A Modern Expense: Top Tips to Get Your Transportation Costs Under Control

by James Hendrickson on April 25, 2017 · 0 comments

automobile-176989_640You would soon notice the difference and added inconvenience if you didn’t have your car to get you around, but your transportation of choice can prove to be very expensive if you don’t take steps to try and keep a lid on running costs.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy more cost-effective motoring, including a look at how to buy smart when getting a new car, how to squeeze the most value from your car, plus some maintenance tips that will help cut your annual car costs.

An expensive necessity

If you are a car owner you don’t need to be told what you already know about the ongoing cost of keeping a vehicle on the road, but this expensive necessity does have the capacity to drain a disproportionate chunk of your cash unless you are savvy with all your car-related decisions.

From the minute you drive a new car away from the showroom you have lost money and from there on in it’s an uphill battle to stay in the positive column with your motoring costs.

Stay loyal to your car

A good way of getting the best value from your investment in a motor vehicle would be to hold on to it for longer instead of being tempted to go for regular upgrades.

New cars are rising in price every year but they depreciate just as quickly as ever so you are making your financial situation worse by trading in so soon just to get your hands on the latest model.

If you can resist the temptation and stay loyal to your existing car for at least five years and ideally a couple more than that, this will help you to get the full value out of your initial investment and reduce the impact of depreciation by getting your money’s worth out of the car rather than giving it up so quickly.

In financial terms, this decision could deliver savings that are worth as much as $1,000 per year, which is a significant number and should persuade you to think twice about an early trade-in.

Avoid the extras

Staying on the subject of buying a new car, there are also some worthwhile savings to be made against your overall motoring expenses if you stay disciplined and reject some of the extras that the salesmen will try to add to your deal.

Two products that are regularly sold with new cars are credit disability insurance and extended warranties.

They are not useless extras as such and they do provide peace of mind, but the point to remember is that you might be doubling up on insurance you already have through your employer and the extended warranties often have limited coverage and can be more expensive than policies purchased directly from specific providers.

If you say no to these two options when buying your new car this could save you well over a $1,000, which is an amount you could use towards your ongoing motoring expenses.

Regular maintenance is important

If you are running your car on a tight budget it can be tempting to skip a scheduled service in order to save some money, but that could turn out to be a false economy.

If your car is not properly tuned and well maintained you could end paying as much as 25% or more on gas than you would if you kept your car in good order, and you are likely to attract higher repair bills than you might if you keep on top of a maintenance schedule.

Even if you are not that mechanically minded there are certain routine maintenance tasks that you could do yourself in order to save money on garage bills. You can download a Mazda service repair manual, for example, which gives you step-by-step guidance on how to do some minor maintenance and repairs yourself.

Check your tires regularly

Sometimes it is the small things that can add up to big savings over the life of your car and something as basic as making sure you drive around with the right tire pressures can save you hundreds of dollars every year.

You should check your tire pressures at least once a month. Under-inflated tires help to drain your gas tank quicker, make the car slightly less safe to drive, plus you wear the rubber out quicker and will need to pay for replacement tires sooner than necessary.

A quick check and inflate when you fill up with gas is a good habit to get into if you want to cut your motoring costs.

You can’t do without your car, but you can keep running costs lower if you follow some these money-saving tips.

Reece Lloyd works as a personal financial consultant. Always looking for the latest tips and tools, he likes to share his findings on various blogs.

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