Keep running costs down as a car owner

Aside from buying your home, becoming a motorist is one of the most expensive things you’ll do in your adult life. Along with the cost of driving lessons, theory and practical tests you then have to buy a car, insure it, tax it, repair it when it breaks down and cover fuel costs. It’s certainly not cheap (especially in the beginning) however it’s so worth it. There’s nothing quite like the independence and freedom that driving brings. If you’re looking to keep costs down, there are a few things you can do when you’re deciding on which vehicle to buy- here are some examples.


Newer vehicles will always be more expensive to buy, but it’s often worth spending more up front as you’ll reduce your running costs overall. Newer cars will be cheaper to insure and will cost less to tax. They’ll generally be more reliable; since they’ll have done fewer miles you can usually expect them to break down less, meaning lower repair costs. Brand new cars depreciate in value quickly, you can avoid this by going for something that’s used but still in good condition.

If you don’t have a huge budget, it’s tempting to choose a banger just to get you from A to B. But actually, you’ll probably end up spending more in the long run. Take the running costs such as tax and insurance and the reliablity based on the age and model into consideration before purchasing. In many cases, it could be worth taking out some finance if you can’t afford the upfront cost as it’s still likely to work out cheaper overall.


The best engine will all depend what kind of driving that you do. However, as a general rule, cars with small engines typically use less fuel over shorter journeys as well as in stop/ start traffic. If you do a lot of town or city driving, with mainly shorter trips then anything with up to a 1.4 litre engine should suffice. If you do lots of long journeys, diesel tends to be more fuel efficient although diesel engines do tend to be less reliable. Have a think about what kind of driving you’re likely to do most in your car, and choose the right engine and fuel type.


Usually, when you buy an item from a store you’ll be given a one year warranty. However, when you’re buying a second hand car you don’t get this- some sellers will offer a short warranty but in most cases you have to just hope for the best. This isn’t ideal, and so it makes sense to purchase an extended warranty from a company like Cars Protection Plus. That way, if anything does go wrong with it you won’t end up paying out of your pocket and it gives you peace of mind on your vehicle. Cars don’t come cheap, the last thing you want is to buy one and then end up with repair costs that are even higher than what you paid in the first place.


Breakdown cover is really inexpensive, it’s usually just a few dollars a month but could save you hundreds in the event of a breakdown. In many cases, your breakdown company will fix your car on the side of the road for free meaning you avoid garage fees. But even if they can’t, they’ll recover your car and get you to a garage meaning you don’t have to pay a third party company hundreds to come and get you.

Photo: from Pexels

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