From buying a car to keeping it running, every owner knows that their vehicle brings with it a big list of expenses. But a lot of car owners really aren’t doing themselves any favors. They’re not aware of actions that are causing their auto costs to rise and they’re not aware of the options that could drastically reduce them. If your car is burning a hole in your wallet, or you want to buy one while being as financially smart as possible, keep reading.
Look after your credit
Most of the larger costs on your car aren’t going to be costs you pay all at once. Most people finance their car with an auto loan and most people enter an insurance arrangement. This means taking credit. Naturally, the better your credit is, the better a deal it will get for you. A poor credit score will have people like auto insurance companies raising your premiums. The logic behind that is that since you’re recorded as being less reliable with long-term payments, they’ll try to get more money out of you sooner to cover their costs.
Buying a car is going to be the biggest cost of them all. One of the best pieces of advice we can offer is that you get your loan pre-approved before you even set foot in a dealership. The financing options offered there are usually nowhere near as good as you find on the other parts of the market. There are even sites like Lending Tree which can give you a good overlook at some of the different options available, helping you find the financing deals that work for you.
Plan for disaster
No-one should get caught off guard by repairs so much that they have to take extensive loans to cover the costs. Instead, you should be well aware that you’re at risk of an auto failure somewhere along the line. With that knowledge in mind, build a savings fund that’s dedicated to future maintenance costs and that alone. Knowing the right financial steps to dealing with a car accident is vital, as well. Whether it’s cheaper to replace than repair and whether you should consider making a legal claim.
Be fuel smart
Fuel costs are always going to weigh heavily on your wallet unless you stop driving. We’re not going to suggest that, we’re just going to suggest making sure you’re not burning fuel unnecessarily. For instance, let’s look at idling. There’s a huge misconception that it takes more fuel to turn off and re-ignite the engine than to let it idle. The truth is that idling more than ten seconds already wastes more fuel than re-igniting. Even in the winter, you can stop yourself from having to rely on idling by using tools like an engine heater, instead.
As with all big costs in life, a proper financial plan is what’s going to be the most important part of reducing your car costs. Take a bit more time to overlook them before making any decisions.