California is the second most expensive state to own a car. This means that if you live in Los Angeles, you should expect to shell out more money to keep your ride. Repairs cost an average of $390 a year, while taxes and fees amount to $1,809 annually. As for the yearly average for gas and insurance, these are $980 and $786 respectively.
Fortunately, you can lower your car-related costs. Here are some of the ways you can save money:
Pay off your auto loan early
If you financed your car, your car payments are surely a pain in your pocket. Get the repayment over with so you can save money. If your loan is without prepayment penalties, go ahead and pay off the loan faster. Doing so will save you a lot in interest. If you give more payment each month, make sure they are put into the loan principal.
You can lower your car costs by making sure your car is in great condition. It is only with proper upkeep that a vehicle can remain in great condition. You should therefore pay attention to maintenance milestones. Get your car owner’s manual and check the car manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the schedules of basic maintenance tasks. When you do maintenance as suggested, you can avoid more expensive car problems.
Spend when necessary
You can reduce car expenses by doing certain maintenance tasks yourself. However, there are also savings to be had by spending when needed. Don’t scrimp on servicing when servicing is necessary. A tune-up may cost you money, but it can save you a fortune by preventing car trouble.
The way you drive can influence how much you will spend on the car. Driving hard will put a dent in your budget because it increases wear and tear. If you want to spend less and keep the car longer, drive as gently as you can.
Clean your car
Dirt and debris do more than hurt your car’s appearance. These can also compromise the auto’s overall quality. For instance, dirt outside can damage the car’s paint and may cause rusting. Meanwhile, dirt inside can damage leather and upholstery. Avoid deterioration by keeping both the exterior and interior of the car clean.
Pick the right vehicle
The best way to save money on car ownership costs is to choose the right car from the start. So if you are planning to buy a new (or new to you) vehicle, choose wisely.
Pick a car that is well-known for quality and reliability. At present, vehicles are better made than ever, with some reaching 100,000 miles without problems. But some are in better condition and last longer than others, and one of these is what you should choose to save money.
You could also save a fortune by sticking to what you need. If all you need is a car that will get you from point A to point B, don’t choose a gas-guzzling ride with all the bells and whistles.