Cars are expensive, it’s as simple as that. From financing your car, to repairs, it can feel like you are always putting money into your vehicle. But the convenience of being able to jump into your car whenever you want and drive wherever you need to be cannot be beaten.
There are ways to curb the financial drain of owning a car. It does take a little planning and investing in the right tools and technology, but it can help ease the stress of yet another car repair.
Your largest cost will be from the vehicle itself. With the proper planning and research you can find your best option for financing. Finding the right financial advisor will not only make purchasing your vehicle a breeze, but will save you a tremendous amount of money in the long run.
“Whether you’re looking for an auto loan for a new or used vehicle, finding a low-interest rate is not something that you’ll want to overlook. The lower the interest rate, the lower your monthly payment, so be sure to take the time to find what will be best for you,” advises Jade Beckman, Vice President of Consumer Loans at Mountain America Credit Union.
The second-largest cost when owning a vehicle will be your insurance. Always check for discounts on car insurance and check often.
Look into new insurance plans yearly because the insurance market is extremely competitive. You might find a deal this year that wasn’t available before. Be careful to make sure you’re comparing all the options. It’s even a good idea to print out the details of each insurance option and compare them side-by-side. While one insurance may come in cheaper, you might also be sacrificing some benefits.
You will need to repair your car at some point. Whether it’s regular maintenance or something more serious, the longer you have your car, the more likely you will have to take it into the shop. With some planning you can lessen the pain of having to pay for a car repair. Setting aside a little every month can help you not go into debt or be financially strained when your car is in need of some work.
According to AAA, the average monthly cost for car maintenance is $99. This includes things like tire rotations and oil changes. Setting aside a little more every month, even if you don’t use it, will keep you from going into debt for your vehicle.
Another way to save money is by doing the regularly scheduled maintenance recommended for your vehicle. This will keep your car running at its best, which will also save you money in gas and save you from unexpected trips to the mechanic. A little planning can go a long way in avoiding major issues with your car.
Your car may be equipped with the things you prefer, like a great sound system, but consider some additional add-ons, especially if your car is an older model.
No one wants to pay for cosmetic damage to a car — even worse someone else’s car. So many of us have been there, backing into another car with that sickening crunch that follows will make your heart sink. Even the slightest ding comes with a hefty price tag. The best way to avoid these types of accidents is by investing in a wireless backup camera.
You should also think about dash cams, Bluetooth audio adapters, or parking aids that allow you to park in your garage without having to guess the distance. All of these add-ons can help you keep your car in top shape for longer.
With a little planning, regular maintenance, and some extra tools you can stay safe on the road and keep more money in your wallet.