We often spend months saving up for a brand new car. We haggle down the cost and negotiate reasonable monthly payments. Finally, you drive away in your beautiful new car. However, six months later you can easily be spending much more than you expected. The real hidden costs in buying a car are the running costs. That’s where the true cost of the car really hits us.
Running costs are everything from fuel, tax, insurance and maintenance costs. They soon add up to a hefty monthly outgoing. Even if you budget well ahead, the costs can creep up. Vehicles rarely hit the mileage they advertise when actually out on the road. You can end up getting a lower mpg than you expected. On top of that, fuel prices are rising constantly. If you’ve bought a new car from autohouse.co.uk, maintenance shouldn’t be a big worry. But, if you’ve got an older car, a breakdown or repair can hit you when you least expect it. Here’s our simple guide for lowering your car running costs.
Regular maintenance checks
The easiest way to avoid a huge maintenance bill is to keep on top of the small parts. Engine failure and breakdowns are usually the result of a few select things. You can keep these in check and avoid a large problem. The most important thing to check is oil. Get in the habit of checking it at least once a month. Look for leaks and check the level and colour. Every 30,000 miles have the oil changed completely. This keeps the engine running smoothly. Check brakes, tyre pressure and tread depth on a regular basis. Finally check all other liquids, particularly the coolant. This will keep the engine from overheating. Run out and you’ll pay a fortune to fix an overheated engine.
Change the way you drive
Excessive fuel is one thing we waste money on every year. The way you drive has a strong impact on your fuel consumption. We burn through fuel fast in traffic jams. On your morning commute, keep loads of space between you and the car in front. Keep rolling instead of stopping and starting. Change gears early when speeding up and stay within the speed limit. Fuel is burned fast when you push past 70 mph. You could even look for alternatives to driving to work. Try cycling, carpooling or a brisk walk instead. All of these will cut down your fuel bills.
Reassess your insurance
Car insurance is usually one of our biggest monthly outgoings. You can slash this cost by seeking out a new deal. Take advantage of introductory offers from alternative companies. If you’d rather stay loyal, try speaking to your existing company. Let them know about any change in your lifestyle or circumstances. Car insurance is calculated on a number of things. As you get older, your insurance should come down. Finding a garage for your car will also bring the insurance down. Even getting married lowers your premium.
There is always money to be shaved off when you know where to look. Start with these three simple tricks. Reduce your fuel costs, your maintenance bills and your insurance. You’ll be surprised at how much you save every month.
Thanks to Andrew Taylor for the image