Cars are a necessity for many people, but they are seldom cheap. Between the likes of car insurance, fuel costs, servicing and repairs, there are many constant expenses to consider. So how do you know when you’re spending too much on your vehicle? Here are 3 areas worth assessing to determine how viable your current transport is.
When it comes to car insurance, it can often be difficult to get a great deal. Insurance providers like to add costs on for your age, make of vehicle, profession and where you live but, if these all add up, doesn’t it become too expensive?
Add up the cost up your insurance costs, as well as the costs to repair your car (in relation to the policy’s excess). Now compare this to the price of a replacing your car entirely. If it’s cheaper to replace your car (often with a better policy as well), then a first-person insurance policy isn’t doing you any financial favours, so switch down to third-party cover.
Likewise, if you’re paying too much due to your age or other statistic data, why not ask for a smartbox policy? These devices monitor your driving, so you can be rated accordingly.
If you keep receipts every time you buy fuel and you also keep regular track of your milage, it’s quite easy to figure out how fuel efficient your car. Each month, simply take the amount of fuel you’ve purchased and divide it by the miles driven that month. This will give you the fuel used per mile, while replacing the amount of fuel with the total value from your receipts will give you a rough cost per mile as well.
If this shows just how inefficient your driving is right now, there are a number of things you can do to improve it. Choose tyres that offer a low fuel consumption and rolling resistance, as this will convert more fuel into movement, wasting less money. You can also remove excess weight in the car, as well any aerodynamic fittings (such as roof racks) and learn how to drive more efficiently.
All cars require maintenance, but when your vehicle frequently requires new parts and servicing, it’s a sure sign that the car has little left to offer you. As with your insurance, however, you should be looking to replace your car when these expenses become too large.
That being said, it might just be possible you’re listening to garage salesmen too much. You can find plenty of cheap aftermarket parts with a high quality, as well as a year’s warranty of their own, at a fraction of the price that an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) would charge. As for the servicing, this is where garages add on plenty of extra costs, so why not learn some basic car maintenance yourself? Learning how to change a filter or spark plug, for instance, is a useful skill that will last your entire driving life.
When you break it down, car expenses are like any other financial area. Always shop around and be aware of cheaper alternatives. This is especially true for the likes of insurance providers and mechanics. If they can’t offer a competitive service, you’ve already found somewhere else that will. Of course, if it ultimately proves your car is too expensive, then you can start searching for a replacement.