So you’ve got your license, you’ve passed your tests and you’re in the market for a new car. Perhaps you buy something used, maybe you finance a new car, or if you’re lucky, maybe someone gifted you a vehicle or handed you down their own. Whatever you did to get your vehicle, you’re probably wondering about all the extra costs involved that are going to make deep holes in your pockets. Well, fear not! This guide is going to prepare you for all the various costs of owning a car that you probably haven’t even considered yet. So hold onto those wallets, get out a notebook, and start planning around these expenses.
Yeah, we can’t avoid it. In fact, nobody can avoid the costs of car insurance, and if you’re thinking of buying an expensive car or something flashy, then get ready to fork out a tonne of cash just to keep your car insured. The fact is, the more expensive and powerful your car is, the more likely you’re going to crash and ruin your car. As a result, companies charge extra to insure vehicles that have a lot of horse power, so keep this in mind before buying a supercar or something fast.
If you want the best deals, you’ll have to learn how to compare car insurance on the internet and shop around for the best deals. However, there are some more creative ways that you can lower the cost of car insurance. For instance, if your car is fitted with a verified alarm and is stored in a garage when not in use, then it’s less likely to be stolen and you’ll get a better price for your insurance.
If you want your car to remain road safe, you’ll need to take it to a garage on a regular basis to ensure everything's running smoothly and that the wheels have the correct level of pressure. Of course, much of this car maintenance work can be done by yourself at home with the correct tools. For instance, if you have a tire pressure gauge monitor, you could just measure it yourself and then take it to a gas station if it needs to be fixed. Learning how to maintain a car properly is going to save you a lot of money, so if you have the time, consider looking online for guides on how to perform maintenance on your vehicle.
However, you will still need to take your car to a mechanic on a regular basis even if you do perform your own maintenance. There are some things that need to be verified by a certified mechanic, and your vehicle will probably develop issues that can’t be seen or felt on the surface.
Unless you bought a hybrid car with excellent fuel economy, your vehicle is probably going to gobble up fuel faster than you could ever imagine. The costs of operating a car can get extremely high especially if you travel a lot. If you haven’t bought a car yet, then you might want to consider getting a vehicle that offers great fuel economy instead of getting a car with a massive engine that goes fast but doesn’t go very far. Of course, if you don’t plan to drive very often then you probably don’t need to worry about fuel economy. But then again, if you don’t plan to drive often, then why not just save the money you would spend on a vehicle and just take public transportation instead?
If you want to save money on fuel, then make sure your tires are constantly checked for their pressure. Tires that have low pressure can get damaged very easily and actually negatively affect your fuel economy. If you’ve already invested in a vehicle with relatively poor fuel efficiency, then you might want to think about how and when you drive your car. If you’re used to making diversions to pick up friends or ferry people around like an Uber, then you might want to start charging them or reducing the amount of time you actually drive by planning your carpools instead of winging it.
There’s also the option of tuning your vehicle so that it offers better fuel economy. This can usually be done on most modern vehicles but it’s something you’ll have to speak to your local garage about. However, this should be considered a last resort if you absolutely have to reduce the costs of fuel. This is because most vehicles are tuned to perfection and they offer the best balance of power and fuel economy. Buying a supercar and tuning the power down in order to get better fuel economy sounds like a huge waste of time because you might as well just sell the vehicle and get something else, but it does make sense if you’re driving it in a busy city and don’t have the time or freedom to use it to its maximum potential.
Depending on where you use your car and how often you drive it, you should expect to pay a relatively high price for parking. If you’re lucky and you live in a home with a garage, then this isn’t much of a concern for you. However, if you live in the city in an apartment, then you probably don’t have a dedicated place to store your care or you might be charged to use a parking lot. The price you pay really depends on your location, but it’s safe to say that if you live in a busy city, you can expect to pay a lot of money for a parking space. You’ll probably have to pay even more if you want a dedicated and private parking space, but if you travel a lot or find yourself cursing the lack of parking spaces, it might even be worth the money.
If you find yourself paying exorbitant amounts of money to park at work or wherever you go out, then consider saving the money and taking public transport instead. Yes, it feels a bit silly to own a car and still use public transport, but think of the savings you make. You don’t have to pay for fuel, you don’t have to worry about driving in a busy city or at night, and you save money on ridiculous parking fees.
It all comes down to the big question: do you really need a car? If the answer is “eh?” then you probably don’t need one and you could make the biggest savings of your life by just taking public transport or buying something cheaper like a bike. Of course, owning a car is often thought of as a status symbol, and if you’re part of a large family or you commute to work via car on a regular basis, then you probably have enough money to purchase a vehicle and not worry about all the additional costs of owning a car assuming you do your research and buy something suitable.
But still, owning a car can be a stressful investment due to all of the maintenance fees and insurance costs. If you really have to own a vehicle, then think about it from a realistic point of view and make sure your income is able to sustain these costs. You can reduce most of them to a certain extent and become a frugal driver, but at the end of the day, you’ll have to swallow those fees and costs if you want to be a driver.