Re-tooling the cost of car ownership

For many of us, owning a car is a necessity, even when the growing pile of bills would strongly argue otherwise. Since selling the car isn’t an option, that leaves the money-conscious spender only one option: finding ways to keep their car at a lower cost. Fortunately, there are ways to achieve this if you understand what your car actually needs. From dealing with insurance to efficient tires, here’s a rundown of some key areas worth cutting down into a more manageable size.


INSURANCE


Ask your provider about a smartbox policy. These boxes actively record your driving habits so, if you’re a good driver, this will offer the proof to warrant a better policy. If you’re driving an older vehicle, look at the cost of repairing the vehicle versus replacing it.


Similar to a smartbox, a speed limiter can also reduce your insurance, as stated by both UK insurance providers and the American Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If your provider argues that you have the potential to speed – often citing your vehicle’s top speed for insurance calculations – this removes the factor from the equation entirely.


MAINTENANCE


Don’t agree to buy parts or additional services straight after a test or inspection, as this is how many garages make the most profit. Instead, shop around for the parts once you know what repairs need to be done. It might be less convenient, but you can save a lot of money.


Better yet, find a garage that is willing to let you bring your own parts. Many shops will offer this service, which enables you to source parts yourself and then pay the garage the service fee.


REPLACEMENT PARTS


You also need to consider a few factors when it comes to more specific parts. Is there an aftermarket part that is available? If you’re not concerned about the warranty, aftermarket parts may often be better than the manufacturer’s own so, if you do some research, you can find parts that are more effective in the long run, as well as being cheaper. Did you know that that efficient tires make a big difference to your fuel costs?


Economy tires are designed to be long-lasting options with minimal rolling resistance. The latter part is important – it means less fuel is used just pushing the vehicle against the road. Sometime’s there’s nothing wrong with used or refurbished parts. While this isn’t advisable for the engine, the likes of hubcaps can easily be sourced from second-hand collections for a fraction of the cost.


FUEL


Don’t buy premium fuel. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you could be spending around $100 in unnecessary costs. Check your manual to see if your car requires premium fuel, or if it is simply recommended. If it’s the latter, there’s little proof that the more costly premium gas will do anything beneficial.


Parking and storing your car in the shade stops fuel from evaporating. If you leave your car in a hot, sun-exposed area, just think how much money could be slowly floating away.


Be careful where you buy your fuel. Stick to the cheapest place possible, even if it means planning your re-fills in advance. You should also consider your local supermarket, as they often offer discounts for frequent shoppers at the pump, or vice versa.


IN SUMMARY


Owning a vehicle is just like owning any other long-standing financial commitment. By finding the right suppliers, specialists and parts, you can save money without sacrificing on quality. Of course, mechanics and car firms often like to take advantage of panic-buying when something does go wrong, which is why a clear head and a strong financial mindset will get you through these periods.





Do Personal Finance Yourself.

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