Having a car is a great privilege but it’s also one more (major) expense for your monthly (or annual) budget. Now, one of the best things about the cost of owning a car is just how much it can be affected by your habits and behavior. This means that if you’re looking for a way to make a difference in your household budget, you might want to start with the maintenance of your personal vehicle. Here are the top five tips to help you out.
Develop the right mindset
The first thing you need to do in order to save money is to develop the mindset that will allow you to do so. First of all, there’s the amount of money that you actually can save based on your commute, the age, and model of your car, and many other factors. Setting unrealistic expectations on how much you can save is definitely a horrible idea that will certainly backfire. Also, buying low-end parts in order to save money will ensure that your car breaks down more frequently, which will end up costing you substantially more.
Buying a used car
Previously, we’ve mentioned the fact that the age of the car is one of the major factors when it comes to the overall cost of its maintenance. By following this logic, it sounds only natural that a new car is an optimal choice, right? Well, not necessarily from the point of cost-effectiveness. You see, personal vehicles are one of the asset types that get hit by depreciation the worst. This means that there’s a stellar difference in market value between a brand new car and a car that’s almost new (1-3 years old). By learning a thing or two about the optimal way to buy a used car, you can make this into one of the most cost-efficient decisions that you’ve ever made.
Saving money on repairs
Now, there are two ways in which you can save money on repairs. The first one is doing them on your own. We’re talking about projects like windshield wipers replacements, spark plug replacements, and even some more complex repairs. This, however, won’t always be possible. Still, even if you have a skilled mechanic on your side, it’s possible for you to buy aftermarket car parts on your own in order to cut costs and later have them replaced by a professional. This way you get the maximum effect for your money.
Your tires make all the difference
One more thing worth mentioning is the fact that the state of your tires makes a massive difference in the maintenance of your vehicle. Why? Well, first of all, because it drastically affects the fuel economy. Second, because it determines the level of control that you have (size and tread), which affects the overall on-road safety. Regularly replacing your tires, rotating them, and checking their pressure are just three things that you need to do on a regular basis.
Lastly, you need to keep in mind that your driving habits affect the amount of money you can save both on fuel and on the overall maintenance. Gradually accelerating, cruising, avoiding tailgating scenarios where you have to brake sharply are just some of the ways in which you can achieve this. Provided that you’re driving with a stick, knowing how to shift gears efficiently can also make quite the difference. One last thing worth bearing in mind is the fact that excessive idling is not only bad for your fuel economy but for the state of your car, as a whole.
As you can see, saving money on car-maintenance is not really a complex matter. However, it’s always easy to entrust this to someone else or simply avoid worrying about it until there’s an actual problem that has to be resolved. Still, it is also quite expensive. With the above-listed five tips on your side, you can avoid this problem quite effortlessly and get the most value out of your personal vehicle.