Buying and maintaining a car is another financial responsibility that may fall heavy on your shoulders, especially if it’s on top of the mortgage, food, and utility expenses. That said, before you buy a car, here are some of the best ways you can save money:
1. Buy a used car
Buying a used car is definitely way cheaper than buying a new one. However, there’s a difference between buying a used Skoda that’s four years old versus buying another car that’s more than 8 years old. To get the most out of your money, you would want to lean towards the former.
For example, a used late model car from a reputable dealer such as Giltrap Skoda tends to be a lot cheaper than a new one, but it doesn’t have all the issues of an older car. Nevertheless, you would still need to get the car checked by a mechanic.
2. Choose a fuel-efficient model
An economic car may be more expensive for some brands, but the trade-off for gas and maintenance savings is usually worth the price. Research the best fuel-efficient cars that are available on the market today. While you’re at it, make sure they are also known for reliability.
3. Go for smaller cars
Unless you have a big family to transport, consider buying a smaller car. Not only are they more affordable, but they are also lighter in weight, which leads to fuel savings. Parking is also a lot easier.
4. Learn basic maintenance
One of the biggest car expenses is maintenance fees. Fortunately, you can save on some of these fees by doing the maintenance yourself.
Before you buy a car, take the time to learn how to do basic maintenance jobs, like changing car fluids, replacing a tire, cleaning the headlights, and replacing the air filter, among other DIY tasks.
5. Save up
Paying for a car in cash is the best way to get it at its cheapest price because if you decide to take out a loan, you would have to pay for interest. That said, if the car can wait, save up for most, if not all, of its price. However, remember to put money aside for other car expenses as well, such as insurance and maintenance.
6. Find carpooling buddies
Another great way to save on car expenses is to find people who are willing to carpool with you. If you have classmates or co-workers that you can carpool with, set up an arrangement even before you buy the car. Doing this will help you save money on gas and reduce your carbon footprint.
7. Plan your driving route
If you used to take public transport to work or school, find the best route that will save you the most gas and keep you safe in your car. Use Google Maps or Waze to find and save them.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can save money when buying and keeping a car, these are just a few examples that you can try. But one thing remains the same for all money-saving techniques: the goal is to not let your car become a heavy responsibility and be a tool that will benefit you instead.