Money

Tips & Tricks For Budgeting With A Car

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Today, I have a guest post from Giles Kirkland. Enjoy

In today’s world, a car is a necessity for many people. Whether it’s for family use, or just getting you to and from work, there are many scenarios where a lack of personal transport isn’t viable. What’s also not particularly viable, however, are the amount of costs associated with keeping such a vehicle in the first place.

Fortunately, as any money-saving veteran knows, there are always ways to cut and trim costs. Here are some of the most useful tips and tricks for budgeting with a car.

Insurance Tricks

Insurance providers are never easy to deal with, but you can negotiate. More than just agreeing to new terms and costs, there are a few other things you may wish to consider. One of the best things you can do, for instance, is to prove you’re a good driver. Most policies insure you based on statistics of your age, as well as the car you drive, so proving your capabilities is a way to beat this curve.

Smart boxes will record such data, giving you something to haggle with. These telematic providers appear more frequently, so why not be rewarded for safe driving? See if your insurer is willing to offer such a policy, or enquire with providers who already do.

Similarly, installing a speed limiter will essentially reduce the top speed of your car and many providers actively offer better deals as a result. This is supported by various insurance companies, as well as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. As with anything financial, of course, you should ensure the savings outweigh the initial costs.

The Cost Of The Vehicle

Another important aspect, which many people simply don’t take into account, is the value of the car. Specifically, you should focus on the cost of repairing versus the cost of replacing. If you’re spending a small amount each month to maintain an old car, would it not be cheaper to start down payments on a new model?

The same argument also works for your insurance. If your car costs $1,000 to replace, as an example, but the insurance costs $700, with a repair excess of $500, then you’re paying $1,300 to fix a car via that year’s insurance. If your policy is that inefficient, it’s cheaper to buy another vehicle.

Fuel Efficiency

No matter how your vehicle is fueled, power costs money. The more you drive, the more you spend, so it’s best to learn a few smart driving methods. There are many efficient driving tricks you can learn, but the most important are:

  • Bringing the car to a slow stop, rather than quick breaking. The latter uses more fuel over long periods.
  • Not keeping the motor running at idle unless you have to (such as in traffic).
  • Reducing the weight of your vehicle, such as emptying the boot, or removing roof racks when not in use, as this increases aerodynamics.




Finding The Right Parts

When something does inevitably break down, replacing parts is often a costly expense. This is, of course, if you buy the first parts you see or insist on manufacturer specific parts. Otherwise known as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, these are usually expensive but guarantee a level of quality – as well as a one year warranty.

However, the wider range of aftermarket parts gives you more financial freedom. You’re not limited to one supplier, so you can shop around, and many parts may offer the same level of quality or greater. Do some research and find the parts that suit your budget and needs.

Similarly, the right choice of economy tires can provide you with a long lasting solution. Of course, tires still wear out but switching the front and rear wheel tires around roughly half-way through will extend their lifespan since it’s the steering wheels that often wear down a little more quickly.

Dealing With Mechanics & Garages

Like any other business, garages and mechanics are out to make a profit. Some offer a reliable service for a fair price while others look to charge a lot and add some extra costs along the way. Here are a few tricks for dealing with the auto-repair industry:

  • Don’t get pressured into buying parts on sight. When a garage runs tests, they might offer you a cheap rate, knowing they can pressure you into buying expensive parts there and then. You have a right to shop around, so use it.
  • Always get quotes from different garages before any service, but ensure there are no time-limits on these. A quote is no use, for instance, if it expires by the end of the day.
  • Better yet, have your car looked at by a mechanic in-person and get them to print up an estimate. It’s more time consuming, but a more detailed itinerary can really help you cut out the big expenses.
  • If you find somewhere with the right service and repair fees, ask if you can bring parts you purchased somewhere else. In many cases, they will be happy to get part of your custom; even it means foregoing a possible upsell.

As a general rule, a good garage will be willing to share their knowledge and offer you a fair price, in the hopes of gaining a loyal customer over the years to come. This is certainly something to keep an eye out for – as you can always use your status as a frequent customer to negotiate a new price if it gets too expensive – but you are still a customer. You have a right to be aware of the wider market. 

