Having a car as your main form of transport gives you the freedom to move from A to B whenever you like. It saves time and can be very helpful in emergency situations. With a car, you can be flexible, and you don’t have to rely on anybody else to get to your destination.
A car provides you with a great deal of independence, however, it can also cost you a pretty penny. Cars need constant upkeep which includes costs such as fuel, maintenance, insurance, taxes, and, in many cases, financing as well.
At the end of the month, all of these costs add up, taking a big chunk out of your expenses. Fear not, some of these costs can be mitigated; here are 7 things you can do that will help you save money on your transport costs.
Once you settle for an insurance rate, you rarely consider changing it. But there are many ways in which you can lower your car insurance, simply by changing (or threatening to change) it.
For starters, you can ask your insurance company whether they have any deals on group insurance. Some companies also offer discounted insurance policies to drivers who have a lower yearly mileage compared to the average person. If you also have home insurance, make sure to use the same company as this is another way to obtain a discounted price.
Or, you can grin and bear the bureaucracy, and change insurance, taking advantage or special offers designed to entice new custom. Let your current insurance company know that you’re considering changing policy provider in advance, and they might even offer you new incentives to stay.
Carpooling isn’t just great for your wallet, it’s great for the environment, too. If you are planning a long journey or you frequently drive to the same location, carpooling is a great option to save on fuel. For example, if you commute to work every day with a 40-minute drive, it’s worth asking people in your area whether they need a lift into town as well.
If you are driving to another town for the weekend, you can post on Facebook groups or carpooling sites and find passengers who need a lift. This saves you quite a bit of money for petrol and it also helps cut down on carbon emissions. Not only this, but it’s also enjoyable to have someone in the car keeping you company and helping with directions. Of course, we should mention that having a stranger in your car can be risky – please exercise caution.
LEASING A CAR
More often than not, monthly lease payments are cheaper than monthly car payments on finance. Unless you are buying a collector’s item, a car is one of the worst investments you could make. As soon as you buy a brand-new car and take it out for a spin, your asset will depreciate in value.
Therefore, car leasing is a great option, especially if you are only planning on living in a certain area for a limited time. If your work has asked you to relocate to a foreign country, buying a new car and then having to sell it over a short period of time probably won’t be financially viable. It certainly won’t be economical with your time. In such cases, leasing can represent a stress-free alternative.
One of the easiest ways that you can cut down on car expenses is by driving safely. If you are safe on the roads, you are less likely to end up in an accident, which also means that you won’t have to go and get your car repaired at a mechanics. What’s more, your insurance premiums will be lower.
However, it’s not just about having a traffic accident, it’s also about saving money on petrol because driving at a more accelerated speed wastes petrol. If you abide by all of the speed limits and drive at a reasonable pace, you can also save money on your fuel costs.
SAVING ON FUEL
The more you use your vehicle, the more fuel you will have to deposit. However, a lot of petrol stations offer reward programs and point systems to help you save along the way. If there is a station that you tend to pass on the way home or on your way to work, it’s worth asking if they have any sort of loyalty program.
Another way to cut down on fuel costs is by downloading an app that will alert you to the lowest petrol prices within your radius. The price of petrol can be quite volatile at times so it’s always best to double-check when the price is low and fill your tank to the brim. If you have a hybrid car, try to use local charging points to your advantage.
CLEANING YOUR CAR
Cleaning your car on a regular basis is a great way to ensure that there is minimal cosmetic damage. If debris and dust are not washed off routinely, it can cause the paint to peel, and therefore, the value of your car to depreciate.
Keeping your car in good shape is also an easy way to increase the resale value of your vehicle.
WALKING OR TAKING PUBLIC TRANSPORT
As vehicle owners, we’ve all been guilty of driving down the road for what could have easily been a 10-minute walk. Cars provide you with a great deal of convenience, however, driving to your destination isn’t the only option.
If you are going somewhere close, it may be even worth getting your bicycle out of the shed and cycling down. If your destination is a bit further out, you could also opt for public transport instead. If you have an event to attend in the city centre, driving can be more of a nuisance than it’s worth. You have to consider traffic, parking, and petrol money, too.
Humans are creatures of habit. Once you get into a routine, it can be hard to change your ways. But just because you have a car, doesn’t mean that you can’t choose to take the bus or even walk every once in a while.
Check out these tips on ways you can play your part in saving the environment for a different perspective on car use and other harmful daily habits.