Car Repairs

Controlling Car Costs: Saving on Insuring, Fixing and Fueling Your Ride

autos-1115600_1920Most of us would struggle to lead our lives efficiently without having a car to get around with but the big problem is that they can be a real drain on your finances with a host of regular expenses you have to find on top of fuel costs, including insurance, maintenance, and repair bills.

Here is a look at some savvy ways to keep those costs as low as possible so that you can enjoy the most cost-effective motoring possible.

There are tips on getting the best value out of each car you buy, why it pays to research before you buy, and how your driving habits could make a big difference to the lifespan of your car and your motoring costs in general.

Want the latest model?

A surefire way to burn through more money than you need to on a car is to trade it in too early.

If you have paid off the finance and you are now enjoying debt-free ownership the temptation is probably there to upgrade your vehicle and start again with a newer model. The standard argument not so long ago was that a car had a realistic lifespan of about 100,000 miles and holding on to a car beyond that mileage figure was asking for trouble and expensive repair bills.

That argument is outdated as cars are built to last a lot longer these days and it is feasible you could still be happily driving the same car even when the mileage goes beyond 200,000, provided you service it regularly and keep up with maintenance.

Even allowing for the repair and servicing costs, your motoring would be a lot cheaper if resist the urge to buy a newer model and get your money’s worth out of your current car.

Some cars are more expensive to own than others

It is not just the windshield price that you need to pay attention to, as some makes and models are more expensive to run and service than others.

There can be big savings to be made when you do your research and find out which cars are cheaper to own and if you are a DIY motoring enthusiast you can always download BMW service repair manuals and other models, to do some of the basic maintenance tasks yourself as a way of reducing your motoring costs even further.

Treat your tires with care

It is all too easy to fill up with gas and just drive away without giving your tires a second thought but that could be costing you plenty of extra cash each year and will mean you are refueling more often than necessary.

It is such a no-brainer to check your tire pressures frequently and keep them at the recommended pressure. If they are too low or too high you are not going to get as many miles to the gallon as you would if your tires were at the right pressure.

You might also want to consider the idea of filling your tires with nitrogen instead of air, as nitrogen doesn’t fluctuate as much with changing weather conditions, meaning you get better fuel economy and should increase tread life too, which another saving.

How’s your driving?

You can help yourself to save money on motoring costs by thinking about how you drive your car and trying to look after it with some more economical driving habits.

Simple things like allowing your car to warm up properly before you rev the engine too much and trying to drive less aggressively by accelerating slowly and breaking gently, will reduce wear and tear on your vehicle and improve fuel economy.

Short journeys are bad news

You have your car for convenience and it is great to be able to jump in and head off whenever you want, but you might want to think twice about making loads of short trips that last less than ten minutes.

The problem with using your car for short trips like this is that it can cause excessive wear and tear. Your engine doesn’t get a proper chance to properly warm up and those regular quick errands in the car can soon take their toll on your car and your wallet.

If you could walk or even cycle a mile or so down the road rather than use your car, it could add up to savings on repair and maintenance costs.

Do you need to change the oil?

If your car is a fairly new model there is a fair chance that you won’t need to change the oil as often as you might have thought.

Many newer cars now use synthetic oils and this means that the oil maintains a good performance and protection level for longer. Check what the recommended oil change interval is for your make and model and don’t over-oil if you don’t need to.

These are just some of the ways you can gain better control of your motoring costs and enjoy more cost-effective motoring.

Reece Lloyd is a personal finance researcher and consultant who enjoys researching and writing about the field. Always looking for ways to save money, he loves to share what he finds on various lifestyle blogs.


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