Owning a car is a convenience with a cost attached. After draining your bank accounts to purchase the vehicle, there are a number of expenses you’ll have to cover as the owner. There’s the monthly car payments, insurance costs, gas, motor vehicle fees, maintenance, and the occasional repairs. Depending on your budget and the type of car you drive, these costs can take a toll. As you need the car to get around, your best resolve would be to find a way to handle it.
The larger and most consistent cost associated with car ownership is the monthly payments. Unless you were able to purchase your car outright, you probably used an auto loan to secure the vehicle. This means you’re on the hook for monthly installment payments over the next few years. Here are some quick tips to make it more affordable:
- Roundup – When making car payments, round it up to the nearest hundred. This will allow you to pay the car off faster and save on interest.
- Refinance – If you’re in a better credit status, you may be able to refinance to get the payments and/or interest lowered.
- Make bi-weekly payments – As there are 26 pay periods in a year, breaking your car payments into bi-weekly portions can help you pay the car off faster and save.
Another expense you’ll have to cover is insurance. As required by law, all drivers must have adequate insurance coverage on their vehicles. Here is some advice on how to keep those costs low:
- Pay insurance annually – customers can save a lot of money by paying their insurance premiums on an annual basis. If you don’t have the lump sum up front, you can always use installment loans to make the payment in advance.
- Up your deductible – the deductible is the amount of money you’re required to pay should you get in an accident and need to file a claim. Raising this amount places a lower financial responsibility on the insurance company and gives you a discount.
If you’re going to get where you’re going, you have to put gas in your car. Averaging several dollars per gallon, this can be a great expense to someone who has to travel far distances. Saving on gas is not as hard as you think:
- Use a gas app – you can download a mobile app to your phone that will tell you where the cheapest gas is.
- Get a gas card – gas cards are a convenient method for paying for gas. Many companies also give cardholders discounts like percentages off their gas prices as an incentive.
- Be a responsible car owner/driver – driving the speed limit, keeping your tires full, and keeping air filters cleaned are all advisable for keeping the costs of gas low.
Maintenance and Repairs
The final expenses of car ownership are maintenance and repairs. Your car needs routine maintenance to remain efficient and as it gets older, will need repairs to keep it intact. Here are some ways to save:
- DIY – many car maintenance jobs can be completed on your own which can save you thousands in labor fees.
- Keep up with maintenance – neglecting the need for an oil change, tire rotation, or air filter change can result in the increased deterioration of your car. Maintaining the vehicle helps you to save on repairs.
- Go to a local mechanic – instead of going to the big names, find a local mechanic to take your car to for repairs. They charge a lot less.
Owning a car, for many people is a necessity. However, this necessity comes with a hefty financial responsibility. If you’re having trouble keeping up with the costs of car ownership, perhaps these tips will help you to get back on track. If you’re still struggling after trying these tips, you may need to consider selling the car to purchase one you can better afford.