When you are saving to buy a car, you are bombarded by expense after expense and warnings about how costly cars can be. Not only do you have to factor in the upfront cost of a car alongside the monthly finance costs, you have to think about your road tax, fuel and insurance.
These expenses are the basics. You also must think about repairs you could potentially have to spend money on, the yearly MOT and have an emergency fund ready for random breakdowns. You would have in mind that shopping around for very cheap car insurance may help you skim some money off the top, but you have some expenses involved in your car that you really cannot skimp on.
It’s very easy to try and budget when it comes to your car; after all, if you’re going to be spending so much money on it each month, why not try and make a saving or two? Repairs are expensive, but you need to know where you should be spending out for your car.
Brakes. An absolute must for a car – obviously – but brakes are the one place you really shouldn’t try to make savings. Your safety while driving is paramount, and keeping your brakes in good condition means potentially spending out on replacing brake pads a couple of times a year.
Don’t go for brake pads that don’t suit your car and always buy branded. It could mean the difference between life and death.
Tyres. Arguably one of the most important places to spend money on your car, as they are the one thing between you and the road. You should also be ensuring that your tyres are in good condition and not too worn. The tyre tread matters, so keep an eye on it!
Lights. It’s the law to have working lights in your car, and while you’re there saving money, you can save money on penalties and tickets just by ensuring that your car lights work! Don’t go for dimmed bulbs just because they’re cheaper – you need to be seen on the road.
Battery. Your car needs more than just fuel to run, you need a working battery too. Going budget on your battery means that your car will probably let you down in a few years time, especially on those cold mornings. So avoid skimping out here. Check out these rules for buying a car battery for more information on your vehicle choices.
Ultimately, you have to decide what’s best for your car. If you want to make savings, you can, but you have to be realistic that you will be compromising your safety and reliability.
If you understand that and still buy budget, then heed the phrase ‘You buy cheap you buy twice’. Make good, safe choices for your car.