Purchasing a car is a huge decision that could put you in a poor financial situation if you’re unable to keep up with the payments. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to purchasing a car is that they think the cost of the car is the biggest concern. However, what’s actually more important are the associated costs such as insurance premiums, maintenance fees, fuel costs and so on. These costs can add up and create a consistent financial problem that is often more pressure on your money than simply purchasing the car.
So to help, we’ve put together this list of 8 useful tips that will help you save money on purchasing a car.
1. Build up your credit rating before you plan to purchase a car
One of the best ways to make huge savings on your vehicle in the future is to put a heavier emphasis on your credit rating now. The better your credit rating is, the more likely you’ll be able to secure a low-interest deal on your vehicle. There are even 0% financing offers that car manufacturers frequently advertise, resulting in massive savings over time that can help make your vehicle purchase a more frugal investment than you’d think.
2. Do your research on different cars
There are plenty of car websites that can offer helpful advice on the different types of vehicle available. When it comes to saving money, it’s vital that you learn about the latest cars and look at statistics such as their fuel economy, their average repair costs and even how much you can expect to pay in insurance premiums. This will help make choosing a vehicle a lot easier and you’ll be able to find some fantastic deals just by looking around and expanding your options.
3. Don’t assume buying used is the best option
A lot of people just assume that buying used is the best option for a cheap car, but this is far from the truth. In reality, purchasing a used car is typically only cheaper in the actual cost of the vehicle but that says nothing about the maintenance costs and expenses you can expect to encounter. For instance, you might end up purchasing an old car that is expensive to maintain because the parts aren’t readily available, or you might end up paying a lot in insurance premiums just because the car is old and doesn’t come with modern safety features. As a result, you could always consider the option of purchasing a new car, especially given the lower insurance premiums, improved fuel economy and better deals that come with it.
4. Compare different insurance plans
Auto insurance is a mandatory component of purchasing your car so it’s important to do a bit of research and look around at the various options you have. The internet is a fantastic way to compare auto insurance so that you can find the cheapest and most valuable option available to you. Remember that low cost doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to fit your needs, so make sure you do your research and look for the best option for your needs.
5. Look at a list of the cheapest cars to run
If you’re having trouble picking a car then you might want to consider looking at the cheapest cars to maintain. From low repair costs to cheaper insurance premiums, these cheap-to-run cars can be a fantastic way to own a vehicle without risking your financial situation. Certain vehicles like electric cars are often high up on these lists because they’re efficient, they run on electricity which is readily available and their fantastic fuel economy makes them go far for the investment.
6. Start learning about cars so you can perform your own repairs
If you’ve yet to own a vehicle then now’s a great time to learn more about cars. With some basic knowledge, you can start learning how to perform your own car repairs for basic things such as replacing lights or mending certain types of body damage. Armed with some basic knowledge and a set of tools, you can save hundreds on your car maintenance just by performing a couple of your own repairs. The more you perform your own car repairs or learn about cars in general, the more comfortable you’ll be with it in the future.
7. Make friends with your local mechanic
If you’re not comfortable with performing your own car repairs then the alternative is to make friends with your local mechanic. There are some mechanics out there that will purposely charge you more if you’re a new customer even if the job is relatively simple, but you can avoid that by trying to get friendly with your local mechanics. This not only grants you cheaper pricing and discounts in many situations but also helps you learn more about your vehicle.
8. Start getting involved in car communities
There are likely many communities both online and in your local area that are focused on car ownership. It could be a passion for a specific type of vehicle or it could just be car groups in general. No matter what their interests are, getting involved with a car-related community can be a fantastic way to help you learn more about vehicles and it gives you a place to ask questions. Whether it’s advice on the best insurance premiums or some help picking between certain vehicles to purchase, it’s a great way to get first-hand information from people about cars.
While buying a car isn’t the most expensive investment you’ll make, it’s certainly a hefty one that will cost you a lot more money if you’re not prepared to lower the costs. Hopefully, this article has given you some useful actionable advice on how you can cut down the cost of car ownership. Whether you’re planning to purchase a car as soon as you finish your lessons or if you’re looking to replace your existing vehicle, there are plenty of ways to cut down on those expenses to make car ownership a lot more affordable.