For a section of the UK population who do not own homes, purchasing a car is usually the most important investment. Statistics indicate that a little over 36 million households own at least one car, driven by two persons, at most. Undoubtedly, owning a car is expensive due to refueling, increased accident risk, insurance, maintenance, and other expenses. However, you can do things to help cut down on cost, including those below.
Be Mindful of Car Depreciation
Usually, it is said that the moment you drive a brand-new car out of the dealership, the vehicle automatically loses 25% of its value. As debatable as this may sound, it is true and definitely not the type of news a car owner wants to hear. Car depreciation is a serious thing, and especially when 85% of UK car owners will sell their vehicles within three years, it is not an issue to toy with. Moreover, car depreciation affects both second-hand vehicles and brand-new ones. The only difference here is, depreciation for brand-new cars takes a bigger hit than already-used vehicles.
Therefore, before purchasing a car, it would help to think about the depreciation aspect. You can do this by investing in a less expensive vehicle that wouldn’t take so much money to maintain. Depreciation for a less costly car is minimal, and you wouldn’t feel the pinch as much as you would have if you bought an expensive ride. Again, different car models depreciate at different rates. Therefore, choose wisely.
Keep the Car From Dents and Scratches
If you plan on selling your car later, it pays to keep the body free from scratches and dents. Anything that takes away from the overall appeal can affect the selling price. Moreover, a buyer will use those defects to compel you to beat down the price. Thankfully, you can provide additional protection for your car with liquid paint protection. You can read more here for details.
Source Car Parts Yourself
At some point, your car will need to undergo repairs, which means getting replacement parts to get it back on the road. Usually, several car owners rely on the dealer to do this and avoid the inconvenience of looking for these parts. Unfortunately, that can be even more expensive as dealers often get a cut or a commission on spare part purchases made from their sources. The truth is, the cut they receive becomes a secret as there is no way the customer or client will find out. In other words, the full cost of the part purchased becomes your headache.
To avoid these inconveniences, you may want to buy or source car parts yourself. Thankfully, with the help of the internet, it becomes easier to check online stores that deal in car replacement parts. After purchase and delivery, you can then entrust a local garage close to you to fit them. This alternative is better than leaving the entire process in the hands of a mechanic you are yet to trust.
Search for Filling Stations With Lower per Litre Rates
Currently, there are about 8,385 filling stations in the United Kingdom. The truth is, they all do not sell fuel at the same price per litre. While some have higher rates, others sell theirs at rates friendly to the pocket. The latter is what you can aim for if you’re looking to save money. First of all, it would help if you studied the filling stations in your locality and their per litre rates.
If you can, write them down in a notepad or record the figures on your smartphone. Indeed, sometimes the difference is a few pennies and may not seem like much of an issue. However, when you add those pennies up, you tend to get a clearer picture of how much you’re spending on what you thought was moderately-priced fuel. For more help on how to find filling stations that offer comparatively cheaper rates, you may want to look at those sited close to supermarkets, residential areas, and shopping malls.
More experienced drivers often advise against buying fuel from highway stops unless it becomes absolutely necessary. According to economics.stackexchange.com, highway or motorway service stations are usually 10 to 20% higher than the average. While you mull over this crucial piece of information, it is a bad idea to drive far out from home or work in search of affordable fuel. All it does is defeat the purpose of saving up on petrol or diesel.
Beat Down Your Car Insurance Rates
This is also known as bargaining or haggling. The average comprehensive cover for a car is £468 annually in the UK. For many car owners, it is more convenient to simply renew the yearly cover at whatever the rate is. For starters, you may be shooting yourself in the foot if you go with that strategy.
To begin with, you have the right to haggle for a reduced rate, but there are some rules and conditions to fulfil first. For example, your claims history, where you reside, and driving experience can factor in here. You should have a spotless claims history and no parking tickets to be entitled to a reduction. Indeed, your car insurers are looking to lower risk or incur none at all. By presenting and proving yourself as a low-risk client, you can save money by paying a less costly comprehensive cover for the year.
Find Cheap Parking Spaces
If you’re unsure where to find them, please use your phone app. In the UK, you will find Parkopedia, Parkme, Ringgo, Paybyphone, Appyparking, and a host of other parking apps to choose from. In your selection, though, it helps to compare their rates. As expected, some are cheaper than others, and the former can be your target. Sometimes, quality is not all about the high price. Some good parking services offer unbelievably low rates that help you save more than you would have with others.
To conclude, your car can take a significant financial toll on you, but that will also depend on the measures you take (or don’t) in the period you own it. Every decision you take concerning your car should benefit you in the long run.