These are just some of the easiest ways that will help you when it comes to budgeting with a car. They will help you to reduce the costs of your vehicle, but there is always plenty that can be done. If you’re feeling brave, why not learn a few mechanic tricks and replace some of those parts yourself?

How are you when it comes to budgeting with a car?

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53 Comments

  1. Wow. There’s a lot that goes into owning a car. This is one of the main reasons I still don’t have one. Unfortunately, it limits my ability to go to certain places. As your post mentions, I guess it’s all about budgeting and finding the best deals to strike that balance.

    1. As long as you budget for it, you will be fine.

  2. If they offer it, I suggest getting work done on your car at the actual dealership. You might even get a discount/free maintenance for a certain amount of miles if you do.

    I got free oil changes and basic maintenance for the first 25,000 miles on my car by just going to the dealership.

  3. Agree, it is all on the budget. Thank you for tips!

  4. I’m so sad that our local mechanic (that I could literally walk to) sold his business! They are under new management and I haven’t been there yet, but I hope they are intent on keeping the same great reputation he built up over the past three decades. If not, I will always go to Angie’s List before hiring anyone, mechanics included. I actually found him on Angie’s List shortly after we moved to the area.

    1. I don’t blame you. A good mechanic is hard to find.

  5. I like your tips to shop around and be smart when dealing with mechanics. It’s great to find a mechanic who is trustworthy and offers good services at a fair price. However, find such a mechanic requires you to shop around and always consider your options. Like you said, you always have the right to look at other options, so don’t be pressured into something you don’t want. Thanks for the article.

  6. I had no idea that there were so many ways to save and budget money with your car. I really appreciate the points made about finding a good mechanic that is reliable and offers their services at a decent price. I’ll make sure to get quotes from different garages before I choose one to take my car into.

    1. A good mechanic can save you a lot of money.

  7. Silas Knight says:

    You have some fantastic advice here for saving money with a car. One of the things I liked was the section on working with mechanics and garages. I have always worried about spending too much on repairs, but I just need to not get pressured into buying unnecessary things, like you said!

  8. I just bought my first car. Thanks for the advice about always getting quotes from other garages before you pick anything. Hopefully, I can find a good car service shop to help me care for my car.

  9. These are great hacks for taking good care of your car while still staying within your budget! It can get costly to maintain your vehicle, but it certainly works out in your favor in the long run. Thanks so much for your help!

  10. Before you decide on a remote ignition system for your vehicle, it’s a good idea to check out what other owners and professional reviewers are saying. Remote starters involve complicated technical components, and as with all automotive products, reliability is important. Doing your homework before you buy can help you avoid problems later

  11. If your car has rare spare parts, and is not a common model, you will be safer going to a dealership. They might be more expensive but you are assured of getting a mechanic that has been trained by a particular car manufacturer. Some dealerships are so good that they have a mechanic from each of the major manufacturers. You will get a mechanic particular to your car type who will probably install factory parts instead of used, tried parts. A dealership is ideal if your car is still covered under warranty or the costs are paid by insurance.

  12. Wow
    Nice Post.If you currently have a car, you probably are making payments, and certainly are spending money for fuel, insurance and maintenance. That is a good starting point for determining how much car expense you can afford.
    Regards ;
    Cortney G

  13. Impressive point of this article, we must consider that company selling cars has provides car insurance. Nice trick to budget a car worth it.

    Thank Jason, for sharing this meaningful article.

  14. These are awesome hacks for taking great consideration of your auto while as yet staying inside your financial plan! It can get immoderate to keep up your vehicle, however it positively works out to support you over the long haul. Much obliged such a great amount for your assistance!

  15. You’re right when you say to shop around. It applies to all things money related but the prices vary dramatically between mechanics but it’s also important to do your research on the honesty, trust and reliability of said mechanic – just as you look for those values in your car when you initially purcahse it.

