Ways To Avoid Spending Too Much On Car Ownership

Because of my chronic pain issues, I've considered whether or not I should buy a car. Or rather, I'd love to, but I need to not just consider the purchase price, but also the expenses that occur after that. These ideas from a reader on how to save money on car ownership was therefore a great read and things I need to consider.

Needless to say, a lot of us have gotten used to having to set aside a significant part of the household portion to help pay for the costs of the car. There are some who go as frugal as they can, going without a car. However, that’s not an option for everyone. As such, here we’re going to look at ways that you can make sure that you’re not spending more than you should, either when you buy the car or in your day-to-day with it.

Always consider used

First of all, when it comes to the car that you purchase, you should know that you’re always going to get a better deal when you buy used. Some people might feel a little uncertain about buying a car with a history they don’t know, so make sure that you inspect and test drive cars thoroughly, and buy it from a dealer rather than from a stranger on the market. Some dealers offer certified pre-owned cars, which are effectively used cars that have been inspected and sometimes refurbished to make sure they live up to standards that are set by the manufacturer. They’re a little more expensive than the usual used cars, but at least they can give you some sense of peace of mind about your purchase.

Make sure you’re buying with frugality in mind

The type of car that you’re buying matters just as much as how you use it. After all, there are several factors about the car that are going to directly affect how much you pay for it. For instance, there are some cars (typically sporty cars) that cost more to insure because they come with a degree more risk. Of course, the financial factor that’s most likely to be impacted by the car that you buy is their fuel efficiency. The better its efficiency, the less you’re going to spend on fuel. More reliable cars tend to be less expensive in the long run, as well, because they’re not as likely to need repairs and their associated costs quite as often.

Watch out for the extras

When you’re buying a car from a dealer, you always need to keep your wits about you. Aside from selling you the car that you’re going to drive off with, each and every one of them is going to try and upsell you on other things to help them meet their own targets or to get a commission. Some of the things they offer might be worth the money and fulfill your actual needs, but you should always consider the extras. This is especially true of things like warranties which are ostensibly designed to protect your pocket, but when looking at them, you to consider if Carvana Care is worth it, or whichever other option they offer. Never take on a warranty or an additional service without doing your research on what it actually entitles you to.

Be more mindful with your insurance choices

Your insurance is going to be another one of your most frequent recurring costs but there is a lot that you could potentially do to whittle down the costs of said insurance. The first car insurance choice you should make is how much cover you’re going to need. Enough to cover the costs of a collision, clearly, but if your car is kept in a public place and is a potentially valuable target, are you also going to need comprehensive? The truth is that most people tend not to. You also have to consider whether the insurer has any options that you can use to lower the costs, such as a black box that can record driving data to show that you are, indeed, a safe driver who deserves a lower rate.

Take time to maintain and care for your car

The other recurring cost that will rear its ugly head once in a while is that of maintenance and repairs. Every car needs it, from the standard check-up to make sure that there are no significant problems to the replacements for things like brake pads and spark plugs that need to be made every now and then. You should be ready for the routine, but also do your part to prevent the wear and tear that might make more expensive repairs necessary down the line. Learn some DIY car maintenance and repairs that you can do at home. So long as you’re comfortable with getting in there, you can save yourself some real money by taking more care of the vehicle.

Start building a repair fund

Even if you are very hands-on and you do a lot of preventative maintenance on your car, at some point you’re going to need to take it into the shop for repairs. However, how you pay for those repairs can help you save a lot of money. If you get a good idea of the average annual repair bill for your vehicle, you can budget for it. This way, you can pay directly in cash when the unexpected finally happens. Otherwise, you might end up having to take a line of credit at the garage, which can end up making any repairs much more expensive than they should be.


Do what you can to prevent expensive collisions

Your insurance might have some or all of your costs covered, but in some cases, collisions can be more expensive than you are able to cover, meaning that you will have to go out of pocket. Even when insurance does cover it, there might be some out-of-pocket costs to consider. As such, you should do what you can to reduce the chances of a collision as best as possible, such as by investing in defensive driving courses.

If you want to save money as best as possible, you need the right mix of preparation and thoroughness when it does come to the expenses that you can’t avoid. Hopefully, the tips above make it easier to keep the car that you need.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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