Getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time as a fully licensed driver is a pivotal moment that many people strive towards, and with all the hard work and effort it takes to get there, you will rightfully be excited when that day finally comes. The fact of the matter however is that driving is an expensive business and the buzz of hitting the road shouldn’t cloud the practicalities of financing the running of your car. By getting into simple yet effective habits early, you can soon drive with confidence – and without breaking the bank.
- The actual car itself is of course a major factor. The market is seeing an increasing shift away from new, ‘affordable’ cars; with manufacturers taking on board that most average consumers are now opting for good quality second hand models instead. This means production is likely to shift towards higher end vehicles. By wisening on to this change and avoiding new releases, you too can save a bundle with a used car.
- Once you have the right car, how you choose to drive it is important if you want to save money. Constant, steady speeds are much more fuel efficient than sporadic bursts of high acceleration and endless stopping and starting. It’s also safer and puts less strain on the vehicle, meaning less risk of having to pay for maintenance or repairs.
- Along the same vein of how you drive, when you drive can also play a big part in cost. Did you know that a cold engine that’s been sitting unused burns more fuel? This is why is makes sense to run all your daily errands in one trip as much as possible to minimise the number of outings the car has to endure. Also avoid rush hour if you can, as waiting idly in lengthy traffic jams is a huge waste of fuel.
- It definitely pays off in the long run to do your research when it comes to insurance. The model of car you choose, your age, gender, job, experience level and several other factors can all influence the cost, and with prices apparently on the rise once again, you don’t want to fall into the trap of accepting the first deal you’re offered. Always shop around to make your money go as far as possible.
- Check the condition of your car regularly and keep the likes of your tyre pressure in good order. The sooner you can see to any problems that arise, the less costly they are likely to be.
- If more than one person in the household has a car, ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Could you make do with one instead and benefit from splitting the cost of insurance, fuel and maintenance?
- By far one of the simplest yet most beneficial tips is actually to leave the car at home. It may sound silly but ask yourself how many times you jump in the car to make a quick trip when you could instead have realistically chosen to walk. It’s better for your health; it’s better for the environment and it’s better for your wallet.
You hear of the astronomical amounts people are willing to fork out on cars and while we may all secretly dream of one day having the disposable income to afford it, most of us would be much wiser to pinch the pennies where we can and simply enjoy taking to the road without any of the financial worry.