Your car is arguably one of the biggest expenses in your life. The initial cost of a vehicle is already surprisingly high (especially if you’re buying a fancy new car) and you’ll have to pay insurance on it and various tax fees to even keep it on the road.
You also need to maintain it on a regular basis by taking it to a mechanic (unless you can do it yourself) and you’ll also have to pay for repairs if you ever damage your car.
It goes without saying that your car is going to be a running expense that you need to take into consideration before you purchase one. In some cases, buying an old car can even result in higher maintenance costs because the vehicle is older, more prone to issues, and harder to work on. As a result, a car can be a relatively high expense that many of us don’t expect.
Thankfully, there are ways around this.
If you’re looking to save money on your car-related expenses, then it’s important to practice proper car maintenance and also learn to drive safely. In this post, we’ll be looking at how these two things can save you a lot of money.
What are the risks of poor car maintenance?
When you start skipping routine car maintenance, you can expect to experience some concerning risks. Here are some of the most common risks to look out for.
- Permanent damage to your engine which shortens its life. If you don’t maintain your engine correctly, it will wear out over time and eventually cause your car to break down and stop working correctly. This requires expensive repairs to fix which could burn a hole in your budget.
- Incorrect tire pressure can be dangerous. If your tires aren’t filled with enough air it can make your car’s mileage worse. However, it can also lead to poor traction which could result in a crash.
- Brake failure can lead to serious car accidents. Proper brake maintenance ensures that they’re responsive and work as intended. You should keep an eye out for the signs of brake failure so you know when you need to stop driving your car and take it in for maintenance as soon as possible.
- Light failures can make it difficult for other drivers to see you. If your front or rear lights are broken or stop working, it can make it hard for other drivers to see you, especially at night. This could also make it difficult to see for pedestrians and cyclists.
Many of these risks can end up costing you a large sum of money. For example, engine repairs can be extremely costly, replacing tires that you didn’t need to can be a waste of money, and crashing your car can be costly both in terms of repair costs and medical fees.
As such, maintaining your car properly can help you save a considerable amount of money in the long term.
What are some smart ways to look after your car?
Most people don’t really know how to maintain their car. The most they’ll do is take their vehicle to a mechanic somewhere and then let them handle it. While this is perfectly fine, it pays to understand how you can look after your car yourself.
- Always inspect and maintain tires. Learning to check your tire pressure is rather simple and can help to prolong the life of your tires which can be an expensive investment.
- Check your lights. These are very simple things to change and can save you from having an accident.
- Wash your car regularly. If you learn how to wash your car correctly, you can keep it protected and in good condition. Car washing can be rather costly and you can save a bit of money if you do it yourself. It’s also a good idea to wash off dirt and debris before it starts to get bad so you can save money.
- Check the fluids in your car. Whether it’s power steering fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid or even coolant, make sure you check these fluids to ensure your car is running correctly.
- Change the engine oil if needed. Changing your engine oil is a simple way to save money and keep your car in good condition. It doesn’t require much time and saves you a trip to your local garage.
- Keep your car covered if you’re not using it much. There are many benefits of car covers that you should consider if you’re not using your vehicle much. You should generally just keep your car in a garage if it’s not going to be used, but car covers can be a good alternative. Just don’t keep it under the cover for too long and remember to use your car occasionally so that the battery doesn’t run flat and the brakes don’t seize.
- Get to know your local mechanic. If there are ever issues that you’re unsure how to handle, speaking to your local mechanic is arguably the best way to look after your vehicle and save money in the long term.
- Understanding weather conditions before you get on the road. It’s important to learn when you should change your tires so that you can be prepared for certain road conditions. For example, using your basic tires in winter when the roads are slippery can lead to accidents.
These are some simple tips to help you look after your car and ultimately save money. Once you learn how to maintain your car yourself, you’ll realize just how much money you can start to save.
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents
Unsafe drivers tend to be distracted when they’re in the car.
This could be caused by talking to other passengers, it could be because they’re on the phone, or it could even be due to loud music. It’s important that you reduce distractions because it’s one of the leading causes of accidents on the road.
Of all the things you should never do while driving, getting distracted is one of the most expensive because it can lead to trouble with the police and damage to your car.
Speeding is a leading cause of traffic fatalities
Speeding can lead to horrible crashes which results in a lot of damage to your car, injuries, and potentially death.
Avoid speeding and you’ll avoid the expenses that it comes with. It’s easy to follow speed limits and you should never feel like you’re in a rush to get anywhere.
Driving while under the influence is a common reason to be pulled over
Driving while under the influence can lead to you getting arrested, your license could be suspended and you’ll probably end up in jail for a few days.
You may need to rely on bail bonds to get you out of jail, but you’ll still need to appear in court.
This could also cost a lot of money, hence the importance of staying focused while driving and avoiding any kind of drunk driving situations.
Driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving while drunk
Driving while tired is also just as dangerous as driving while under the influence. If you feel tired while driving, it’s a good idea to find a resting spot so that you can relax for a while.
If you constantly feel tired while driving, you may need to reconsider your schedule for when you drive.
If you’re a convicted driver, it can increase your car insurance premiums
Lastly, if you’re ever convicted of a driving offense, it could lead to increased car insurance premiums. Make sure you avoid getting into trouble with the law so that you can keep your car insurance premiums low.
One mistake and you could end up paying a large sum of money every year just to own a car.
Being a smart driver is a wise financial decision
As you can see, being a better driver is a fantastic financial decision.
It helps you save money because you’ll be looking after your car and learning about the intricacies of car maintenance. This alone can save you a lot of money since you’ll be less reliant on your local mechanic to fix basic issues. This also means you’ll keep your car running for longer and can fix any issues on the roadside as they appear.
In addition, being a safe driver means you’re less likely to get into accidents. This can help protect you from medical fees, legal fees, and also repair fees. Practice safe driving and you’ll find that you’re far less likely to avoid accidents and ultimately keep your wallet protected.
You should also consider defensive driving techniques to avoid bad drivers on the road who could potentially drag you into an accident, even if you did everything you could to stay clear from it.
In short, the smarter you are about driving and car maintenance, the more money you’re going to save.