Have you ever noticed how some cars don’t cost much money to keep on the road. Whereas others are like money pits on wheels? And have you also noticed how some people claim their cars cost them little to run. But they don’t spend a cent on keeping their vehicles roadworthy?
In an age where technology rules and people seem to have more opinions than ever, it can be hard to distinguish fact from fallacy. It doesn’t help when some people have “model envy” and tell you that your vehicle is the worst ever for cheap running costs.
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The good news is that I’m here to help you out! That’s because, in today’s blog post, I will focus on tried and tested ways to drive down the costs of keeping a car on the road for less! Here is what you need to know:
Stick with premium tires
When you need a new set of tires for your car, you will usually try to stick with the cheapest ones available to save on cost. But here’s the thing: budget brand tires are a false economy!
Sure, you get some folks telling you that budget tires are just old premium brand models. But if they were so good, why hasn’t the tire maker kept them in production under the premium brand?
Yes, some budget tires are copies of old premium ones. But there are a few reasons why they now lead lives under a budget brand. First, many of those former premium tires were poor performers in their previous lives. Second, they aren’t made to the same standards and qualities as the premium ones were.
If you frequent car enthusiast forums, you will notice that users refer to budget tires as “ditchfinders.” Stay safe on the road and buy premium tires. They might cost you more than budget tires. But at least they will keep you safe and on the road!
Here are some top tips to help you choose the best of the best for your pride and joy:
- Check plenty of tire reviews to see how the tires you want perform under different conditions;
- Ask for feedback from people you know that have the same tires fitted to their cars;
- Make sure the tires aren’t older than six months old when you buy them.
Consider paying for a service plan
It’s no secret that one of the biggest expenses for all car owners are car services! Each year, we spend between three and four-figure sums for our cars to have a service. The motors in our cars are mechanical devices. They need regular maintenance to ensure they perform well at all times.
If you even skip just one service during your car’s lifetime, you can end up causing some unseen – and expensive – damage to it. So what happens if you find that your car maintenance bills cost you a small fortune?
Some folks decide to get their cars serviced with independent auto shops. Unless you are familiar with the level of work and quality of parts used, avoid them at all costs. Main dealer services are often more expensive. But you are paying for quality, guarantees, and excellent workmanship.
The mechanics that work for places like GK Servicing are well-trained. They know what they are doing when they work on your car. Do you really want an amateur to do any repairs on your car? No, I didn’t think so!
One perfect way to cut the cost of your services is to pay into a service plan with your dealer. The way they work is simple. You both agree on the amount of services your car has under the plan and negotiate a price.
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To give you an example, I recently arranged a service plan for my car. I paid for three years’ worth of servicing and managed to negotiate a whopping 40% discount off the bill! There’s no way I could have made those savings for each service.
But what if you can’t afford to pay for your service plan upfront in one lump sum? The good news is that you can usually pay in monthly installments, often with no interest charges!
Detail your car on a regular basis
Aside from mechanical problems, your car can also suffer from bodywork and paint issues. You might not realize this, but most of those problems stem from the fact that car owners seldom keep their cars clean!
Bodywork and paint that has little attention over the years can result in corrosion problems. Rust is a big issue for car owners, especially if the “rot” grows in size and attacks vast areas of body panels.
To lower the risk of your car becoming a victim of rust, the easiest thing to do is to keep your car clean on a regular basis. But that doesn’t mean just washing it each weekend, for example. You also need to protect the bodywork and paint by polishing and waxing it too.
It doesn’t matter whether you do the work yourself, or you pay a detailer to clean your car for you. Ensuring your car gets detailed on a regular basis will pay dividends. You won’t have to pay for expensive bodywork and welding as your car ages. And the value of your car will always remain high because it’s in mint condition!
Don’t drive your car hard when the engine is cold
OK, so that might sound like an obvious statement to make. However, you would be surprised by the number of people that drive their cars like they stole them – especially from cold!
Until the engine reaches normal operating temperature, keep the revs under 3,000 rpm. Regardless of whether you drive an automatic or a manual. Your engine has to pump oil all around to lubricate its internal components.
It doesn’t do a good job of that until the engine is hot. So have a bit of compassion for your car and don’t drive like a speed demon. At least, not until the engine is warm enough to handle your hard driving!