One of the largest running costs of owning a car, that you’re likely to deal with on a semi-regular basis, is the cost of making sure that it’s in the right condition. If you want to keep it working and at low risk of giving you any problems while you’re driving, then you are going to have to pay, for maintenance, repair, and any replacement parts that it might need. However, it might not have to be expensive as you could make it. Here are a few ways to manage those costs.
Get it serviced on a more regular basis
There’s a very good chance that your car has some sort of service manual or schedule that the manufacturer recommends that you follow in order to ensure that it stays in the best condition it can. It’s widely recommended that you follow that. Yes, it might mean paying more to get your car serviced on a more regular basis. However, the simple fact is that if you get your car looked at and serviced more often, you’re a lot more likely to spot the smaller issues that can later blow up into much more expensive repairs in your face. You don’t want that to happen. Similarly, if you do notice any small faults, don’t ignore them. Fix them before they have room to grow.
Do more yourself
There are some aspects of car repair that should not be attempted by an amateur. You’re not likely to bring a dead engine to life nor to work out what’s wrong with the suspension. In those cases, leave it to the professional. However, there are plenty of DIY car fixes that you might be able to make yourself. Most of them are routine replacements, like changing the fluids in your car, replacing a spark plug, or changing a brake pad. All the same, you can save yourself a trip to the garage and the costs associated with it if you apply yourself a little more when needed.
Don’t leave glaring gaps in your insurance
What could make a major repair more expensive than having to pay for all of it yourself? It’s not all about the costs of the service itself, but how you pay for it. To that end, you should make sure that you choose your provider or collision insurance very carefully. You want to make sure that you have enough coverage to keep your car on the road in the event of an accident, as well as to make sure that you’re covered when you need it most. Naturally, if there are other concerns, such as vandalism, that are well-warranted, then you may want to look at going more comprehensive with your plan, as well.
Source your own parts
Your mechanic might be a lifesaver when it comes to making repairs when you need them and even in pricing those repairs. However, if they have to source and provide any replacement parts, then they might put something of a mark-up on those parts. This doesn’t mean they’re trying to rip you off, simply that it’s one of the only ways they can make money on simple repair jobs. As such, you can find plenty of car repair parts on the website, whether you opt for a store that sells original manufacturer replacements or third-party replacements that can sometimes be a good deal cheaper. Just try not to cheap out too much on car parts. Follow the golden rule: buy cheap, buy twice.
Budget for it
How can you budget for your car repairs when you don’t know when you’re going to need them? Well, you can start by assuming that you are always going to need money for repairs. No psychic powers necessary. Simply keep track of how much you spend on repairs, services, and replacements for the car on the average year, and save up to make sure that you have that much set aside for it at any given time. This can stop you from having to rely on credit, either through your own credit cards or even from the garage, which can add on the interest pretty quickly and steeply. You can also look at the costs of some of the most commonly replaced parts to get a better understanding of what you might need to spend.
Saving money on your car repairs and servicing is going to require you to become a pretty savvy customer at every stop. The tips above should hopefully give you some strategies you can rely on to keep those costs down.