Saving Money Over Your Car’s Lifetime

by Sean Bryant on August 7, 2017

New Car

Owning a car is expensive, but necessary for most of us. Many people who buy cars look for something dependable, but it is important not to simply let the future reliability of your car hang on that single decision. People who buy a nice car, never think about it again, and simply hope for the best, will often find themselves in a sticky situation down the road. With good planning and regular attention, you should be able to save money on your car at every stage in its life.

When You Buy

The first opportunity to save money on your car is right when you buy it. Buy a car that is a great deal, whether it comes from a dealership, a private seller, or some other source. This is true for cars both new and used. If you can save thousands right out of the gate, you have already cut down dramatically the lifetime cost of your vehicle, and you haven’t even driven it yet!

Shop Around for Insurance

People who don’t know much about auto insurance often think that all insurers are the same. The reality couldn’t be more to the contrary. Auto insurance vary considerably, both in terms of cost and of provision/coverage. By shopping around for insurance that meets your needs and doesn’t overtax your budget, you can lock in a rate that saves you hundreds every single year. It’s important to note that multiple quotes from different companies can really help you in this regard, because companies often offer discounts to new customers based on the deals offered them by competitors.

Maintain Your Vehicle

Regular and preventative maintenance may seem like avoidable costs when you think about it in normal circumstances. After all, the car seems to be running fine right now, right? Why not wait until there’s a problem before sinking money into a non-existent issue? Well, that’s because preventative maintenance is cheap compared to the repair of damaged or broken hardware/systems. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it is said, and nowhere is this more true than in the world of car maintenance.

Future-Proof Your Vehicle

While gas guzzlers still rule the road, there is money to be saved in the world of electric and hybrid vehicles. Tax incentives and government subsidies still exist for some manufacturers of these vehicles, and the fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicle is another important consideration. Furthermore, it is pretty much assured that alternative fuel vehicles are only going to become more commonplace in the future, both short and long term. By getting something that seems a little futuristic right now, you could be saving much money as the industry shifts away from traditional car manufacture, sale, and repair.

If you take every opportunity to save money on your vehicle, not only will you have a car that serves you well for many years, you’ll also be in a much better financial situation than you otherwise would. Keep up the hard work and you’ll be able to shift these savings to very useful purposes.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.

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