When it comes to the things you spend most on in life, cars seem to come near the top of the list. As car manufacturers continue to improve their vehicles, they know that people are expecting their cars to last for years and years. As investments go, cars are not the best but they are so essential for so many people. It’s not just that first cost of actually buying the car you have to think about, but all the other things that come along with it. Tax, insurance, repairs, new parts...and that’s just off the top of my head!
Though many of these expenses are impossible to avoid, there are a few things that you do have control of that will help you save money and keep your car running smoothly for as long as possible.
Think About What You Are Using Your Car For
Before you actually take the plunge and buy your car, you should think about how many people you will be driving around, how much weight you will usually be carrying and how many miles you will be covering.
A good rule of thumb is to buy a car that is as small as possible but still fulfils your needs. If you tend to use the car on your own, investing in a small one like a Toyota Aygo is a great way of keeping fuel costs down. Not only this, your annual road tax bill will be next to nothing which is always a good thing!
For larger families, Sport Utility Vehicles or SUVs are a hugely popular and practical choice. Manufacturers have caught up with the fact that many families cannot afford these larger vehicles and so have released a smaller range of ‘crossover’ cars that perform like SUVs but are smaller and more fuel efficient.
Road tax depends on how much CO2 your car releases so think about investing in an energy efficient one that is not only good for your wallet, it is good for the environment! If you are a person who really burns up the miles on a regular basis, you may want to think about getting a diesel car that will work out cheaper in the long run. Having said that, petrol cars are better for city driving.
The best advice I can give is to sit down with a pen and paper and work out what you will be using your car for as well as roughly how many miles you will be covering every year. From there, you can make a better choice about buying the car that perfectly suits your needs.
When it comes to getting your car, think about financing options - approvenow can help with this.
Don’t Drive Like A Maniac!
This is advice which is good for you and everyone else around you! We have far too many accidents caused every year by people who are driving recklessly and it’s incredible how being behind a wheel can bring out screaming fits of road rage in even the most mild mannered of people!
Not only is keeping calm behind the wheel good in terms of safety, it is also good for the day-to-day expenses of running a car. Sudden accelerating and braking is bad for fuel efficiency and can cause unnecessary strain on your car. It’s much better to drive as smoothly as possible. If you drive a manual car, make sure you keep it in the right gear. You will want to keep it between 2000 and 2500 rpm which will ensure you spend less on gas in the long run.
Make sure you keep to the speed limits. Not only is this a good thing for general road safety, driving too quickly will significantly raise your fuel bills.
Learn Some Simple Car Maintenance
While it is very important to take your car into the mechanic if there are any serious problems, some people bring it in more than necessary which can result in huge bills. Some people are on autopilot from the moment they step into their cars, and therefore do not notice any problems that may be staring them in the face. If you notice any issues, your first port of call should be your car handbook.
Something that you should be doing often is checking your car fluid levels. Keeping track of your oil levels is something you should do on a regular basis and is a very simple process. Grab a cloth or rag of some kind and go to open up the hood of your car. Take out the oil dipstick and wipe it down. Put it back inside and then pull it out again to see if the oil level is correct. If not, top it up.
Another thing you should think about is your tyre pressure. Before any long journeys when you top up your car with fuel, check to make sure that your tyre pressure is at the recommended level. Remember, the pressure varies depending on how much weight you are carrying so always bear this in mind!
One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to always listen to your car. If you notice any strange noises, think about what could be causing them. A constant clicking as your tyre spins could mean that you have driven over a nail or screw. If you know how to change a tyre, all the better! It’s definitely worth watching some YouTube videos as this is a great skill to have in your locker. Another good skill to learn is what to do if you find that your car battery is flat. Learning how to use jump leads can save you a huge amount of money in calling out a repair truck.
If you can’t identify why your car is making strange noises or where the sounds are coming from, make sure you take it to a mechanic as soon as possible. Driving it while there is a problem can result in even more damage.
Even learning the basics about your car can make a huge difference and save you thousands.