Did you know that the average family in the United States spends over five thousand dollars every year on car insurance and loan payments alone? Although owning a car can be expensive, it is also necessary for many people.
Have you ever thought about the cost of car ownership and how you can fit it into your monthly financial plan? Don’t worry, you don’t need to sign up for that annoying extended car warranty, but you may need to compare personalized auto insurance plans, or shop around for a low-cost mechanic that will get the job done right. While we’re on the subject, here are some ways that you can save even more money on your vehicle.
1. Find a Good Mechanic
If you do not know what you are doing, mechanics can upcharge you for things that your car does not need. That is why it is important to find a trustworthy mechanic that will only fix what your car needs.
The best place to get mechanic recommendations is from friends and family. You may even get a discount if it is a small business, so you could save even more money on your regular car maintenance.
You can also look online for honest reviews of local mechanics. Reputable feedback sites usually do not allow owners to take down reviews, so you can get a good idea of the level of service that they provide.
2. Avoid Late Fees
You might be surprised how much extra you end up paying if you do not register your car or renew your license on time. Although forty or fifty dollars may seem like a small price, these fees add up over time.
Make sure that you know what date your car registration is due and pay it well before the due date. Ideally, try to pay it when you have a little bit of extra money so it will not impact your monthly spending.
Many state auto entities make it easy to renew your registration and your license by paying online. The process is much easier than going to wait in line and taking time out of your day in person.
3. Regular Maintenance is Key
Car problems can end up costing a fortune if you let them fester for too long. One of the biggest ways to save money on car ownership is getting your car checked regularly for problems.
For instance, if you feel your brake pads wearing down, you can pay a nominal fee to get your brake pads replaced so they are good as new. However, if you wait too long, you may have damage to your rotors, which are much more expensive to replace.
Spending a few hundred dollars every year on minor repairs and inspections can save you thousands and prolong the life of your vehicle overall.
4. Lower Your Insurance Premiums
If you have a solid driving record without tickets or overdue fines, then you may be able to lower your car insurance premiums. When you are a new driver, insurance companies tend to charge more because they consider you a higher-risk driver.
The theory that insurance goes down drastically after the age of 25 is true. When it comes time to renew your insurance policy every year, see if you can get a better deal with a clean driving record.
You can also get a lower insurance premium when you have paid off your car. Many lenders require you to have full coverage auto insurance because they need to protect their investment.
However, you can get a partial insurance policy and cut your monthly payment by a significant amount. This can add up to hundreds in savings every single year.
5. Refinance Your Car Loan
If you got your car loan at a higher interest rate, you may end up paying a lot of extra money over time. Since interest rates tend to fluctuate, you can get a better loan rate by refinancing.
An auto refinance site will help you to lower your payment to a manageable rate. This can free up extra money every month that you can put towards other things like bills or emergency savings.
6. Get a Model With Better Gas Mileage
Gas prices always tend to rise, so it is a good idea to invest in a car with good gas mileage. Usually, these are sedans or hybrid vehicles. This can be a lifesaver if you have a long commute to work or you drive quite a bit.
Sports utility vehicles and trucks tend to have lower gas mileage. However, if you absolutely need a car with lots of extra space, you can get a newer, eco-friendly model to lower your gas expense every month.
If you want to eliminate gas from your budget completely, try financing an electric car. Not only will you cut your gas bill, but you can often get a rebate on your electric bill for an electric vehicle.
7. Buy a Secondhand Vehicle
You may still be wondering, how much does car ownership cost? Well, significantly less when you purchase a car secondhand. You can get newer model cars that have a much lower price tag than the latest model.
When you buy a used car, make sure to get an inspection done so you do not accidentally purchase a lemon. Look at the vehicle’s history so that you can determine if it has been in any accidents or fender benders.
Many dealerships offer programs for used cars where you can get extended warranties or maintenance packages. It may be worth it to spend the extra and buy from a dealership because you will save a lot of money on car maintenance costs.
Know the Cost of Car Ownership
Whether you are a new car owner or you simply want to change your vehicle, you should not be in the dark about how much it will cost you. With this guide, you can determine the cost of car ownership and make sure that you have the finances for any problem that comes your way.
Want to learn more about all things related to automobiles? Check out our site for more tips and tricks for car maintenance.