Anyone who owns or leases a vehicle knows that the expenses don’t stop after the initial investment. Vehicles can either be a great investment provided your car, truck, van, or SUV gets you from point A to point B faithfully, or a vehicle can be an endless money pit of problems.
Cost of fuel, insurance, and routine maintenance can set you back a great deal of money, especially if you take the first offer and fail to do your research. If you’d rather not spend thousands of dollars on extensive repairs that come from neglect, invest in your vehicle by taking some of the measures suggested below.
1.) Save on Gas and Oil Changes
Make a hard and fast rule that if you can get somewhere by foot you will not use your car. You can also fuel fuel rewards programs that save you money every time you fill up your gas tank.
It’s a good idea to get your oil changed every 5,000 miles — as opposed to the 3,000 mile rule from the days of old, especially if you have a newer car.
2.) Practice Safe Driving
Instead of putting the pedal to the metal, drive safely and obey all traffic laws. You’ll spend less money on car insurance as time goes on. Apply for any safe driving discounts available from your insurance provider to save dollars.
If your initial terms when financing your vehicle seem pretty unreasonable as time has gone on, it may make sense for you to refinance your auto loan — you’ll often save money and get a lower interest rate.
4.) Routine Maintenance
Taking care of your vehicle goes beyond keeping it clean inside and out. A good principal is to give your vehicle a good servicing every 30,000 miles or so. Another way to save money is to look into a good mobile mechanic. Often, mobile mechanics charge lower rates than brick and mortar car service and repair companies. Mobile mechanics can provide a variety of repairs and perform routine maintenance (such as oil changes, air filter replacements, battery replacements, and brake services) at your home or work.
5.) Buy Pre-Owned
If you can find a good pre-owned vehicle that is only a year or two old, you can cut down on the depreciation losses you can expect to have if you buy brand-new. Often, dealerships will have fairly honest standards when slapping their “Certified Pre-Owned” nod of approval on a used vehicle. Many times pre-owned vehicles will still have their warranty. If you pay with cash you’ll be surprised how much money you can save on a vehicle purchase.
Although owning a vehicle requires further investments, the expenses one takes on by owning/operating a vehicle are much better spent on maintenance and safe practices than spent on costly larger repairs that come along with continuous neglect. It’s better to budget routine care and keep high safety standards while driving than experience unforeseen events that can occur on the road and off the road.