Car ownership is expensive. This is a well-established fact, and one that any person who purchases a vehicle knows to expect. When you bought your car, you knew that you were going to have to set aside a substantial proportion of your budget to keep that car on the road.
Thankfully, some of the costs of owning a car can be controlled. There are things you can do to drive down the costs of driving and car ownership, but there’s also the potential for a few unwelcome surprises. If you truly want to obtain full control of the costs of driving and car ownership, you’re going to need to ensure your budget takes account of the following…
Fluctuating petrol prices
When you work out a budget for your car, you’ll use the current petrol prices in your financial configurations. This is eminently sensible, but many car owners fail to plan for the issues that petrol price fluctuation can cause. As petrol prices can fluctuate wildly, this section of your car costs budget should always be flexible.
This aspect is particularly important when buying a new car. Ideally, you need a car with as high an MPG as possible to ensure continued affordability of fuel. There’s no guarantee that petrol prices will spike, but if they do, you’ll be glad you had the foresight to buy a car you can continue to fuel during a rise.
No one likes to think it, but unfortunately, car accidents are frighteningly common. The reasons that accidents occur vary, as does the severity of the incidents. You can find yourself needing a new bumper if you accidentally brush a curb or scrape another car while squeezing into a tight space. On the larger end of the spectrum, getting into an accident with a truck can be particularly nasty; you can view more here about what these accidents tend to entail. Big or small, accidents will have a severe impact on your finances.
While it’s impossible to guarantee you won’t have an accident on the roads, there are things you can do to protect yourself. Always ensure that you avoid distractions while driving, and potentially consider investing in a car with the latest in accident-avoidance technology— the extra cost is worth it when contrasted against the costs of an accident.
Washing and maintaining
If you have money to burn, washing and maintaining your car is simple; you just take your vehicle to a car wash, and the work is done for you. However, this cost can quickly add up; for example, the £5 a week you might spend on a car wash equals £260 per year!
The solution to this problem is simple: DIY cleaning and maintenance. Unfortunately, this isn’t quite the winning fix that everyone imagines it to be. You’ll need to replace sponges and cloths more often than you expect, soap can be expensive, and you may find yourself paying a small fortune for the water required to perfectly wash your car if you’re on a water meter.
Thankfully, you can make DIY car washing a little more financially manageable by buying in bulk when you spot a good deal. It’s also wise to take advantage of free cleaning options wherever possible; for example, some fuel stations allow you to clean your windscreen for free when you top up your tank.
By ensuring you include the aspects above in your car budget, you can be confident there will be no unexpected financial surprises when it comes to keeping your car on the road!