Outside of buying a house, a motor vehicle is possibly the next largest investment that most people will make. Sadly, it is also a purchasing decision that can quickly become an ongoing financial nightmare, particularly for those at the lower end of the used car market.
For many people, a car purchase is driven by the factors of affordability and reliability rather than prestige and luxury. The good news is that owning and maintaining a cheaper car doesn’t have to mean sleepless nights and a seemingly bottomless money pit.
In fact, many people report that their happiest motoring experiences involved very simple, cheap motor vehicles. Here are some handy tips on vehicle maintenance for the budget conscious:
Maintaining Your Car
In some ways, vehicle maintenance can be looked at in a similar way to maintenance of the human body. A fundamental to reliable trouble-free motoring is ensuring that you keep up some level of ongoing maintenance. This starts with some relatively simple things – you should ensure that the car is always topped up with radiator water and engine oil. These are reasonably simple things to check, however, a fairly regular service check by a reputable garage will ensure these are topped up and replenished as necessary.
One thing that is less frequently checked is tire pressure, and while it is a relatively simple check, it is very often overlooked. Driving with under-inflated tires will actually result in greater fuel consumption and therefore greater running costs. Know the correct tire pressures for your car and head to the air hose regularly to keep all tires correctly inflated. Your wallet will thank you in the long run!
Consider Joining a Car Club
Having a network of contacts for car servicing and maintenance is important. These days the internet offers a wide range of sites to access information on your car make and model, as well as advice and contacts for support, including breakdown service.
A car club can act as a handy networking hub as well as potentially offering price discounts and bonuses for members. Take a look at a site like https://fastlanedrive.com/ that can offer some great networking opportunities as well as other member benefits.
Drive Consistently and Conservatively
The cost of gas is perhaps one of the most common complaints for the budget-conscious motorist. Always try to drive the car moderately – avoid hard or excessive acceleration and hard braking. Erratic driving will not only increase fuel consumption greatly, but it will also increase wear on the brakes and clutch. Cutting in and out of traffic is not only a surefire way of increasing running costs, but it very rarely results in an improvement in overall trip time.
The old adage “slow and steady wins the race” is not only relevant, but a smooth, consistent driving technique will also ensure running costs are get down.
Cheap Doesn’t Have to Mean Bad Quality
Owning a cheaper car doesn’t have to mean a nasty, or costly experience. Driven and maintained correctly, cars these days have a good service life and can result in a surprisingly pleasurable experience, even for those on the tightest budget.
Now you just have to find your ride!
*Photos by cottonbro