  16. Searching for the right new car can be difficult. I like to test out a lot of different makes and models. I think that is really important, because if you just buy the first one you see, you might miss out on a great deal!

  17. Impressive trick for getting much lesser cost when buying a car, unfortunately, I am to young to have own car, but, its advantage to learn all strategies in early age…

    By the way thank you Jason, for your thoughts.

  18. Kendall Everett says:

    Getting quotes from different mechanics can make such a difference. As you brought up getting quotes will help you get the best deal on your repair job as long as the quote they give is accurate. When comparing it would help if you could get an itemized quote so you know exactly why each mechanic is charging what they are.

  19. The points you mentioned are very true.sometimes when we are going to buy any vehicle parts & they don’t have same like that then they do exactly as you told.They pressurize us to buy the parts they are saying.thank you so much for sharing your valuable tips.in future it will us help alot.

  20. Awesome post. Did you know that your car needs to be maintained more often than you usually do? Cars are like people take care of them and they’ll take care of you. Contact us.

  21. Hi this is a really helpful post, totally right about the stopping distances. Keep up the posts! Thanks.

  22. Bring the best in your car by giving it the best car parts available in the market.

  23. Benefits for auto mechanics vary depending on the type of automotive repair business they work for. Dealerships provide automotive technicians with the greatest number of benefits, while franchise automotive repair shops provide fewer benefits in general. For automotive mechanics working in private garages, benefits are often limited.

  24. If your car has rare spare parts, and is not a common model, you will be safer going to a dealership. They might be more expensive but you are assured of getting a mechanic that has been trained by a particular car manufacturer. Some dealerships are so good that they have a mechanic from each of the major manufacturers. You will get a mechanic particular to your car type who will probably install factory parts instead of used, tried parts. A dealership is ideal if your car is still covered under warranty or the costs are paid by insurance.

  25. When you look for automotive repair tips one that you may find frequently is to keep your gas tank full whenever possible. If you drive with little fuel then sediment from the bottom of the tank may be drawn into the fuel system, and this can have serious consequences for your vehicle and your wallet.

  26. Hi,
    Love your post.

    Choose a dealership that has access to a variety of lenders. You want to be able to choose a payment plan and interest rate that works best for your credit rating, income, and the end cost of your vehicle. Many dealers work with dozens of local and national banks and lending institutions to get you the loan you need.

    When you go into a dealership for new car financing, you should come prepared. To prove your income, bring a recent tax return or payment stubs from your most recent paychecks.

    Thanks for being sharing.. Keep sharing more.

    Regards
    Lyle L. Ketner

    1. Regular vehicle maintenance will not only ensure maximum car performance but will also prevent costly repairs. Sometimes, even the smallest defect that seems irrelevant to you may lead to a major problem which will consequently increase your car maintenance costs.

  27. Only the best car pars for you, that will surely make your car more awesome and handsome.

    1. Buying separate components can be time-consuming and expensive, and connecting them can sometimes be a challenge. The easiest solution is a soundbar, which has several speakers in one thin module that you connect directly to your TV, with no need for a receiver. You can avoid some of the hassle by buying a prepackaged system that combines a receiver with a set of matched speakers, wiring, and often a DVD or Blu-ray player. In most cases, a package will cost less than your own system built from scratch.

  28. Get your car spoiled by adding some awesome parts that will totally make it stand out.

  29. A well-maintained car has a higher selling value which will help you acquire a better return on your investment if you decide to sell it.

  30. You’re right when you say to shop around. It applies to all things money related but the prices vary dramatically between mechanics but it’s also important to do your research on the honesty, trust and reliability of said mechanic – just as you look for those values in your car when you initially purcahse it.

  31. Going aftermarket on parts can really save some money and provide the same amount of quality from OEM parts. Thanks for sharing this advice!

  32. I like those tips and tricks that you’ve said. Buying brand new cars today is like you’ve wasted your life. Literally those new cars out there are like thin cans. It could easily kill you in an accident.

  33. This tips are really amazing and can save a lot of money. Applying aftermarket parts on an old car really save money as well as provide new appearance.

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