After your home and your family, vehicle costs may well be the next biggest drain on your personal finances.
Buying a car outright is something that takes many of us a long time with payments often having to be spread over a number of months or years to ease the financial impact.
On top of the cost of buying the car, drivers must consider the huge outlay of funds required to fuel a car, not to mention the numerous additional expenses including maintenance and repairs, vehicle tax, insurance and keeping the car clean.
However, if you think carefully about the way that you use your car, it is possible to fit a car into your daily life , reduce vehicle costs and not cause yourself undue difficulty.
1. Watch Your Mileage
One of the best ways to reduce vehicle costs is to cut down on how much you use it.
In 2011, many of us around the globe have grown up in a world in which we haven’t had to take long walks or muster the physical energy to get ourselves from A to B.
But in the interests of saving money, walking is a great idea. If you are faced with a journey that will take half an hour to walk but five minutes to drive, just allow yourself that extra time perhaps by getting up earlier or by cutting down on the time you spend watching TV.
Over the course of a year, those small car journeys you’re not making will add up in terms of mileage and amount to a very healthy saving on your bank balance.
2. Shop Your Insurance
Auto insurance is one of the most groaned about costs of running a car.
Nobody enjoys receiving that letter through the door reminding them that their car insurance is up for renewal, only to find out that the rate of premiums has gone through the roof in the 12 months between renewals.
But there are a couple of strategies you can adopt to bring your car insurance premiums down:
- Reduce your mileage - Insurers will charge less for a car that is being driven less.
- Shop around for the best deals - For example, in the UK where I am from, thousands of drivers use the comparison tools for motor insurance on moneysupermarket to see the full range of deals available to them at any given time.
- Negotiate your auto insurance
3. Consider Sharing Your Car
A third and remarkably effective way to save money on your car is to share it.
Share your car and find others who are willing to share theirs. For most of us, the journey to and from work is the primary function of our family car.
If the burden of this journey can be shared with the car of a co-worker, then not only will the car-sharers save on mileage but their cars will suffer much less wear and tear leading to lower maintenance and repair costs.
Reduce your mileage, shop around for your insurance, share your car as much as possible, but don’t forget to save money by letting the pennies stack up in the bank.
This is a guest post from MoneySuperMarket.com