When it comes to owning a car, you are literally bombarded with various different expenses form the moment you begin to own one. The first cost you will encounter is the initial cost to buy the car. Depending on the age and type of car you buy this can range anywhere between £500 and £30,000 money with no real limit. Even if you decide to lease a car of buy one on finance you will likely have to pay a deposit which will run into the thousands. Then there’s the actual monthly payments towards the car to consider.
Even when you own a car the costs don’t stop there. You will also need to think about the cost of road tax an insurance for the car, as well as the cost of fuel. Even after paying all of these there are other costs that you may not even have considered before. At some point in its life, your car will probably need some repairs and it will certainly need some routine maintenance. If the car is over three years old, then you will have to fork out for an MOT, as well as the associated costs with ensuring that it is able to pass the MOT. It is also very possible that your car could breakdown at some point. Even if this is because of a relatively minor issue, you can virtually guarantee that it will be at the most inconvenient time, and that it will cost something to get it rectified.
Of course, there are ways to reduce the damage that owning a car does to your bank balance. Shopping around for your car insurance and buying a car that is renowned for it’s reliability instead of it’s 0-60 speed are good ways to save money. There are also many tips and tricks that can save you money in other aspects of car ownership, such as washing your own car. However sometimes there are just things that you really shouldn’t scrimp on.
Brakes are the most important safety aspect of any car. For this reason, when it comes to replacing them you really shouldn’t try to cut corners in order to save a few pounds. Always buy brake pads that are from your car’s original manufacturer or a recommended company. Never buy cheap pattern parts that may not fit or perform adequately. If you’re able to change your own brake pads then that’s great, however it’s best to pay someone in the know if you can’t do it yourself.
If you come to change your brake pads and find that the brake discs have seen better days, then get these changed too.
The tyres are the only part of the car that have contact with the road surface, so it’s important to ensure that they are up to the job. Ensure that your tyres are in good condition and are not too worn. You don’t have to buy the most expensive brands but avoid the budget ones if you intend to travel on fast roads or clock up the mileage. Never ever buy part worn or used tyres, as you don’t know the history of them and any risks involved will far outweigh the potential savings you’ll make.
Although it’s hard to scrimp on lights and bulbs because they are so cheap, it’s well worth making sure that you regularly check around your car to ensure that they are all working correctly. A simple blown bulb that costs 50p will cost you a hundred times more than that if you get pulled over and receive a fine. Even if you’re not competent enough to change a bulb, any reputable garage will do it for a modest amount of money so there really is no excuse.
The engine is the heart of your car, yet without a battery it is nothing. Not only does your battery have the capability of starting the car, it also powers various other accessories so it’s important to ensure that it’s always in tip-top condition.
When it comes to replacing a worn battery, you will find that the cost varies dramatically. The more expensive batteries will far outlast the cheaper ones so despite the higher initial investment it almost always pays in the long run to buy a better-quality battery. Most reputable battery manufacturers offer a guarantee so you can easily budget how long your new battery will last before you have to consider spending money on a replacement.
As it’s your car you are ultimately responsible for choosing how well you maintain it. A car is a machine and the better it is maintained the longer it will serve its purpose. If you don’t like the idea of having to replace your car every couple of years then it’s in your best interest to maintain it as well as you can reasonably afford to.