Saturday, June 17, 2017

Great Ways To Help You Deal With Unexpected Driving Costs

extra driving costs
As drivers already know, there are many costs involved when it comes to owning a car. From fuel costs to breakdown charges, your bank balance is going to suffer. Should you rely on your car on a daily basis, not being able to drive for a few days because you can’t afford the upkeep is going to make your life difficult.

To avoid unexpected costs, here are a few tips that might help you now and in the future.

Buy a roadworthy vehicle

Not many of us can afford a brand new car, so going second-hand may be the way to go. However, you need to make sure the car is safe to drive before purchasing it, and you should check for any underlying issues. If you don’t feel able to make those checks yourself, or you aren’t sure of the right questions to ask the seller, bring along somebody who can. A trusted friend or a qualified motor technician will be able to advise you if the car is an advisable buy or a potential deathtrap.

Perform regular maintenance

You should get your car serviced at least once a year to offset any potential problems down the line. However, there are ways you can maintain your car without having a lot of technical experience. For example, you should check your tyre pressure on a regular basis to avoid the possibility of a blowout on the road. Make sure you top up your oil to the required level to keep your engine running smoothly. Check your lights and replace the bulbs when they die. These small jobs don’t take long and will alleviate the possibility of an accident and further expenses.

Many people take a class in car maintenance, so despite the added costs to you, having a little knowhow in taking care of your vehicle will save you money, avoiding the need to hire an expensive mechanic with all their added (and confusing) charges.

Protect your vehicle

You need to take out insurance to legally be able to drive. However, you should shop around and find a better deal if you are currently paying a lot on your premium. Don’t be faithful to the same company every year, as they are only interested in your money and not your friendship. When it comes time to renew, compare their new prices with other companies and make the switch if it suits your motoring needs, as well as your wallet.

Breakdown cover

While insurance is compulsory, breakdown cover isn’t, but it is still a worthwhile investment. You never know when your car might break down, so you don’t want to be left stranded in the middle of nowhere. Having cover in place will give you peace of mind and reduce the cost of repairs. So while you may resent the monthly expense when everything's going fine, you never know when disaster might strike. 

Legal cover

We all make mistakes, and there will be a time when you are involved in a road accident. This may be through no fault of your own, so you will want to reclaim any compensation owed for damages to you and your vehicle. Unfortunately, you may be the cause of the accident, and you are liable for any court costs if the third party takes legal action against you. In any case, you need a good attorney to help you, so consider a firm such as Priale & Racine who will fight your corner. Being involved in an accident is stressful enough without the expensive implications, so the right legal cover will alleviate many of your anxieties.

Fuel costs

Don’t rely on your regular gas station for your fuel, but shop around for anywhere with a cheaper option. Obviously, you don’t want to drive miles out of your way for only a small saving, so use your common sense.

One of the best ways to save money is to not use your car at all. When driving around town, you are wasting more fuel by stopping at regular intervals for traffic lights and pedestrians. You might want to do your bank balance a favor, and your health, by leaving the car at home once in awhile and taking a walk if you only need to travel a short distance. It may be that public transport is also a less expensive option when making the daily commute to work, so do a little research and save yourself some money.

Buy a new car

We have already advocated the benefits of a second-hand car, but despite the initial outlay, a new car may be the better option. With advances in technology, many new cars are more fuel efficient and will cost less to tax because of low carbon emissions. They will also come with a lengthy warranty, so any unexpected repair costs can be covered if the fault is with the manufacturer.

You don’t need to pay for the car in one go, as there are finance deals available. Of course, you need to factor the cost of interest into the equation, so find an affordable option that suits you. Buying a used car is cheaper in the short-term but there is a higher risk of things going wrong, and you may need to replace your car sooner than you like. A new model, despite the higher price tag, should keep you going for a long time to come.

Be a better driver

Quite simply, the way you drive can determine how much money you need to pay out in the future. Being a safe driver is going to alleviate the risk of accidents. This means taking care on the road, not driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and avoiding unnecessary distractions such as your smartphone.

The way you handle your car is also important. You waste fuel through hard braking and rapid acceleration. Take it easy on sharp corners, avoiding the urge to skid, no matter how much of a daredevil you are. Your tyres and your handbrake will thank you for your care.

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