Cars are not only expensive essentials to modern life to buy; but they are also expensive essentials to own. You see, there are plenty of costs associated with car ownership that can hit you hard in the wallet.
The cost of insurance in the event of an accident (or even the cost of buying a new policy) can be pretty expensive. Some car owners have breakdown coverage so they are safe in the event of a car failure in the middle of nowhere – that can be expensive. What about fuel? We all know that is expensive! If there is one word more associated with cars than ‘expensive’ that doesn’t involve gears, speed, handling or anything else driving related – we’d like to hear it.
People in the 21st century already have a lot of costs associated with just living. Rent or mortgage payments as well as bills can run high each month. Of course, there’s the mobile phone plan – and health insurance. The costs each month are enough to make anyone sweat about their finances. A car is just another financial worry on top of everything else.
But, a car doesn’t have to be as much of a worry as anything else, especially if you become a proactive driver and care for your car as much as possible. That does involve spending, but it is spending to save! You see, if you can spend money to resolve smaller issues – you are preventing them from becoming bigger issues. Do you want to know a little something about those big issues? They cost a lot more to fix than the little issue it once was.
You see, no matter the type of car you own – old, new, used, renovated, revamped – whatever – it will always need a little TLC beneath the hood. Your efforts are needed to make sure that your car is in tip top shape. If you notice smaller issues – get them fixed or repair the issue yourself at a cost to save yourself from splashing out the cash on some serious repairs down the line.
There is a long list of basic checks you can do each month (or more frequently) on your car. Each check leads to a bigger issue if there is a fault. Each check is essentially a chance for you to be proactive with your car and save money instead of waiting for serious issues to emerge.
One of the easiest items of your car to check, fix and replace are the tires. Tires handle our car on the road, and if they are faulty, that can lead to serious issues. The best case scenario is that you lose control, the worst case scenario is that your car crashes and is a total write off – which will obviously cost you the price of a new car. To ensure that your car is handling at its best – make sure that the pressure of the tyres is checked and if it is too low, ensure that it is inflated to the recommended limit. Check the treads of the tires for wear and road damage and be sure to replace if it doesn’t seem acceptable. The costs of replacing a tire are a lot lower than the costs to fix the damage of a car in the event of a crash. This goes for the brake pads of the car. Friction is what stops cars, and if brake pads are worn, the car won’t stop when you want it to. Brake pads are clearly cheaper than the cost of any accident resulting from a car that won’t stop – right? What’s more, wear to brake pads is immediately noticeable. You’ll not only feel it when you try and stop, but you’ll hear it too.
There are plenty of fluids that need replacing in the car as well. The hydraulic systems that run our steering and braking mechanisms need to be topped up and filled up if the levels are too low. A hydraulic system that isn’t full comes with a lot of issues – namely that the functions of both the steering and brakes will be limited. We already know what bad handling leads to, so will it be the cost of changing fluids or the cost of exterior damage in the event of a crash?
Even checking the bodywork and glasswork of a car can lead to chances to save money. Of course, less money would be spent if there were no exterior damage, but it can be impossible to avoid environmental damage – say the indentations left by larger hailstones – unless a car is covered. Even then, not every car can expect rust without some serious care. Clean your car down and be sure to wipe clear any corrosive elements, namely bird droppings, from the exterior of the car. Rust can be quickly repaired, but if left can lead to panel work essentially eating itself due to corrosion. This goes for cracks and chips in windows and windscreens which can be picked up naturally from driving. Sealing or filling windscreen cracks is essential as it prevents the windscreen from collapsing. It costs less to seal a crack or hole than it does to replace an entire windscreen.
Even when buying a car, it is key to spend money to save money. Buying new affords you numerous policies and warranties that can protect both your car and wallet in the event of any engineering difficulties that are encountered. You’ll also have your consumer rights backing you up. What’s more, buying used is good – but a lot of issues with used cars can occur and might not even be mentioned when the car is sold. When buying any car, it’s also key to compare insurance policies on sites like Money Expert so that you can get the best deal possible.
With cars, whether buying or maintaining, it is always key to spend and be proactive about your car’s condition. When you’re a car owner, you should spend a little to save a whole lot.