For many young people, learning to drive offers access to freedom. Previously, you were indebted to other people driving you, a bus route or your own two feet. Driving gives you limitless possibilities, like the chance to spend a weekend in another city or simply drive around to cool off. Unfortunately, for many people, the cost of owning a car is prohibitive to the freedom their license offers. Car ownership comes with many expenses including insurance, gas and maintenance. Included here are a few tips for making car ownership more affordable.
Drive Your Car Longer
Many Americans who purchase new autos only drive them for a max of 6 years. Considering that they may be paying roughly $20,000 for that car, they are forking over $3,333 each year to drive their car, not including the costs of insurance, gas, and maintenance.
The longer you own the car, the less expensive that yearly cost is. Of course, you are more likely to face maintenance costs, but as long as they are minimal, you could drive that car for 10 years at least and knock down yearly costs to $2,000.
Put Down a Bigger Down Payment
A good way to knock down the overall cost of your car is to put down a bigger down payment. This will cut down on your monthly car payment as well as decrease the interest paid over the lifetime of the loan. You will have to save up in order to afford this method, but it will cost you less in the long run.
One of the best ways to afford a car is to buy used models. A car that is a few years old will be significantly cheaper than brand-new and you may be able to buy it in cash. Buying a car with cash will save you on interest over time and you could decrease your insurance coverage; costing you less each month.
Do Maintenance Yourself
While not everyone may be handy with vehicle maintenance, there are a lot of things you can do yourself. On older vehicles it can be easy to do your regular oil changes and switch your tires out seasonally. This could save you as much as $200 a year.
Keep in mind the age of your vehicle before doing maintenance yourself. Older vehicles are much simpler to work with and you don’t run the risk of messing anything serious up. However, if you are doing maintenance on a newer model vehicle, you will likely be dealing with a great deal of computerized functions. Be very careful when working with these as damaging an operating system within the car could be very costly to fix.