Image by luisargerich.com
If you are buying your first car, or are looking for an upgrade, the most frugal option is to look at the second hand market. Used cars are much cheaper than new cars, and a March 2013 study by Carfinance247.co.uk found that 80% of people planning to get a new car will choose a used vehicle. 57% will use their own cash and savings for this, and luckily there is financial management software available that makes keeping track of your saving really easy.
Here are a few ways to keep your car costs down, so you can afford a new vehicle:
- Petrol stations across the country have slightly different prices. Compare the prices of stations you pass regularly to find the cheapest place to fuel up.
- Don't go to a car wash get a bucket of soapy water, a sponge, and roll up your sleeves. Saving money is dirty work.
- Consider using a credit card that offers rewards for fuel purchases. You could get a credit card just to pay for fuel, experience the benefit of the rewards, and pay it off every month with direct debit so there are no additional fees.
- If your insurance policy comes up for renewal, it's time to shop around. Use two or three different comparison engines before making a final decision, and look at the specific terms of the policies, not just the price. Also remember to check out insurance companies that don't appear on comparison websites like Direct Line and Aviva.
- Basic car maintenance can be done at home with discount parts ordered over the Internet. This way you avoid the labour costs and premium auto part prices you'd have to pay for at a garage.
- Take the bike! Okay, this is an easy one, but think about how many miles you drive each month. Can you think of a way to cut it down? Perhaps by walking, taking public transport, carpooling, cycling, or just planning your route better?
- You may not realise, but the way you drive can affect your fuel efficiency. Try to change speed gradually and drive in the right gear.
- Read more ways to save money on your car on the Money Dashboard blog, or on car maintenance blogs and message boards.