Running a car is a necessary expense for most people. Without some kind of vehicle, we would be less independent, unable to travel to work and we would be limited in many other ways. For some individuals and families, the cost of running their vehicle is one of the biggest monthly expenses.
First you have to buy the car. Then you have to pay for tax and insurance. Finally, you have to run and maintain it so that it remains road-worthy and is as reliable as possible. All of these outgoings soon add up to a large amount of money which could be put to better use. However, the good news is there are many ways to operate your car on a tight budget. These are some of the most effective ways to reach this goal.
Pay Less for Insurance
Paying car insurance is annual cost most car owners wish they didn’t have to pay. However, it’s a legal requirement and an expense which could prove to be important if you have an accident in the future. It’s a cost that can be reduced. Many motorists pay far too much for their insurance each year. Simply shopping around for the best insurance quote has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars every year.
Almost every major motor insurance company has an online insurance calculator. This makes it extremely easy to compare car insurance prices and different types of cover. In many cases motorists don’t need all of the cover they are paying for. Reducing your cover to suit your exact needs could save a large amount each year too.
Cars are not built to last and certain problems often occur during the year, especially if you own an older model. Maintaining your vehicle and replacing parts is costly, especially if you bring your car to a garage or hire a mechanic. The parts can be costly but the hourly rate some garages and mechanics charge is often way more than it should be.
Unfortunately, some garages and mechanics take advantage of the lack of knowledge of their customers. To avoid this situation, find out more about how your car works. If possible, get some help from a friend or family member who knows their way around a car and how they work.
Use the Latest Technology
The latest developments in technology will help you become more familiar with the workings of your car and the problems it may encounter. You can quickly find out information about any model of car through motoring websites, blogs, forums, social media groups and videos on video sharing websites like YouTube. Most of these online resources are interactive which allows you to ask questions, get advice and share motoring experiences with a wide range of people who are willing to share their knowledge.
As technology continues to advance, you can even take things into your own hands by purchasing affordable products like TOAD® (TOTAL OBD & ECU Auto Diagnostics™). This car diagnostics software package detects issues with a car, lets the user know what these issues are and recommends the best solutions to fix these problems. Unlike many inferior imports, it’s relatively easy to operate and understand this OBD, EOBD and OBD2 reader.
Once the results of a test are complete you can fix the problem yourself, if you have the skills and knowledge to do so. If you’re unable to fix the issues with your car, you can bring it to your garage and understand exactly what needs to be done and how much it should cost.
This knowledge prevents garages and mechanics from overcharging. If you’re not happy with a particular quote from a garage you can go to other car experts until you find someone who charges the appropriate amount for the type of work required.
Regular Maintenance and Checks
Most car owners live hectic lives, trying to balance family life with work life, as well as other activities. This means it’s often easy to neglect your car during the year and not maintain it properly. Regular checks should be carried out so that your car keeps running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. This avoids having to bring your car to the garage for more serious problems and also reduces the amount of fuel your car wastes during the year.
You can even carry out some important maintenance work yourself. Regularly cleaning your car, changing the oil filters and regularly checking and inflating your car’s tires are all simple tasks that help avoid more serious, expensive car problems.
Drive More Efficiently
The way you drive has the potential to reduce annual motoring costs. The more risks you take and the less you care for your car, the more chance there is to cause expensive damage to your vehicle.
The amount you spend on fuel each year can also be drastically reduced. Reducing the amount of time your car is idle while turned on, reducing the use of air conditioning, driving at the correct speed and reducing the amount of excess weight in your car are all simple, yet effective ways to reduce fuel consumption throughout the year.
Many car owners could save hundreds of dollars every year. Understanding how your car works, detecting problems early, using the latest technologies and driving efficiently are all relatively simply ways to keep more money in your pocket that would otherwise be wasted on your car.