It's not just your imagination that you pull out your debit card several times a month for a car-related expense.
Have you ever added up how much it costs to own a vehicle? First off, there's the purchase price and taxes. For most motorists, the dollar amount for their car is second only to the cost of their home. Many individuals finance their automobile, so the initial purchase expense continues monthly for as many as 72 months.
You fork over cash every time you fill the tank. In most states, you have to pay a registration fee every year. Car insurance rates can take a big chunk of the family budget (especially if you have teenagers who are driving).
There are amounts for scheduled maintenance and repair. This includes oil changes, new tires, brake service—and everything else. Always remember, however, that failing to bring your automobile in for scheduled auto maintenance and repair costs a lot more!
So what's the grand total? Most vehicle owners spend around $9,000 per year. Stretch that over a lifetime and you could spend half a million. Ka-ching!
Here are 3 ways to bring that number down.
1. Stop Guzzling Gas
In our fast-paced world, it's easy to get caught up in the rush-rush-rush mentality. Driving aggressively, however, costs you big time. Slow down, avoid jackrabbit starts and stops, and turn off the engine instead of idling. This can diminish your gas bill up to a third. You can also download apps which show the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood.
2. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
Don't count on your tire pressure monitoring system. Some systems only indicate a problem when a tire has dropped quickly. Some don't indicate incremental pressure decreases. Check your manufacturer's recommendations for the proper pressure, or talk with an automotive service advisor at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair.
3. Wait A Few More Years For a New Car (And Buy A Nearly-New Vehicle Instead)
If you buy a new automobile every few years, you pay more in several ways. First off, you don't take advantage of the off-the-lot depreciation savings that used buyers enjoy. If you buy a one-year-old vehicle, you pay a lot less but still get an automobile with many years of useful life ahead. Experts recommend keeping a vehicle from 5-7 years. After seven years, the expenses for repairs might negate the savings of a new automobile. When it comes time for a new vehicle, you can check the Edmunds True Cost to Own calculator to compare total vehicle ownership costs.