5 Ways to Reduce the Costs of Owning a Car
This post has been sponsored by Cars.com. All opinions are mine alone.
Buying a car is a big investment. Besides your mortgage or rent payment, it may be one of the larger expenses in your monthly budget. But simply buying a car is not the only expense—as the owner, you have to deal with maintenance and wear on the vehicle. Let’s take a look at some of the costs of car ownership and the ways that you can reduce the costs of owning a car.
Obviously, gas prices fluctuate and this is not an element that you can control. However, the type of vehicle that you choose can make a huge impact on the amount of fuel that you will need to buy. To save money on gasoline, you may want to look at smaller, more fuel efficient cars. Hybrids and electric cars also help to increase fuel efficiency. Many newer non-hybrid cars even have an “Eco-Boost” mode, which can also help to make the car run more efficiently and use less gas.
The older a vehicle gets and the more miles it travels, repairs are going to be needed. These types of costs can be limited, though, if you attentively follow recommended maintenance, such as regular oil changes, tire rotations, replace filters, and fluid checks. Another thing that you can do is to regularly wash your car, as some environmental factors can actually be corrosive to your car’s paint over time. These are relatively small expenses for maintenance that can save you, literally, hundreds of dollars in repairs if you were to let these things slide. Look for coupons in your local paper, or even inquire about special deals or packages at the dealership service department or auto shop. Or, if you want to try to save a bit more money on repairs and maintenance, you can learn how to do repairs yourself at Cars.com. Another great feature available at Cars.com is the Car Seat Safety Check. Not only do you want to maintain your vehicle to keep it running smoothly and cost effectively, but you can also find out a vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats in order to keep your the little ones in your family safe…
Insurance can be quite costly and can vary greatly between companies. Some factors that go into the cost of insurance remain constant though:
• Cars that are more expensive to repair are going to cost more to insure.
• Choosing higher deductibles can help to lower monthly costs.
• Maintain a good driving record—fewer accidents and claims means lower premiums.
• Bundle insurance policies. If you have multiple policies with one company you may be able to qualify you for additional discounts.
• Young drivers can lower insurance costs by earning good grades and not having a car in their name.
Everyone knows that as soon as you drive a new car off the lot, it is worth less. With lease programs still being popular options, many good vehicles are returned to the dealerships after a few years with less than 50,000 miles on them. Often, you are able to buy an extended warranty up to 100,000 miles, making these cars much less expensive choices, but still backed by the manufacturer.
Drive your car longer
Most depreciation occurs when the car is new and decreases at a slower rate the older the car gets. Buying a car and trading it in after only two or three years can put you in a negative-equity situation, whereas, keeping the car and driving it for six or seven years allows you to pay off the auto loan and, typically, get past any negative equity.
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