Every adult can agree that car costs are higher than many may think. In fact, the thought of adding up all bills that are associated with owning a car can leave a person in a plight of frustration, worry, and depression. Some may believe that owning a car is only about making car payments and keeping gas in the vehicle. However, below are some costs that you may not be aware of or may tend to overlook:
- Car payments
- Monthly insurance payments
- Car maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups, etc.)
- Yearly car tax and tag renewal
- Emergency car repairs
- Fuel purchases
- Car parts replacements (headlights, windshield wipers, etc.)
- Keeping your car clean both inside and outside
And the list goes on. However, believe it or not, there are ways to cut your monthly car costs down to a figure that is affordable according to your financial situation.
Make Affordable Payments: Refinance
Just suppose you are in a situation where you are unable to keep up with your car payments. You are sending your lending bank or company payments, but the amount left to pay seems to never get smaller. Each month, interest is building up and late fees are becoming larger than you expected. You need a break, a fresh start, and a more manageable car payment. Refinancing your vehicle is a great way to cut your monthly car costs to a more affordable monthly car payment. According to the GoBankingRates interest rate database, national auto loan rates remain at a low of 3.26% APR for a loan lasting 36 months, 4.01% APR for a loan lasting 48 months, and 3.58% APR for a loan lasting 60 months. Refinancing your vehicle loan guarantees that you will get a lower interest rate which will significantly impact the total amount due on your car loan. Even with that guarantee, it is recommended that you should opt in for a longer-term loan in an attempt to receive lower car payments. Although a longer-term loan will mean making payments for more months and more interests will have to be paid as well, it will have you with a more manageable car payment which will help in cutting your monthly car costs.
Buy Gas and Save Money: Energy-Efficient Cars
Buying gas and saving money seems like an unlikely pair. However, when it comes to the decision of needing to cut your monthly car costs, buying gas is not a hassle when you purchase an energy-efficient car. According to a survey conducted by CreditDonkey, 76.5% of those who were surveyed said that gas prices were a major concern when it comes to traveling. And the concern is a justifiable one. The Ford Mustang is a very popular gas that is seen frequently on highways. But the vehicle only gets you 29 miles per gallon on city roads and 19 miles per gallon on the highway. When thinking about gas costs, the Mustang compares none to an energy-efficient car, like the Toyota Prius. The Prius can give you 51 miles per gallon on the highway and 48 miles per gallon on city roads. Although an energy-efficient car will cost more, the amount you save in purchasing gas will be worth the big purchase. Another way to cut your monthly car costs in gas is to cut down on the number of vehicles used per household. In doing this, you must carefully plan to make sure everyone’s needs are met with using one car. It may be hard at first, but all the planning is worth it.
The Big 3: Maintenance, Repair, and Insurance
Keeping up with the maintenance, all needed car repairs, and insurance payments will indeed help you in your plan to cut your monthly car costs. Making sure that your tires inflated properly, or that your fuel pump stay free of debris will help your car run better and also help with saving energy. Also, when your car needs repair, like a new battery or new radiator, it is best to get those repairs done as soon as possible. Even when it comes to insurance, keeping up with the payments could result in incentive checks, lower insurance payments, and better rates.
Ditch Your Car
Do not be mistaken, it is not recommended to completely get rid of your car to cut your monthly car costs. The idea may seem like a good one, but there will be a time where your car will be needed. Instead, opt in for looking for other ways to get around. Take public transportation or car pool. If your destination is in walking distance, use that opportunity to get in some exercise. Not having to drive your car is the best way to cut your monthly car costs.
Owning a car does not have to be a daunting thing in life if you can use these methods to cut your monthly car costs. You can do one or all of the following: refinance, save on gas, keep up with maintenance, repairs, and insurance, or just not use your car that often. Whichever method you choose, get your monthly car costs down to what is affordable for you.