The fact you’ve decided to read this post suggests you aren’t particularly happy with the excessive costs associated with modern driving. Well, guess what? You are not alone. Driving is a truly life-changing skill to learn and can make modern life far more enjoyable. However, millions of motorists struggle to keep up with the various overheads involved. The financial strain causes many people to give up while others are forced to make sacrifices in other aspects of their lives. Thankfully, you needn’t fall victim to those outcomes.
Here are 10 key points of focus to enhance your happiness behind the wheel, as well as your smile when checking those bank balances.
1. Don’t bother owning a car
Buying a car is an exciting moment in anybody’s life, and you’ll no doubt promise yourself that this vehicle will last a lifetime. But let’s get real; you’ll be upgrading to another model within a matter of years. Worse still, car depreciation guarantees a four-figure loss on the sale price too.
With this in mind, car leasing may be a far more attractive prospect than you first thought. You might not technically own the vehicle, but it can work out cheaper in the long run. Moreover, if a problem occurs, it will often be far easier to secure support from the lender.
If you are a new driver who has been offered a hand me down from a relative, it’s still worth taking this option. Then again, if they expect a small payment, it could end up causing more hassle than it’s worth.
2. Ensure you’ve got cheap insurance
Car ownership entails many different expenses, and car insurance is usually one of the most significant. The harsh reality of driving is that inexperienced drivers face a steeper charge than those with a long history on the road too. In truth, though, you should be eager to find the best deal regardless of what stage you’re at.
The list of packages and providers is simply ridiculous. Friends may try to point you in the right direction but, ultimately, they aren’t as smart as the internet. Using a price comparison site allows you to locate a solution that is both affordable and tailored to your driving needs.
In an ideal world, you’ll never need to make a claim on your insurance. With this in mind, paying anything more than the basement price would be a huge waste of capital. It doesn’t matter whether those savings go towards a vacation, household bills, or something else. Anything has to be better than giving it to an insurance provider when you could get the same level of service elsewhere.
3. Learn to drive well
Nobody likes being told that they’re doing something wrong. In brutal honesty, though, very few drivers have truly mastered the road. Those poor driving habits are likely to be one of the primary sources of your ongoing expenses, and now is the time to fix it.
First and foremost, signing up for an advanced driving course can increase your skills on four wheels. However, it’s the simple habits that often make the biggest impact. Combining several small journeys into one will save money as a warm engine performs better. Meanwhile, learning to stop idling your vehicle will have a telling impact too.
As for general driving, keeping a smooth speed and avoiding harsh braking should work wonders. Ignore the temptation to drive like an idiot with wheel spins and similar activities too, and positive results should follow.
4. Work tire-lessly for wheelie good mileage
Ongoing running costs can be heavily influenced by a whole host of different factors. Maintaining healthy tires is one of the most commonly overlooked issues. And it could be causing major problems for your safety as well as your bank balance.
Moreover, poorly conditioned tires can actively slow you down, which can cause further problems as time is money. It’s always worth checking the air pressure on a monthly basis, particularly when you drive a lot of miles. Aside from the above benefits, it will ensure that the ride remains far smoother.
The choice of tires can be pivotal too, especially if you live in an area surrounded by testing terrains. A good selection won’t only keep you safe, but it will slow down the general wear and tear. If this extends their lifespan, the overall running costs will fall dramatically too.
5. Become conditioned to being unconditioned
Comfort is king behind the road, not least because the distractions can put you in a vulnerable position. However, those in-cabin luxuries do consume energy. In many cases, this can be rather needless, especially with regards to air-conditioning.
The vehicle’s A/C units do serve a telling purpose. However, there are many journeys where simply winding down the windows will suffice. This will save you a noticeable amount of money in the long run. Besides, it reduces the frequency of needing to clear out the vents. Let’s face it; that distinctly stale smell of dirty air vents will make driving very unenjoyable.
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of relying on your A/C at all times. In truth, though, it only takes a few journeys to get into the winning habit of using the windows instead. Having said that, when traveling on highways, you’d be better off shutting the windows. This is because the drag caused will lower your fuel economy badly.
6. Start seeking financial entitlements
Driving is expensive enough without encountering unexpected costs. Unfortunately, they tend to crop up when you least want them. The vast majority of the driving population lets many of those issues slide when they should be entitled to financial support.
The most common issue is during the aftermath of an accident or road incident. Given the other stresses endured throughout this episode, financial worries are the last thing you need. Seeking representation from an attorney removes this problem. In turn, this allows you to focus on more important matters.
Circumstances may mean that support is available when fighting driving offenses too. Paying up when those fines are issued incorrectly should not be an option. Those fees do add up over the years, and will cause a negative impact on your relationship with driving and money. Do not let this become an issue.
7. Fuel your money saving ventures
Fuel costs have swelled in recent years, partly due to standard inflation and partly due to the incompetence of global giants in the field. Sadly, as with most things in business, the upshot is that the consumer is the one that gets punished with astronomical costs. Finding ways to reduce the damage is essential.
One of the most common mistakes is to choose premium gasoline. Frankly, this simply isn’t necessary unless the vehicle’s manual states it. Perhaps more importantly, you should look to save money via the form of cash back incentives. Getting a return on those regular purchases will soon show on your bank statements.
Improving fuel economy should remain on the agenda. This can be achieved by reducing the weight of the vehicle and sharing rides where possible.
8. Tech savings to the next level
Modern tech gadgets can enhance your life in many ways, not least with regards to driving. Given that you probably have a smartphone already, many of those additions can be downloaded for free too.
Using satellite navigation to find the quickest route to your destination can have a positive impact. Meanwhile, car parking Apps can help you find the most efficient places in the local area. Just remember that using a device while operating the vehicle is illegal in many territories, and you won’t go far wrong.
Other tech like parking sensors and Bluetooth can improve those experiences behind the wheel. But if you learn to focus primarily on investments that actively aid your pocket, you’ll be in a far better position in the long haul.
9. Weather the financial storm
When considering how to win in this difficult economic climate, you must appreciate the geographic climate too. Failure to do this can result in increased running costs while leaving the car open to damage too.
Preparing your vehicle for the winter months is imperative if you live in harsh conditions. If the car cannot be stored in a garage overnight, you may want to buy a dust jacket too. Otherwise, the elements could soon bring havoc.
As with most car-related aspects, silly mistakes are the main cause of financial problems. From using wipers for clearing ice to driving in thick snow without the right tires, those mistakes will come back to bite you. Overcoming them is essential.
10. Stop paying experts
All cars need a little TLC from time to time, irrespective of the precautions you take. In many cases, it may seem easier to let the expert mechanics get your pride and joy back to full health. There are times where this is the right option, but it’s often a huge waste of money.
General tools are more affordable than ever before while you can usually borrow special ones from friends and relatives too. The internet is now packed with tutorials and guidelines for most simple jobs. Consequently, the days of paying through the nose for easy repairs can be a thing of the past.
Or, of course, you could just keep wasting money if you prefer. The choice is entirely up to you.
** This is a collaborative post