For most of us, a car is the second most significant purchase we’ll ever make (with the top spot usually going to a house). If you’ve just passed your practical test and you’re looking to get out onto the road for the first time, then your budget might not be able to stretch particularly far. What’s more, once you’re in possession of the car, you’ll find yourself burdened by a whole range of costs.
Look into leasing
A long-term lease from a company like ZenAuto can help to spread the cost of the initial purchase. Certain forms of finance might protect you against depreciation in the event of a write-off, or help you to ultimately buy the vehicle, or swap it for a newer one after a few years. Look into the options and pick the one that best fits your circumstances.
Think about Fuel Economy
Among the more pressing costs imposed by a car is that of keeping it fuelled. This might be managed in two ways. First, you can look at finding cheaper fuel; second, you can look at making that fuel go further. Do your research and see if you can discover the cheapest pump price locally. If the stations near to your work are cheaper than those near to your home, then fill up near home. And vice-versa, obviously. Don’t fill up near to a motorway – these stations often charge a premium for the convenience.
There are several steps you might take to improve fuel economy. Keep your tyres properly inflated. You’ll find the appropriate pressures in your car’s manual. Write them on the front page, or you’ll forget them. Bear in mind that if you’re carrying heavier loads (including passengers), then you may need to adjust your pressures.
On that note, you should also ensure that the weight in your car is kept to a minimum. If you’re driving around with a set of kettlebells or a cast-iron skillet in the boot, you’re wasting money. There’s also reason to be cautious of air-conditioning. It’ll severely hamper your fuel economy if you keep it cranked. With that said, it’s worth turning it on every now and then to keep the coolant moving and save yourself the cost of repairs.
Don’t neglect maintenance
Keeping your vehicle in good condition will reduce the likelihood of a costly repair-job. Moreover, it’ll preserve the resale value. Look at regular maintenance as an investment. Put a little bit aside every month and then pay for it in bulk at the end of the year. You don’t need to pay for valet cleaning – that’s something you can easily do yourself.
Driving well isn’t just a matter of ensuring the safety of yourself and your fellow-road users. It also means saving on fuel expenditure. If you’re driving too fast, then all of that extra energy will be wasted when you need to come to a halt at a traffic light. Plus, you’ll overstress your brakes and wear them out. Naturally, being involved in a collision isn’t good for your finances either – another good reason to drive sensibly.
If you’re paying for parking every day, then the costs can quickly escalate. Do a little bit of research and look for a cheaper spot in the same area. Even if you’re just saving a quid or so every week, this can add up over the course of several years.
In the UK, insurance is a legal requirement. Look into the various comparison sites (not just one), and be prepared to haggle with your insurer. Their first offer provides them with a little bit of wriggle-room, so be persistent.