The moment you buy a car, you’re losing money.

Exact figures are harder to ascertain but a brand-new car can lose 10% of its value the moment it leaves the showroom. And assuming it travels 10,000 miles in the subsequent year, depreciation is about 15-25%. 

It doesn’t matter if the car is new or used or not either, it’s highly unlucky you’ll recuperate the cost of buying your vehicle. There are exceptions, for example, if you’re restoring a classic vehicle and you can cover the cost of spares, tools, labour etc., but not many.

Buying a car isn’t a question of losing money, more of a question of how much you’ll lose. Even if you buy an electric vehicle instead of a petrol one, the cheaper running costs won’t save you money.

The reasons for this are numerous: fuel or energy prices play a significant role, as do manufacturing and material costs. But even if both of these figures remain the same or even fall, day-to-day wear and tear on a vehicle will ultimately result in a loss. 

So, how can you save money on your car each year? Let’s start by looking at three cheap and reliable readily available cars on the market. 

  • Dacia Sandero: How about a 0.9 lite turbocharged car from under $5000 used? Sure, it’s basic but it’s thrifty on fuel and surprisingly nimble.
  • Toyota Yaris: You can pick one up for just over $7000 used, they hardly go wrong, and if they do, models up to five years old will be covered by Toyota’s warranty.
  • Lexus CT: Okay, you’ll need a bigger budget, but for a luxury car that’s reliable and relatively economical for around $15,000, that’s not bad. 

It’s not all about saving money on the cost of buying a car though. There are plenty of other ways of cutting down costs, here are three:

  • Insurance: Checking your car’s insurance has never been easier. Price comparison sites are in abundance online and low-cost insurance is one of the easiest ways of saving money. Check annually, even if you’ve not made a claim and save yourself some serious coin. 
  • Let your engine warm up: Were you expecting this? Don’t underestimate the amount of harm you can do to an engine when it’s cold and the amount you can save on unnecessary service bills. It takes a while for the oil to lubricate the top of your engine when it’s sat overnight. So, let it warm up and get into all those vital areas to protect it when you hit the morning rush hour. 
  • Don’t buy premium-grade fuel: Unless you’re driving a supercar, you won’t notice the advantages. Did you know that American Automobile Association found US drivers were spending more than $2.1 billion on premium-grade petrol? Also, gas prices vary from gas station to gas station, so hunt out cheap sources of fuel. 

Finally, we need to do a deeper dive on tires. It would seem the average motorist underestimates how much money they can save you annually. 

Firstly, be economical. Look into Maxxis tires, for example, manufactured inexpensive tires that you can reply on. You don’t need to spend hundreds of bucks on expensive high-performance tires when high-performance budget tires do a similar job for less. Put that another way, Maxxis summer tires were only a few points away from matching a high-end brand in a comparison test and yet they’re much more affordable. 

Secondly, and we can’t stress this enough, check your tire pressures. With the correct pressures, your car will stop more efficiently and be safer to drive in poor conditions. But if you’re looking to save money, this is what really counts, tires under-inflated by 15psi can use up to 6% more fuel. That means you can get as much as 26 more miles from just 60 litres of fuel. 

At the end of the day, you’re still not going to be better off if you buy a car. But if you follow our tips, you’ll be minimising how much money you’ll lose!

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