The Costs of Car Ownership: Keep Car Costs Down!
1. Determine Your Cars Annual Costs and Fees
If you have an older car, the amount of money spent on fees and maintenance may actually be more than the value of your car. Add your annual costs for car insurance, license and registration, taxes, any finance charges or car payments and your cars depreciation. Also add in your cars annual operating costs including money spent on gas, maintenance and repairs and the cost of driving. If the cost of maintaining your car is more than the value of the vehicle itself, you may want to consider swapping out your clunker for a new car with better fuel efficiency and lower ownership costs.
2. Change Your Driving Habits
If you find yourself taking your car to a mechanic regularly, you may want to examine your driving habits. Experts say that good driving habits and regular maintenance may help you double or triple the life of your car and reduce the need for costly repairs.
3. Make a Habit of Regular Check-Ups
Cars, like people, need regular check-ups and tunings just to make sure everything is running smoothly. Even if your car is not showing any warning signs, a certified mechanic may be able to detect and prevent major problems before they become costly headaches. It is also important to take your car to the same mechanic for these check-ups so you dont end up paying for unnecessary or repeat repairs and/or services.
4. Dont Ignore Warning Signs
If you’ve been hearing an odd noise from your car or if a warning light has been on for a while, it may be time to take your car in to make sure there are no serious problems. Even if your check engine light has been on for months without problems, these lights are there for a reason so its better to be safe than sorry.