using fuel too.
Consider a Carpool
Carpooling is a great way to save money on gas, reduce stress and avoid rush hour traffic. It can also be a great way to make new friends and meet people who have similar commuting patterns. Not all areas offer this; most cities and suburbs are where offices tend to be located. But if you live close to your coworkers, it could work out. You can even get a tax credit for making the switch to carpooling! As a bonus, getting a carpool also helps the environment. Since fewer cars are on the road, there is less pollution produced, and the air quality is better for everyone.
Drive a Smaller Car
Smaller cars are often a good choice for those who are looking to make car ownership cheaper. This is because they’re generally less expensive to purchase, are more fuel-efficient, and are easier to park on busy streets. In addition, many smaller vehicles have higher safety ratings than their larger counterparts, which means they’re far less likely to roll over in a crash or flip over when you hit a bump (sounds extreme, but it’s true).
Those who are thinking about buying a new vehicle should consider all the factors and think long and hard about whether they really need a large car or not. A big car usually comes with high maintenance costs, which could significantly increase your monthly payments.
This isn’t for everyone, but it’s at least worth a shot! If you’ve got good credit, refinancing your car may be a great way to save money on interest. But be sure to shop around for the best rates before you make your decision. You should also avoid refinancing your car if you’re underwater on your loan or you’ve recently bought it. These situations can negatively impact your credit score and make it difficult to secure a better rate. Think about this carefully, as this definitely isn’t ideal for everyone.
Drive Less Often
With gas prices at record highs, driving less often can effectively make car ownership cheaper. By making changes to your driving habits, you can save money on fuel and car maintenance while also reducing the number of emissions you create each day. You’re already doing your part to protect the planet by not driving so much, but limiting your driving even further can help you save on gas and reduce your environmental footprint.
You can do this by utilizing alternative forms of transportation, such as public transportation, carpooling, biking, or walking, instead of relying on your own vehicle. This may not work for you if you live in a rural area or even in a city that’s very spaced out. Unfortunately, the infrastructure in most American and Canadian towns isn’t built for pedestrians.
Minimize Parking and Tolls
If you live in a major city, are there toll booths? In areas like San Francisco and New York City. Sometimes, there are ways to bypass these, and sometimes not so much. The same goes for parking too; many employers don’t cover parking, so you have to pay by the day or per hour, and that all adds up quickly. Are there ways to avoid these? Sometimes, it can be as simple as using public transport.
Have a Regular Maintenance Schedule
Maintaining your vehicle on a regular basis is one of the best ways to keep your car running smoothly and help avoid costly repairs. Plus, keeping up with maintenance also helps your vehicle last longer and increases its resale value. Whether you drive a new or used car, it’s important to stick to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This ensures that your car will run in top condition and is safe for you and others. It sounds costly getting it checked on every two to three months, but you’re saving so much more money by doing “preventative care” than you would by waiting for it to completely break.
How to Reduce Your Car Insurance Premium
One thing that must be remembered is car insurance; this often costs car owners a lot of money each month. Fortunately, there is cheap car insurance around, and there are ways to lower your premium too!
Every car insurance company calculates premiums differently, so it pays to shop around for the best rates. That means getting at least three price quotes and comparing them. Insurers also look at the type of coverage you need and offer different discounts for various activities. You could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by changing your policy.
Reduce Your Coverage
It’s not entirely ideal, but it could at least save you some money. You can potentially save a lot of money, but be aware that this will increase your out-of-pocket expenses should you ever need to file a claim.
Ask for a Discount
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask! In order to reduce your car insurance premium, you should ask about discounts that apply to you. These could include low annual mileage, senior citizen discounts, or a discount for owning more than one car with the same insurer. A good driving record is also a key factor when it comes to finding lower rates. Safe drivers are less likely to be involved in accidents or traffic violations, which means less risk for both you and your insurance company.