Practical Ways To Reduce The Costs Of Vehicle Ownership
A vehicle is undoubtedly one of the single most expensive purchases you will make in your life. However, you couldn’t be more wrong if you assume that the only expensive aspect of owning a car is purchasing it. AAA’s 2021 “Your Driving Cost” study reveals that the average annual cost of owning a new car is a whopping $9,666. Luckily, there are several things you can do to lessen your annual car ownership costs. If you wish to learn more about lowering the costs of vehicle ownership, take a look at the points below.
- Buy pre-owned cars
Many experts agree that depreciation is one of the highest costs of car ownership. Indeed, new cars lose about 25% of their value immediately after leaving the dealership. Additionally, new cars can lose up to half their initial value after five years. As such, it is reasonable to buy a used car instead of a new one. You can usually purchase a driveable used car upfront at a very cheap price with no monthly payments, although you will spend a lot on maintenance. On the other hand, a new car has high financing costs but lower maintenance expenses. Still, it is way cheaper to own and maintain a used car for five years than a new car.
- Review or change your insurance
It has likely been years since you reviewed your car insurance policy. However, it is critical to note that the changing nature of insurers and risk appetite means that some providers will offer different rates at different times. Indeed, the insurance market is increasingly competitive, and many providers are hungry for clients. Therefore, shopping around for new insurance rates at least every two years can help you save money on premiums. Also, it is advisable to review your policy over time as chances are you are driving less than you have in the past. As such, you may qualify for a low-mileage discount or a pay-per-mile insurance policy. The main question on the minds of people considering this policy is, “how does pay per mile insurance work?” This insurance type factors in how often you drive to determine your premiums. You will pay an unchanging monthly base rate determined by factors like your gender, car model, and age. This base rate will be paid alongside a monthly mileage rate, which is subject to change.
- Stay on top of preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance can identify issues with your car before they worsen and cause more severe and expensive damage. Therefore, never skip preventive maintenance sessions since you may end up spending more on emergency repairs if your vehicle suddenly breaks down. You can follow a strict preventive maintenance schedule after consulting the car manufacturer’s manual instead of guessing how often you should service your car. Also, most automobiles have indicators that alert you when particular maintenance tasks like an oil change or engine check are due. Consequently, acquaint yourself with these indicators and take the vehicle to a trusted mechanic immediately after you get these alerts. A 2019 Ally survey revealed that Americans spent about $1,986 on car maintenance and repairs. Due to this, you can learn to handle basic maintenance tasks like changing air filters and oil changes to save even more money. For instance, an oil change can cost up to $100, but you can spend just $25 if you do it yourself.
- Buy OEM spare parts and accessories
Original equipment manufacturer(OEM) spare parts are a great alternative to original parts worth considering for your vehicle. As the name implies, these parts are built by the same manufacturer that produced the original product for your automobile. Therefore, OEM parts are the same parts your car has in terms of performance, only that they lack original logos and engravings. You can acquire these parts at considerably lower prices than their expensive genuine counterparts. Nevertheless, it is still essential to do your homework and look for reputable OEM parts sellers instead of buying from anyone.
- Downsize to a cheaper vehicle
It is prudent to downsize your vehicle to lower the costs of ownership. This reality is because smaller cars are cheaper to use due to lower road taxes, insurance rates, and servicing costs. Smaller cars are also more fuel-efficient, so you will spend less money on gas when you own these vehicles compared to top-of-the-line models. Furthermore, smaller and cheaper cars are less expensive to fix, and their spare parts are cheaper and easier to find. These vehicles are also worth considering because they are easier to drive and more environmentally friendly.