A car might be the first significant purchase you make as an adult, but a new survey shows that Canadians don’t understand the true cost of owning a vehicle. Despite this lack of knowledge, six in 10 Canadians report that they are likely or somewhat likely to buy a new car within the next two years. Whether you’re on the verge of buying a new vehicle or already have your own set of wheels, these five tips will help you save money on your car expenses.
- Consider buying used. Only 2 percent of Canadians could identify the biggest cost of owning a car: depreciation. Cars lose most of their value in the first two years, so, by buying a slightly older car, you’ll save money upfront and be able to sell it in a few years for a price much closer to what you paid.
- Save money on your insurance. Are you one of the 50 percent of people who let their car insurance renew automatically? Don’t be! There are lots of ways you can save on car insurance, and one of the best things you can do is shop around. Also, consider making some cost-saving changes to your insurance coverage. For example, paying your yearly insurance premium in one payment – rather than monthly instalments – often comes with a price reduction. And an increase in your deductible (the amount of an insurance claim you agree to pay) can equal a decrease in your premium payments.
- Spend money to save money. When trying to save money on your car expenses, there are some areas that you shouldn’t cut corners. This is definitely the case when it comes to regular maintenance of your vehicle. Regular oil changes will protect your engine (and your wallet from costly repairs) and will improve your car’s fuel economy, meaning you pay less money at the pump. Checking and changing your air filters will have the same positive results. Keeping your tires properly inflated will prolong their life – and also improve your fuel economy. Can you see the trend here? The time and money you put into taking care of the little things on your car will save you big bucks in the long run.
- Become a DIYer. By reading your car’s manual and watching a few YouTube tutorials, you might even be able to take care of your regular maintenance yourself. There are also small repairs that aren’t too hard – like replacing your windshield wipers. There are some repairs you shouldn’t be doing yourself; do your research first so you don’t end up paying for your mistakes.
- Share your commute. Carpooling could decrease your car usage by up to 60 percent, so if you have some friends that work and live close by, consider whether or not you’re up for spending some quality time with them on the drive to work. In addition to sharing the cost of gas, splitting driving time between multiple cars will decrease wear and tear and keep your mileage low – two things that will help maintain the value of your vehicle.
A car is a significant investment of money, but with a little bit of time and effort, you’ll be able to maximize your savings in these five areas. With all that extra money, it might be time to take your car on a road trip!
About the Author
Ari Rush is the President of Rush Ventures, a Toronto SEO and digital marketing agency. His previous marketing technology company has helped over 1,500 clients generate online traffic. He has also founded an online telecommunications firm, which he later sold to a private equity group. His public lectures range from Ryerson University to BizLaunch, both well known in North America.